Can Biologics Treat My Fall Allergies & Asthma

Can Biologics Treat My Fall Allergies & Asthma?

As the leaves change and the air becomes crisp, many of us look forward to the beauty of fall. However, this season can bring a host of respiratory challenges for those suffering from asthma and allergies.

Fall allergies, often triggered by ragweed pollen, dust mites, and mold, can exacerbate asthma symptoms, making it crucial to explore effective treatment options. One such option is biologic therapy.

Watch the video: Can Biologics Treat My Fall Allergies & Asthma?

Recognizing Asthma and Allergy Symptoms

Before we delve into the effectiveness of biologics in treating asthma and allergies, let’s briefly discuss the symptoms of these conditions and how they can worsen during the fall season.

Can Biologics Treat My Fall Allergies & Asthma

Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation of the airways. As many as 13% of people with asthma have severe asthma.

Severe asthma is difficult to control even with high doses of inhaled corticosteroids.

Asthma symptoms can be unpredictable and occur at any time, day or night. When not controlled effectively, they can be debilitating and affect a patient’s quality of life. Common symptoms of severe asthma include:

  • Shortness of Breath: People with asthma frequently struggle to breathe and feel chest tightness.
  • Coughing: Chronic coughing, especially at night or early in the morning, is a hallmark of asthma.
  • Wheezing: This symptom manifests as a high-pitched whistling sound during breathing, particularly intensifying during an asthma attack.
  • Chest Tightness: Many describe asthma as feeling like a heavy weight is pressing down on their chest.

Allergy Symptoms

Allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust mites, often trigger respiratory allergies, which can overlap with asthma symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Sneezing: Frequent sneezing, especially when exposed to allergens, is a common allergic reaction.
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose: Allergic rhinitis can lead to a runny or congested nose, often accompanied by itchiness.
  • Watery Eyes: Redness and excessive tearing of the eyes are common allergic responses.
  • Coughing and Postnasal Drip: Allergies can lead to persistent coughing and postnasal drip, aggravating asthma symptoms.
Can Biologics Treat My Fall Allergies & Asthma

Biologics: A New Frontier in Asthma and Allergy Treatment

Biologics represent a promising approach to managing asthma and allergies, particularly when symptoms become challenging to control with standard treatments like inhalers and antihistamines. Here are some common biologic drugs used to treat these conditions:

Omalizumab (Xolair)

Xolair works by targeting immunoglobulin E (IgE), a key player in allergic reactions. By reducing IgE levels, it can help manage both asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Mepolizumab (Nucala)

Nucala targets eosinophils, a type of white blood cell associated with asthma. It helps control eosinophil-related inflammation and reduces asthma exacerbations.

Reslizumab (Cinqair)

Like Mepolizumab, Cinqair targets eosinophils to manage severe asthma and improve lung function.

Benralizumab (Fasenra)

Fasenra also targets eosinophils, but it has a unique mechanism of action that reduces the number of eosinophils in the blood. This can help reduce asthma symptoms and improve lung function.

Dupilumab (Dupixent)

Dupixent is approved to treat both asthma and atopic dermatitis. It targets specific immune pathways to reduce inflammation associated with these conditions.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Biologic Therapy?

Like with any other medication, biologics are not for everyone. Healthcare providers typically consider biologics for individuals who meet specific criteria.

Severe Asthma: Healthcare providers usually reserve biologics for individuals with severe or uncontrolled asthma despite using standard medications.

Elevated Biomarkers: For some biologics, like Mepolizumab and Benralizumab, elevated eosinophil levels in the blood can indicate a potential benefit from treatment.

Allergic Rhinitis: Biologics like Omalizumab may be an option if allergic rhinitis significantly contributes to your asthma symptoms.

Is Biologic Therapy Right for You?

Deciding whether biologic therapy is the right treatment for your asthma and allergies should be a collaborative effort between you and your healthcare provider. Consider the following steps:

Consultation: Schedule a consultation with an allergist or pulmonologist specializing in asthma and allergies. Discuss your symptoms and treatment history.

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