Springtime Allergies May Cause Asthma
Spring brings warmer weather and color, with flowers blooming as nature awakens. If you are living with asthma, you may not be as enthusiastic about the changing season because of spring allergies.
Watch Video: Springtime Allergies May Cause Asthma
Common Allergens to Lookout For This Spring
According to the most recent data from the CDC, 8% of Americans have asthma. That’s more than 26.7 million. Unfortunately, allergens during this time of year are the most common asthma triggers.
Allergens are substances that your body thinks are harmful, activating your immune system to fight them off.
Common spring allergens that can trigger your asthma include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
How Allergies Trigger Asthma
Spring allergens, such as pollen, can significantly impact chronic asthma. When your immune system fights allergens in the air or surfaces you touch, it releases an antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE).
In people with asthma, their immune system often overproduces IgE. Having too much IgE in your system can cause inflammation and swelling of the airways, resulting in an allergic asthma attack or asthma flare-up.
Allergens, therefore, trigger an allergic asthma response. This condition requires specific treatment to control and minimize symptom recurrence and severity.
The Role of Biologics in Treating Moderate to Severe Asthma
Improving patient outcomes and quality of life is the priority in any asthma management plan. Unfortunately, while many patients have successfully controlled their disease using traditional therapies such as corticosteroids and rescue inhalers, others continue to struggle.
Doctors may prescribe biologic therapy for those patients who don’t respond satisfactorily to their current medications.
Asthma biologics are an innovative group of drugs. Unlike traditional asthma therapies, biologics work in a targeted way to disrupt the different pathways that lead to inflammation in the lung’s airways, effectively reducing the number and frequency of asthma attacks and improving symptoms.
Additionally, biologics have fewer adverse side effects and provide many benefits to patients, such as:
- Reducing the need for steroids, lessening the adverse side effects of these medications
- Reducing the number, frequency, and severity of asthma flare-ups
- Reducing the need for hospitalization
- Improving lung function in some patients
- Improving overall disease symptoms
- Improving patient’s quality of life
Xolair®, Fasenra®, Nucala®, and Cinqair® are four FDA-approved biologics for the treatment of moderate to severe asthma. However, Xolair® is the only drug indicated for severe allergic asthma. The others are useful in treating severe eosinophilic asthma.
Xolair® specifically targets IgE making it highly effective in reducing allergic asthma attacks in children over six years of age and adults.
If you have uncontrolled allergic asthma, ask your doctor for ways to minimize the impact of springtime allergies and if biologic therapy is a good option.