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Forum Name: Asthma

Question: How is Allergy different from Asthma? Peak flow readings.


 yellowwheel - Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:19 pm

Using a "Personal Best" peak flow meter. My Pulmonology Dr. said this was not Asthma, but can be swelling, tightness or secretions in bronchils. Referring me back to an allergist.

750-780 When no problems.
550-650 Contact with pollen allergies.
500-550 If I don't medicate right away for allergy.
350-450 Pet dander and fumes

If I stay near a strong enough irritant I will eventually drop below 300 and keep dropping.

If I use my Albuterol inhaler I go right up to 700 after a short while.

My question is: How is Allergy different from Asthma?

Thanks.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:01 pm

User avatar Allergies are basically an overreaction to substances called allergens (could be food, pollen, animal dander, etc.). The reaction in the body is a release of histamine when the body tries to rid itself of what it perceives as an offender. Usually this is a termporary condition as long as the allergen is present and the host is exposed.

Asthma is an actual blockage of the airways, which results in breathing difficulties. It can be brought on by allergies or by exercise, weather extremes, air pollution, etc. It is considered a chronic health condition, though it can be controlled with medication, therapy, biofeedback, etc.

As far as treatment goes, the best thing to be done with allergens is to avoid the irritant, but allergy shots are also given to try to accustom the body gradually to the offending substance so it will not continue to be perceived as foreign. Asthma treatment focuses on restoring breathing through dilation of the bronchial tubes, allowing better air exchange. Other medications also relieve symptoms and of course offending substances that trigger asthma should also be avoided.

I hope this helps you to differentiate between the two.
 yellowwheel - Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:28 pm

Question: 1
If my allergy causes blockage due to swelling, ect in bronchils that restricts breathing would that fall under allergy induced asthma? Or is that just allergy?

Question 2
Is 250 points drop on the peak flow meter considered a lot to drop? (750 down to 500) If not what is considered a concern?

Thank you for caring and your time. :-)
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:35 pm

User avatar Hello yellowwheel -

If asthma is found to be caused by allergic reaction in the bronchi, then it is asthma due to allergy. If it's caused by something else, it is considered to be secondary to whatever the cause may be. In your case it would seem to be allergy-mediated.

As to your second question, while 250 is a big drop in general, if it is down from 750, someone was blowing some really big air volume. At 500 you are doing very well. It is hard to imagine someone blowing a 750. Still, a drop of 250 is big, yes.
 yellowwheel - Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 pm

Thank you.

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