Allergy Basics

Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

Asthma symptoms range from mild to severe and may occur occasionally or on a daily basis. Asthma typically starts during childhood, but adults can develop it. Exposure to irritants, such as cigarette smoke, at an early age increases the chances of developing asthma.

An Asthma Attack

Imagine wearing a Victorian corset around your chest that someone keeps pulling tighter and tighter. Such a feeling is a reality to modern-day asthmatics...and they don't even wear corsets. When an asthmatic encounters a trigger, the body reacts by flooding the airways with mucus and causing the inner lining of the bronchi to swell and the airway muscles to contract.

Asthmatics, including children, should identify and avoid triggers of an attack, know signs of an impending attack, and be prepared with prescribed medications. Asthmatics should also alert friends, family, and associates to the classic symptoms of an attack: difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking and walking, hyperventilating, a fast pulse, and a blue or gray skin tone, particularly around the lips (from lack of oxygen). Most importantly, asthmatics and others should know that an asthma attack is a medical emergency and should be treated accordingly.

Does your skin itch whenever you apply a certain lotion or cream? We'll find out the cause in the next section, which reviews skin allergies.


This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.