Recognising the asthma and allergy connection for World Allergy Week

This week is World Allergy Week, a global campaign to raise awareness of the impact of allergic diseases. This year’s topic, ‘the asthma and allergy connection’, highlights the co-existence of asthma and allergies in the upper airways. 

To learn more about this topic, we spoke with Acting Clinical Director Emergency Services, Jonathan Dowling. “This co-existence between asthma and allergies can aggravate respiratory problems, such as wheezing, cough and breathing difficulty” Jonathan said. “By treating them together, both allergies and asthma can be improved. “ 

The key message is to learn how to manage a situation in advance. “During the 2016 thunderstorm asthma in Victoria, many patients with severe symptoms weren’t asthmatic,” said Jonathan. “However, some people developed symptoms representing severe asthma, such as serious respiratory problems.”  

To help prevent this, people with concerns are encouraged to speak to a GP ahead of time. “A GP can help provide a plan for long-term management of symptoms, helping people be prepared for when a concerning situation arises,” Jonathan said. “A GP can also help to pinpoint your triggers, for either asthma, allergies, or both.” It is important to note that asthma can be the result of a variety of factors, not only allergies.