Differences between allergy and respiratory infection

Written by: Dr. Miguel Ángel Ponce González
Published: | Updated: 25/02/2020
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos


Respiratory infection What are the differences between allergies and respiratory infections?

Lung infection can be both bacterial and viral upper airway, such as a rhinosinusitis, laryngitis, laryngotracheobronchitis, etc; and lower as in the case of bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.. This type of disease is another group of pathologies, both the child and adult, which are valued in consultations Pneumology , special prominence in the autumn-winter seasons.

In parallel, it is considered that rhinitis and allergic asthma are two manifestations of the same disease, respiratory allergy. In this case the cause is not a germ but an immune reaction to a foreign agent. Respiratory allergies occur when the person inhales susceptible particles capable of causing an immune reaction.


What kind of respiratory allergies exist?

The most common airborne allergens are found in grains of pollens from trees, grasses and plants in house dust, fungi in humidity and pets. Aeroallergens these particles are small so are in the air and reach the nasal mucosa by inspired air. A very important part of our defenses are antibodies that bind to these harmful agents and protecting destroy. However, allergy sufferers produce a special type of antibodies, IgE class excess. When the IgE and allergen binding, an allergic reaction is triggered. If this occurs in the nasal mucosa, rhinitis symptoms, which is the most frequent allergic disease occur; but it can occur causing bronchial level atopic allergic bronchial asthma.


What symptoms cause?

Allergic rhinitis happens w hen contact an allergen and IgE antibodies synthesized by the person with allergies and also an inflammatory disorder of the membranes, mucous membranes lining the inside of the nose develops. This process is known as allergic rhinitis and is characterized by nasal itching, sneezing, and nasal obstruction abundant mucus.

Allergic rhinitis affects 10 to 25% of the population and causes a strong impact on their quality of life, reduces school and work performance and a major economic burden.

Allergic rhinitis, also is a risk factor for developing asthma. Other frequent complications include sinusitis, nasal polyps and conjunctivitis

Moreover, allergic bronchial asthma is an inflammatory disease of the bronchi which causes clogging these, making breathing difficult. Clogging is due to an immunological reaction between the inhaled allergen and antibodies produced by the allergic person.

Allergic asthma accounts for 70% of all types of asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and young adults. Inflammation is associated with occlusion of the bronchi (bronchospasm) and increased mucous secretion. Bronchi often also react this way to respiratory infections, cold air and exercise (bronchial hyperreactivity).

Asthma symptoms are recurrent episodes of coughing, difficulty breathing (dyspnea), oppression of the chest and wheezing when breathing. Often it appears as asthma crisis. It can be very serious and require emergency treatment. Asthma is accompanied by alterations to perform respiratory function tests (spirometry) that can confirm the diagnosis, determine its severity and knowing the response to treatment.

Allergic asthma is often associated with spasmodic cough and allergic rhinitis, which may precede in time.


How this type of allergies treated?

Treatment of respiratory allergy, once diagnosed correctly and certain allergens which are responsible, is based on three essential aspects that can be complementary:

  • Avoid exposure to the allergen, which may be sufficient to control the disease, in the case of exclusive allergic to animal dander. It is virtually impossible to avoid exposure to the vast majority of environmental allergens (mites, pollens and fungi), but the application of certain sanitary measures can reduce this exposure.
  • Drug delivery effect on symptoms such as antihistamines, anti - inflammatories or bronchodilators or inhaled corticosteroids. It should be considered that the beneficial effect disappears by suppressing medication. It is important to spirometric controls to see the evolution of bronchial asthma.
  • The desensitizing immunotherapy is considered the most complete treatment of respiratory allergy and is achieved through allergy shots. Specific immunotherapy can achieve immune tolerance after prolonged treatment, which should always be performed under the supervision of specialist.



Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Miguel Ángel Ponce González
Pulmonary Disease

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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