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Allergies and asthma are different, though they may have related reactions.

​​Some of the body’s chemicals that are involv​ed in allergies are also involved in asthma.​

​​​A​n allergy is an inflammatory reaction or response to a specific substance.

​Allergic reactions can involve nasal membranes, the eyes, the skin, and the tongue, and the breathing passages in severe reactions. Allergy symptoms include an itchy, stuffy, or runny nose; sneezing; itchy, red, or irritated skin; and itchy, burning, or watery eyes.

Asthm​a is a chronic, inflammatory lung (lower respiratory) disease that causes difficulty breathing.

The things that trigger allergies can also trigger asthma attacks. Allergy symptoms may be a sign of irritants in the air that can provoke asthma symptoms. Allergy attacks can lead to asthma attacks.

"With both allergies and asthma, people’s immune systems react to fight off the allergens. In people with asthma, the resulting inflammation causes the airways to become significantly narrowed," says Eric Sandberg, M.D., a board-certified Allergy and Immunlogy specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

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Eric Sandberg, MD

​I believe both the patient and doctor need to communicate about the basic mechanisms behind the medical problems that we face. A deeper understanding often allows a more productive discussion of options and provides the motivation for applying treatments in the most effective manner.