Allergic Asthma Causes, Symptoms, and Testing

Allergic Asthma & You

You have the power to take control. 

Up to 90 percent of children and 60 percent of adults with asthma also experience allergies.1,2 Identifying your triggers and reducing exposure could help you reduce the need for medication and improve your asthma.

Together with a detailed medical history and a physical examination, an allergy blood test will help a healthcare provider develop a customized treatment plan for allergic symptoms. 

Here are your options. 

What is Allergic Asthma?

Allergic asthma, or allergy-induced asthma, is a type of asthma that is triggered or made worse by allergies. Exposure to allergens — like pollen, pet dander, mold — or irritants may increase symptoms and bring on an asthma attack in people with allergic asthma.

Animal Dander
Dust Mites

Asthma usually presents with one or more of the following symptoms:4

wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness

Symptoms may also occur in connection with exercise, cold air, dry air, and airway infections. Other irritants, such as strong scents or tobacco smoke, may also trigger an exacerbation.

The Impact of Allergic Rhinitis on Asthma

Both allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis are risk factors for the development of asthma.5 More than 80 percent of people with asthma also have rhinitis, suggesting the concept of “one airway, one disease.”4

If you have asthma, not treating your allergy-induced rhinitis can lead to worsening of symptoms and increases the risk of an asthma exacerbation. The presence of allergic rhinitis often increases the risk of asthma attacks, emergency visits, and hospitalizations for asthma.6,7

Frequently Asked Questions About Allergies and Asthma

Most patients with asthma have multiple allergic sensitizations contributing to their allergen load.10,11 These allergen sensitizations can add to the patient’s trigger load, eventually resulting in asthma exacerbations—even from other, non-allergic, triggers.10,12 For those with asthma and aeroallergy (i.e., an allergy to airborne substances, such as pollen or mold spores), in addition to pharmaceutical strategies, reducing exposure to sensitized allergens can alleviate or reduce symptoms.13-17

The allergen symptom threshold is the point at which the cumulative allergen load leads to symptoms.18,19 Read more about the symptom threshold.

Anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status can be affected by asthma.

There is no cure for asthma, so your best defense is to learn if you have underlying triggers and then limit your exposure to them. Start the conversation by going over a list of your symptoms. Knowing the types of symptoms experienced and when they occur can help a healthcare provider determine if you may be a candidate for allergy testing

Yes. Reducing exposure to one or more allergic triggers may help reduce symptoms. This can only be accomplished by working with a healthcare professional to understand your unique allergy profile. Start the conversation by filling out our symptom tracker.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to outgrow asthma or for it to go away. Asthma is a chronic disease that permanently changes your lungs’ airways.It is possible for symptoms and attacks to lessen or get better over time. However, there may always be a risk for those symptoms to return.

Why an Allergy Diagnosis Matters for Asthma

Identify Your Allergic Asthma Triggers

Understanding your own unique triggers and how to avoid exposure to them is an important part of managing allergic asthma. Not everyone’s triggers are the same — that's why it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about your allergic asthma symptoms. 

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Up to 90 percent of allergic patients are sensitized to more than one allergen.8

How to Manage Your Allergic Asthma

With allergic asthma, medical history is often not enough to make an accurate allergy diagnosis.  A blood test, also called a specific IgE test, is a powerful aid in the diagnosis of allergy that measures the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in the blood. It can test for hundreds of allergic triggers, such as pollen, mold, food, and animal dander.  This is why it's important to speak to a healthcare provider and see if a blood test is right for you. The results of an allergy blood test, together with a detailed medical history and a physical examination, will help a healthcare provider develop a customized treatment plan for allergic symptoms.

Did you know that any healthcare provider that orders laboratory tests can order a specific IgE blood test?

Allergic Asthma: How to Get Tested

Take charge of your allergic asthma and consult with your healthcare provider today. By understanding if you have allergic sensitization, allergy blood testing may be able to help indicate your triggers and help your healthcare provider optimize your allergy management plan.

Allergy Insider: Your Partner in Allergic Asthma Patient Management

You have the power to improve the lives of patients with asthma — and we can help. Along with patient history and physical exam, specific IgE blood testing can help aid in the clinical diagnosis of allergic disease, such as allergic asthma.9 Testing for allergies should be no different than testing for any other chronic condition, such as diabetes or elevated cholesterol. 

Reducing exposure to one or more allergic triggers can help reduce symptoms and the need for medication.10 

Tools for Understanding Allergies


Track allergy symptoms and prepare for a visit with a healthcare provider.

Learn about specific allergens, including common symptoms, management, and relief. 

Are you a healthcare provider? Get comprehensive information on hundreds of whole allergens and allergen components.

Related Content

Want to learn more about allergies? Explore a range of topics.

  1. Allen-Ramney F, Schoenwetter W, Weiss T, et al. Sensitization to Common Allergens in Adults with Asthma. JABFP. 2005;(18)5 434-439. 
  2. Host A, Halken S. Practical aspects of allergy-testing. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2003; (4) 312-318.
  3. Murray CS, Foden P, Sumner H, et al. Preventing Severe Asthma Exacerbations in Children. A Randomized Trial of Mite-Impermeable Bedcovers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017;196(2):150-158.
  4. Pawankar R, Holgate S, Canonica G, at el. World Allergy Organization. White Book on Allergy (WAO). 2011. Accessed December 2017. 
  5. Scadding GK, Durham SR, Mirakian R, et al. BSACI guidelines for the management of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38:19-42. 
  6. Crystal-Peters J, Neslusan C, Crown WH, et al. Treating allergic rhinitis in patients with comorbid asthma: the risk of asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002;109(1):57-62.
  7. Valovirta E. Managing Co-Morbid Asthma With Allergic Rhinitis: Targeting the One-Airway With Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists. World Allergy Organ J. 2012;5:S210-S211. 
  8. Giorgio Ciprandi, Cristoforo Incorvaia & Franco Frati. The Italian Study Group on Polysensitization (2015) Management of polysensitized patient: from molecular diagnostics to biomolecular immunotherapy, Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, 11:9, 973-976, DOI: 10.1586/1744666X.2015.1062365.
  9. Phadia™ ImmunoCAP™ Specific IgE Conjugate 400 Directions for Use for the Phadia 250 Laboratory System. Published 2018-06-05. 
  10. NIH Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, 2007.