Is your child be suffering from allergies or asthma? It can be confusing to tell these two apart, as they have many of the same symptoms and are actually very closely related.

Both conditions can be associated with wheezing, coughing and tightness of the chest. However, the main difference is where the irritation is located. Allergies affect the upper respiratory system, which often result in congestion, sinus pain or nasal drip. Asthma affects the upper bronchial passages, or the airways that carry your breath to and from your lungs.

Nearly 80 percent of children have asthma induced by allergies, also known as allergic asthma. This simply means their symptoms worsen after breathing in allergens such as mold, animal dander and pollen.

Non-allergic asthma is a more permanent condition that can be triggered not only by allergens, but also by a change in weather, strong emotions, or other everyday circumstances.

So how do children develop either allergic or non-allergic asthma? It all comes down to their DNA. Either children are born with the non-allergic asthma gene or they are not. The good news is that both conditions can be easily controlled. You should take your children to see their doctor for the correct diagnosis, and especially if they have repeated episodes of wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath.

There are a number of tests your doctor may use to find out if your child is suffering from asthma or allergies. For asthma, they may use a spirometry test, which is a simple breathing test that measures the air as you breath in and out. For allergies, it’s usually a simple skin test to find out what your child is allergic to. To determine if your child has allergic asthma, an IgE blood test may be used.

If you know your child has allergies, it is important to try to remove the triggers from your home and treat allergies now to avoid asthma later in life.


To learn more about allergies, asthma and allergic asthma, we love this resource for information!