People afflicted by asthma may also be prone to seasonal allergies. In fact asthma and seasonal allergies are often grouped together and termed ‘atopy’ by doctors. This is because the individual has an increased tendency to develop allergies and typical symptoms of chest tightness and wheezing often occur in both conditions. Atopic individuals can also be prone to skin allergies or eczema.
People suffering from both asthma and seasonal allergies experience symptoms because their immune systems are over-sensitive to substances normally encountered daily. This includes pollen which we typically associate with seasonal allergies.
When your body overreacts to pollen, respiratory airways become inflamed and more mucus is produced to trap the pollen particles. This causes your airways to narrow, in turn making it more difficult for you to breathe.
For many seasonal allergies sufferers this only affects the upper respiratory tract and symptoms are few and mild. However, in those who are prone to asthma, inflammation affects a larger part of the respiratory system. This leads to a greater and deeper degree of inflammation, worsening asthma symptoms.
This is when the sufferer experiences tightness in the chest. As they breathe, the air passes through these narrowed passages, and creates a whistling sound as it goes. This whistling sound is called wheezing.
Finding a way to loosen the mucus in your airways allowing them to expand can help ease the feeling of tightness in the chest. Inhaling steam can be an effective means to do this, as the warm moist air can help loosen mucus. Adding salt to the water can also be beneficial.
Ginger has been found to be effective in reducing airway inflammation. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, helping to open your airways thus reducing chest tightness. Ginger can be consumed with your meal, in the form of tea, or eaten raw or crystallised.
As the tightness in your chest is likely to be the result of feeling congested, then reducing congestion is likely to bring effective relief. Breathing in peppermint or eucalyptus essence, or eating spicy foods, garlic and onions, may be effective in helping to ease congestion.
If your tight chest and wheezing are being caused by seasonal allergies, then you may find a remedy for seasonal allergies to be effective in easing these symptoms, as well as other seasonal allergies symptoms you are experiencing.
For example, Pollinosan Allergy Relief Tablets combines several different herbs which work together to relieve seasonal allergies symptoms. They can be found in the original formula devised by Alfred Vogel.
However, you may also find that easing congestion will ease your feeling of tightness in the chest, and thus a decongestant may be beneficial to you. Sinna Nasal Spray can be used alongside Polinosan seasonal allergies Tablets, and will clear and soothe nasal passages.
Conventional medicines can be used to treat seasonal allergies symptoms.
In general, doctors are likely to advise anti-histamines to combat the excess release of histamine in the body. Anti-histamines can be bought over-the-counter, and can be taken as required to tackle symptoms or as a preventative measure. Some anti-histamines cause drowsiness and so you may need to be careful when driving or using machinery.
In extreme cases and for quick but short-term relief, your doctor may suggest a course of steroids. It is inadvisable to use steroid treatment for more than ten days, as unpleasant side-effects may be seen with long-term usage.
Other forms of treatment that may be recommended include cromoglycate tablets or sprays. They work by reducing the tendency of your immune system to react to pollen.