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Overview

Do your asthma symptoms flare up in extreme weather, either in the heat of summer or the chill of winter? When you get sick, does it often lead to an asthma attack? Does stress bring on breathing problems?

If this is the case, it’s possible you’re suffering from nonallergic asthma.

 

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Symptoms

The most common signs of asthma are:

  • Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or when laughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

Triggers

As the name implies, nonallergic asthma is triggered by factors other than allergens. These can include:

  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Exercise
  • Irritants in the air
  • Stress
  • Drugs and certain food additives
  • Weather conditions

Diagnosis

You might wonder why you should visit an allergist for nonallergic asthma. Asthma can be triggered by many factors, even in the same person. But allergies are the most common of these triggers. Therefore, every person with asthma or suspected asthma should be evaluated by an allergist to determine if this common trigger is playing a role in his or her breathing problems. 

Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your allergies and asthma so you can live the life you want. An allergist can determine if you have nonallergic asthma by doing tests that will help in making a diagnosis.

Treatment and Management

When you can’t tie your asthma to a specific allergen, such as dog fur or house dust, it can be harder to identify your triggers. That’s why it’s important to work with an allergist – to get to the root of your asthma and build a plan to manage it.

Allergists can prescribe quick-relief and long-term control medicines. They can also work with you to identify and avoid triggers and make a plan for avoiding asthma attacks. Use the Find an Allergist tool to find expert care for your asthma.