Understanding Asthma & Allergies
Asthma and allergies are two conditions that are often associated with one another. They are both serious conditions that affect millions of people yearly; they are not, however, the same. Asthma is a condition that involves and affects the respiratory system, whereas allergies are a response to an irritant. While allergies can be a contributing factor to asthma, it causes more than respiratory problems and often causes irritation to the skin or even nausea or vomiting in the case of allergies to food. Both may involve sensitivity to pollutants in the air.
In the United States, approximately 25 million people have asthma. When it comes to allergies, roughly 50 million people are estimated to have some form of them and the rate of allergies and asthma has been rising steadily. Allergies are number five when it comes to the top ten chronic diseases in the country. Asthma is the most chronic condition in children. In terms of gender, adult women are more likely to have asthma than adult males; however, it is more common in young boys than young girls. Yearly, there are over 3,000 deaths that are related to asthma. Many of these deaths are a result of inadequate care and treatment of the condition. The mortality rate for people with allergies is significantly less than with asthma. Roughly 700 people die each year from some kind of allergic reaction, with over half of those deaths related to drug allergies.