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How can my allergies to certain foods, dust etc. be treated?

Q: I am a 26 years old female. Since childhood, I have been allergic to certain foods, dust, moisture etc. Whenever I come across these allergens, I start sneezing and get a running nose. By the end of the day, I get chest congestion and experience difficulty in breathing. Some doctors say I have asthma, a few say its bronchial infection. As of now, I take Deriphyllin retard 150 mg. When I was pregnant, the doctor asked me to use asthalin inhaler. How can my allergies be treated?

A:The history and symptoms you describe suggest that you have asthma possibly triggered by allergy to various things. The medicines you mention are bronchodilators - they relax the air passages to help with breathing. However you are not treating the cause - avoiding the triggers if possible. Also, asthma has inflammation as one of the main problems- there is swelling in the mucus lining of the air passages. You need to take an anti inflammatory medicine which comes in many forms. One form is an inhaled steroid such as beclomethasone but they all work about the same so you can ask your doctor to prescribe an anti inflammatory inhaler. You must rinse your mouth after using it.

The allergy symptoms will also need treatment and there are many medications that will help. You should ask your doctor to give you a comprehensive treatment plan for asthma and this should include both a bronchodilator (like albuterol which is the agent in the inhaler you mention) as well as an inhaled steroid which is the antiinflammatory agent. Once your breathing improves you can use the bronchodilator alone. Make sure you are tested for any significant eosinophilia or other causes for wheezing if you are not improving. Kindly share this information with your internal medicine doctor or consult with a lung specialist to review the management of your asthma.

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