- Asthma Attack Treatment
- Take the Asthma Quiz!
- Asthma Myths and Facts
- Patient Comments: Asthma Complexities - Exercise-Induced
- Patient Comments: Asthma Complexities - GERD
- Find a local Asthma & Allergy Specialist in your town
- Asthma complexities facts
- Unusual symptoms of asthma
- Can a cough without wheezing be due to asthma?
- Nocturnal asthma
- Masqueraders of asthma
- Cardiac asthma
- Other bronchial conditions
- Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD)
- Other hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
- Exercise and sports
- Exercise-induced asthma (EIA)
- What causes exercise-induced asthma?
- What sports are best suited for exercise induced asthma? What sports are not?
- Ways to prevent and treat exercise-induced asthma
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- The allergic rhinitis-asthma connection
- Sinusitis and asthma
- Air pollution
- Food allergy
Quick GuideAsthma Pictures Slideshow: An Inflammatory Disorder of the Airways
The allergic rhinitis-asthma connection
There is a clear association between allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. The question of which comes
The following are possible reasons why allergic rhinitis and asthma are related:
- The nasal and bronchial membranes are made up of almost the same type of tissue.
- The nerves of the upper airway (nasal cavity) and the lower airway (bronchial tubes) are connected. Both the upper and lower airways are exposed to the same external environment during breathing. When allergens reach the nasal cavity, there is stimulation of nerve endings in the nasal cavity. This stimulation causes reflex neural signals to be sent to the tissues of both the nasal cavity and the lower airways. In the nasal cavity, these signals cause accumulation of fluid and the formation of mucus, while in the bronchial tubes they cause bronchial constriction and possibly acute asthma. This is sometimes referred to as the naso-bronchial reflex.
- Nasal congestion causes mouth breathing. During mouth breathing, air bypasses the nose. It is not filtered for allergens and irritating particles, and it is not warmed or humidified. This non-conditioned air is more likely to cause bronchial hyperreactivity and produce asthma symptoms.
- Mucus from the nasal cavity may drip from the back of the nose into the bronchial tubes, especially during sleep. This dripping mucus increases bronchial inflammation and causes episodes of asthma at night.