Coughing, wheezing, a sore throat, and shortness of breath are symptoms you’re familiar with if you have allergies or asthma. At Central Florida Family Practice, family medicine expert Dr. Elba Masid provides an evaluation of your symptoms to help you determine if you have allergies, sinusitis, or asthma. Members of the Saint Cloud, Florida, community and the surrounding area can call her office or book an appointment online.
Asthma and allergies often have a lot of similar symptoms. They may also be triggered by the same things, including pollution, tree pollen, mold, and pet dander.
Allergies can affect your sinuses and airways, as in hay fever or allergy-induced asthma, but may also appear as hives or eye issues. Allergies can be managed, but not cured. Seasonal allergies can be managed with medications and possibly immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Asthma is a chronic lung disease which can negatively affect your breathing. You can develop asthma symptoms in response to allergens, stress, air temperature changes, or infections of your respiratory system.
Asthma has characteristic symptoms that may be familiar to you. These include:
Shortness of breath
If you have an asthma flare-up, these symptoms can cause complications that make it hard to breathe. Asthma attacks can be managed with medications.
Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, causes many of the same symptoms as allergies. With sinusitis, however, you may run a fever. A fever isn’t typical with allergies, but allergies can cause watery eyes, a symptom that doesn’t occur with sinusitis.
If you have a sinus infection, Dr. Masid can prescribe antibiotics to help resolve the infection and your symptoms. If a sinus infection isn’t treated, it can lead to bronchitis -- which is infection and swelling in your bronchial tubes. Bronchitis is accompanied by heavy chest congestion, a loose cough, and body aches and fever.
If Dr. Masid suspects you have an allergy, she may do a skin test, which involves performing a slight puncture in your skin and applying a liquid version of suspected allergens onto the site. You’re monitored for a reaction, and redness, swelling, or itching at the site indicates an allergy. In some cases, a blood test is required to diagnose a severe allergy.
If she suspects you have asthma, Dr. Masid performs specific lung function tests and possibly a chest X-ray.
If you’re having upper respiratory symptoms that suggest asthma or allergies, call Central Florida Family Practice or book an appointment online today.