Can allergies cause wheezing and shortness of breath?
People affected by allergies may experience a whistling sound when they breathe, called wheezing.
When someone has an allergic reaction, their throat may tighten causing breathing to be labored. This can lead to a high-pitched noise when the person breathes in and out.
But why do allergies cause wheezing and what treatments are available?
- Allergy wheezing is a physical symptom that people experience during an allergic reaction.
- For most people with allergies, allergic reactions cause mild irritation – and any wheezing is short-lived.
- When someone is experiencing wheezing, a doctor can help determine the cause.
- Treatment depends on the specific allergy and may include medication.
How do allergies cause wheezing?
Wheezing can have a range of causes, it is important to identify the correct cause to receive the right treatment. Potential causes include:
An allergic reaction is how the body responds when it comes into contact with a substance, or allergen it mistakes as harmful. Allergic reactions can cause symptoms in different parts of the body, including the:
- stomach lining
Examples of allergens that can cause wheezing include:
- pet hair
- certain foods
- Insect stings
Inflammation of the airways
When the body detects an allergen, it views it as a foreign body and tries to reject it. It does this by producing antibodies and histamine to attack the allergen. Histamine causes a person’s airways to become inflamed and produce mucus.
As a result, the airways become narrower. When a person breathes in and out through narrowed airways, air is forced through a smaller space, which causes a whistling sound. This is the distinctive wheezing sound.
Though typically short-lived, some people experience symptoms that are more serious or more long-term.
What are the allergy wheezing symptoms?
The main symptom of allergy wheezing is the wheezing sound itself. Some people describe the sound as a high-pitch musical, whistling, or squeaky noise.
Wheezing is most noticeable when a person breathes in, but can sometimes be heard when they breathe out too. Some people may experience a feeling of discomfort in their throat and chest.
Anaphylactic shock symptoms
People with more serious allergies can have a severe allergic reaction called an anaphylactic shock. If this happens, people should seek medical assistance straight away.
If wheezing is accompanied by any of the following, this could be a sign of an anaphylactic shock:
- difficulty breathing
- rapid breathing
- bluish skin color
- swelling of the face or lips
Allergic asthma symptoms
Not everyone who experiences allergy…