Impact of Allergies on COPD Patients

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Summer has finally arrived! But not only warm sunrays are greeting us outdoors; pollen also find the way into the fresh summer air. Allergy sufferers know the effects only too well: watery eyes, runny or blocked nose and frequent sneezing. That’s not only annoying, but can also have far-reaching consequences for people with respiratory diseases. A new US-study proves the severe effect of allergic reactions on patients suffering from COPD.

What is COPD?

The abbreviation COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The term ‘obstructive’ is the key, as it indicates the permanent obstruction of the bronchi. The resulting difficulty in breathing is the most common symptom of the progressive lung disease. COPD can also cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing and chest tightness. The intensity of the symptoms depends on the respective COPD-stage.

Allergies and COPD

A new study, conducted at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, examined the effects that allergies, such as hay fever, have on the respiratory health of patients with COPD. According to the involved scientists, this topic has mostly been neglected in research so far, which makes this and further studies necessary. Published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the study found that COPD patients with allergies had higher levels of respiratory symptoms and an increased risk of respiratory exacerbations.

Effective treatment of allergies

The researchers of the study point out that an effective treatment of allergies can also help alleviating some symptoms of COPD.  Respiratory therapy with nebulizers is an efficient, affordable and clinically proven treatment for allergic symptoms and can be done at home. It has the great advantage of the nebulized medication directly reaching the upper and lower respiratory passages. The mucous membranes of throat and bronchi are moistened, making it easier for the patients to breathe without difficulties.

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