Do Allergies Cause Asthma? Allergies don't cause asthma. But kids who have allergies, or a family history of allergies, are more likely to get asthma than those who don't. And when kids already have asthma, having allergies can sometimes make their asthma symptoms worse. How Do Allergies Make Asthma Worse? Lots of kids with asthma have worse asthma symptoms when they're around allergens (the things that give them an allergic reaction). Common allergens are dust mites, mold, pollen, and animal dander. When someone has an allergy, the immune system reacts to the allergen like it's an invader. To fight it off, the immune system makes something called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When IgE mixes with the allergen, chemicals release that are made to protect the body. One of these is histamine. Histamine causes allergic reactions that can affect the eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs. When the airways in the lungs are affected, it can bring on symptoms of asthma (like coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing). The body remembers this response, and whenever it comes into contact with the allergen, the same thing can happen. Because of that, allergies can make it hard for some people to keep their asthma under control. Do Allergies Affect Your Child's Asthma? If your child's asthma isn't under control, find out if allergies are making it worse. Talk to your doctor, who may refer your child to an allergist for testing. If it turns out that your child's asthma is triggered by certain allergens, you'll want to limit your child's exposure to them. This can go a long way toward relieving asthma symptoms. The doctor or allergist may recommend allergy medicine or allergy shots if your child can't avoid an allergen. Back to Articles Related Articles Asthma Center Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma. Read More Asthma Center Asthma means breathing problems. Find out what's going on in the lungs and how to stay healthy, if you have it. Read More Learning About Allergies During an allergic reaction, your body's immune system goes into overdrive. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Asthma Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here. Read More Asthma Center Asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness. Learn how to help your child manage the condition, stay healthy, and stay in school. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. But with treatment, the condition can be managed so that kids can still do the things they love. Learn all about asthma. Read More All About Allergies Millions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control. Read More Seasonal Allergies (Hay Fever) At various times of the year, pollen and mold spores trigger the cold-like symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Most kids find relief through reduced exposure to allergens or with medicines. Read More Do Allergies Cause Asthma? Kids who have allergies also might have a breathing problem called asthma. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Do Allergies Cause Asthma? Find out if allergies can make a person's asthma symptoms worse. Read More Asthma-Safe Homes Here's steps to remove or minimize triggers at home that cause asthma flare-ups. Read More Allergies Your eyes itch, your nose is running, you're sneezing, and you're covered in hives. The enemy known as allergies has struck again. Read More Dealing With Triggers: Pets Do pets make your child's allergies or asthma worse? Here's how to handle it. Read More Your House: How to Make It Asthma-Safe If you have asthma, you want to breathe easy at home. Find out how in this article for kids. Read More Allergy Shots Many kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can help. Read More Managing Asthma Asthma control can take a little time and energy to master, but it's worth the effort. Learn more about ways to manage your child's asthma. Read More Allergy Testing Doctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.