What Is Allergic Bronchitis?

Coughing and wheezing are symptoms of allergic bronchitis.
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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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Allergic bronchitis is an illness wherein someone has severe allergies that lead to a bronchial immune system reaction. Doctors can sometimes distinguish it from regular bronchitis by looking for other allergic symptoms in the patient. Allergic bronchitis will usually flare up due to seasonal allergies, so it is often a very short-term condition. In cases in which a person has lingering bronchitis caused by allergies, he will sometimes have to have an allergy test so the doctor can figure out what is causing the problem.

Symptoms of an allergic bronchitis outbreak generally include wheezing and coughing, and sometimes the cough might produce a lot of mucus. Since allergic bronchitis is caused by an allergy, other air passages in the person’s body may also become inflamed, so he may also suffer from nasal congestion problems and other hay fever symptoms. Allergic bronchitis looks so similar to normal hay fever that sometimes it can be dismissed in the early stages. Once someone's lungs become more severely effected, it may be more obvious, however.

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There are several ways to treat bronchitis when it stems from an allergy. In many cases, patients will focus on dealing with the cough and congestion. For example, a patient may purchase over-the-counter cough medicines, which can be effective in dealing with symptoms. He might also choose to try antihistamine medications that temporarily weaken the immune system reaction. These kinds of treatments won’t actually cure the problem, so patients may have to continue them periodically while their allergies are flared up.

There are also situations in which patients decide it is necessary to completely get rid of the allergy. These people may go to a special doctor who will perform tests on their bodies to determine the exact allergy. Once that is determined, they will sometimes be injected with small portions of the allergen in an attempt to help them build an immunity to it. This isn’t always possible because sometimes people have dangerously severe reactions to an allergy.

When someone with allergic bronchitis has a dangerous reaction, he may actually suffocate because his lungs can close completely. When this kind of reaction happens, it can be rather sudden and unpredictable. It doesn’t actually take very long for a person to die when they have allergies with that level of severity, so it is generally important that these people make preparations, just in case an emergency happens.

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Discuss this Article

Parveenkumar
Post 4

What is naro bronchial allergy? Why does it happen? What are the side effects?

ysmina
Post 3

Allergic bronchitis doesn't always cause coughing and wheezing. I have it and the only symptoms I have are sore throat, post-nasal drip and difficulty breathing.

turquoise
Post 2

@MikeMason-- Yea, it can develop very quickly. It's usually triggered by an allergic reaction or a sinus infection. You are clearly allergic to dust, you need to have the air conditioning cleaned. You might even have to leave the house for a while until all the dust is cleaned. Or the allergic bronchitis might keep coming back.

stoneMason
Post 1

Can one develop allergic bronchitis suddenly?

I never had allergies or bronchitis before until last week. We moved to a new house and the air conditioning in the house hadn't been used for a long time until we moved in.

The built-up dust from the air conditioning started irritating my throat at first and gave me watery eyes and sneezing. Within a matter of days, my allergy developed into bronchitis and I've been coughing and also wheezing non-stop since then.

I finally saw the doctor yesterday and he gave me some antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medications.

I just can't believe how I went from someone who never has allergies to someone who has acute allergic bronchitis within a few days.

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