If Someone Has A Lot Of Allergies, Does It Mean That Person Has Asthma, Too?

Question: If someone has a lot of allergies, does it mean that person has asthma, too?

Answer: No, it doesn't. You can have lots of allergies, and not have asthma. Now, if somebody has lots of allergies, I'd be curious whether or not they had subtle signs of asthma, since having allergies definitely raises your risk of having asthma.

And I would be interested in knowing about shortness of breath, or coughing at nighttime -- things of that sort that would lead to a formal evaluation to see whether or not the person had asthma.

And this includes a simple breathing test called spirometry where you blow as hard as you can and see whether or not there is some narrowing of the airway. Now, having said that, not everyone with allergies have asthma, I want to emphasize that there is a subset of asthma where we talk specifically about non-allergic asthma. And this is one of the many different types of asthma that we're learning a lot about, and one of the questions is whether or not they respond differently to different medicines and how so. And this is an area of active research.

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PHOTO: Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison attend the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Inaugural Gala presented by Salvatore Ferragamo at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 17, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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