These two diseases seem to go hand-in-hand in daily conversations. This might be especially true for environmental allergies. And while there is a connection, allergies and asthma are two distinct diseases and are not interchangeable terms.

Simply put, not everyone who has allergies has asthma and vice versa. However, for those who have both allergies and asthma, there can be a direct link.

There are a number of reasons one might develop asthma and there are an equal – if not greater – number of asthma triggers that can lead to an asthma attack. These vary from person to person, and what triggers one person with asthma might not trigger another.

Asthma triggers are things that make asthma symptoms worse by irritating the airways. Some of the common ones include cold air, smoke, scents, food allergies or exercise. Other types of triggers (sometimes known as inducers) are things that make your airways swollen, red and filled with mucus. These include viral infections or allergies to pets, pollen, dust, mould or others. Allergic asthma is a specific type of asthma that is triggered by allergies.

Asthma affects everyone differently and it’s important to be ready. Everyone with asthma should have an asthma plan created with his or healthcare provider to get asthma under control.

Find more information at lung.ca/asthma.