Hay fever and similar allergies increase the frequency and severity of
respiratory problems in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD), a new study shows.
COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe.
In this study, researchers looked at more than 1 400 patients with COPD, and
found that those with allergies were much more likely than those without
allergies to wheeze, to have chronic cough and chronic phlegm, to awake during
the night because of cough, and to have a worsening of COPD symptoms that
required antibiotics or a visit to the doctor.
The findings suggest that treating allergies or avoiding allergy triggers may
help reduce the number and severity of respiratory problems in people with COPD,
Dr Nadia Hansel, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Asthma
and Allergy Center in Baltimore, said.
She added that current COPD treatment guidelines do not deal with the
management of allergies and said additional research of the link between
allergies and COPD is needed.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease.