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Can Allergies Cause Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness?

Studies conducted in the American college of allergy, asthma and immunology shows that shortness of breath and chest tightness can be a sign of severe allergies in persons.

Pollen, and specific allergens that your body regards as foreign, can cause harmful effects to your body system.

Some of these effects include chest tightness, shortness of breath and other respiratory issues.

The purpose of this article is to let you know why your allergies cause shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Other symptoms associated with it, and how you can finally get rid of respiratory symptoms from your allergies.

Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness From Allergies, What Does It Mean?

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to harmless substances, responding to them as allergens that are foreign or harmful.

This response happens as a series of symptoms which usually range from mild to severe ones.

Mild symptoms include wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, while severe symptoms could develop into life-threatening ones like difficulty breathing and respiratory issues.

When it comes to allergies, there are different forms and different ways people respond to them.

Allergies that may cause shortness of breath and chest tightness are mostly regarded as respiratory allergies.

Just like every other allergen, these symptoms are triggered when foreign substances get into your body system.

However, in this case, primarily through inhalation.

In general, inhaled allergens can cause allergic asthma, accompanied by shortness of breath and chest tightness. Allergens that could cause allergic asthma are:

  • Pollen
  • Pet sanders
  • Dust mites
  • Chemical fumes
  • Air pollution
  • strong odours like scented lotions and perfumes
  • Tobacco smoke e.t.c

Some less common allergens that foods like milk, wheat, shellfish and a lot more can also cause allergic reactions like shortness of breath and chest tightness in persons.

Can Allergies Cause Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness?

The short answer to this is yes; severe allergies can trigger asthma or respiratory symptoms like the tightness of breath and chest tightness in individuals.

The same substances that cause allergic reactions in your body can be responsible for triggering respiratory problems also.

According to the Asthma and allergy foundation of America, studies have shown that more than half of people who experience respiratory symptoms or asthma have allergic asthma.

When you develop symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath often, it could be that you are allergic to some substances in your environment.

Typically, an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system mistakes harmless substances like pollen as harmful.

While this happens, your antibodies bind with antigens in an attempt to protect your body from the senses.

The chemicals that get released during these reactions are responsible for the various responses that most people experience.

They can cause congested chest, watery eyes, and wheezing, They can also affect the lungs, and airways are causing respiratory symptoms.

Other Symptoms Are Associated With Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness From Allergies

Although the significant symptoms of asthmatic allergies are respiratory symptoms like chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Some other general symptoms that come with allergies could also accompany them. Such symptoms include:

  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Shallow breathing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Congestion

If you’re someone who gets skin allergies alongside your reactions, there is a possibility of you experiencing some skin reactions such as;

  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Flaky skin

Some symptoms might also exhibit themselves in your mouth area, particularly if you ingested the allergens. The listed sign below might be present as well:

  • Swollen face or tongue
  • Tingly mouth
  • Hives
  • Swollen mouth, throat and lips


Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening symptom that could also occur due to allergic reactions.

Constant exposure to your allergies could result in anaphylaxis if it is not treated immediately.

While chest tightness and shortness of breath are possible symptoms from your allergies, some allergic reactions could lead to life-threatening situations.

One of these life-threatening situations is the condition anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is characterized by symptoms like rash, low pulse, and shock(anaphylactic shock), which could be fatal and lead to death.

Doctors advise individuals to seek immediate medical care when they experience severe allergic reactions to avoid further complications such as anaphylaxis.

How To Alleviate Allergies Causing Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness

The best way to alleviate allergies causing shortness of breath and chest tightness is to avoid your allergens as much as you can.

Identify the substances you have noticed to cause allergic reactions to your body system, and avoid such implications.

Additionally, environmental factors could also be the reason for your allergic reactions.

If you fall into this category, that means there are some allergens in your environment that your body is responding to.

However, if your allergens are substances that you cannot avoid altogether, there are specific treatments designed to treat them.

Allergy Shots(Immunotherapy)

Immunotherapy is a popular treatment used to combat your body’s response to allergens.

It is a process that involves injecting the affected persons with tiny doses of their allergens to increase their immune system’s tolerance level for the particular allergen.

The purpose of this treatment method is to make your body system much more tolerant of these allergens.

The procedure takes time and is done gradually over an extended period.

Anti-Immunoglobulin E (IgE) Therapy

This is another effective method that can be used to relieve your allergic reactions, including chest tightness and shortness of breath.

This particular method of treating allergies is used on more severe forms of allergic reactions.

The Anti-immunoglobulin E are medication that interferes with the function of IgE in the body, the hormone responsible for signaling your allergic responses.

How To Get Rid Of Shortness Of Breath And Chest Tightness From Allergies

Shortness of breath and chest tightness are symptoms of your allergies, and to get rid of them, your allergies should be taken care of first.

Although some food allergens or consumables can be easily avoided, It is not always possible to completely avoid allergens encountered outdoors.

You can do that by going through any of the treatments listed above.

While all of these are being considered, here are some ways you can control the shortness of breath and chest tightness from your allergies:

Be Mindful Of Outdoor Pollen Counts

Exercising outside or staying outside when your pollen counts are high is bad for your allergies, making it more difficult for you to breathe.

Stay indoors and keep your windows closed. When it’s hot, you can adopt the use of air conditioners.

The air conditioner should be with a clean air filter and not musty, old, or dusty.

Keep Your Environment Clean

Frequently keep your home and environment clean. Vacuum your space regularly, and keep the air around you clear.

An unclean environment will only give room for pollen buildup.

Moulds, cockroaches, and other microorganisms that can make you sick typically breed more in an unclean environment

Choose Your Air Filters Wisely

Not all air filters are good for your respiratory system. Electronic air purifiers create ozone, which can cause inflammation of your airways.

When making your purchase, choose airways that are safe for you.

Use Of Medications

Another way of managing shortness of breath and chest tightness from allergies is the use of medications.

Some Long term medications can help alleviate or reduce your allergic reactions. These medications include:

  • Antihistamines: this can be taken before or after you notice your body’s reaction to allergens to stop the reaction from occurring.
  • Decongestants: there are capsules, tablets, liquids, and nasal sprays that you can use as a short-term treatment for better respiratory functions.
  • Steroid medicines: these medicines are also used to reduce symptoms caused by allergic reactions.

Kindly note that none of these medications should be used without your physician’s consent.

Self-medication will only do more harm to your health than good, and in severe cases could cause more complications to your health.

I should use all medicines according to your physician’s prescription.


Most times, shortness of breath and chest tightness is caused by constant exposure to airborne allergens, and different allergens can lead to these symptoms in others.

Identifying your trigger allergens will help you get better treatment for your allergic reactions. Avoid your triggers as much as you can to reduce your risk of exposure.


Healthline: Strategies for Managing the Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

WebDm: Allergic Asthma

mayo clinic: Allergies and asthma; they often occur together.

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