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Asthma and Comorbid Conditions

Did you know that certain conditions can make your asthma worse and harder to control? These conditions are called co-morbid conditions and treatment of these conditions may improve asthma management.

  • Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) is caused by a fungus that is commonly found growing on dead leaves, stored grain, compost piles, or in other decaying vegetation. You can also find this fungus growing in your nose. Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis is an allergy to the fungus which can trigger a more severe asthma episode. A doctor can use a simple skin prick test to help diagnosis Aspergillosis.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is when a muscle at the end of your esophagus (food tube) does not close properly. This allows stomach acid to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it. This reflux can cause breathing symptoms and make night-time asthma symptoms worse.
  • Obesity means having too much body fat. Obesity has been associated with more severe symptoms and airway tightening in adults and children. The experts suggest that patients who are obese or overweight should lose weight in order to improve asthma control and improve overall health. Learn more about asthma and obesity.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common sleep problem where breathing is broken up at night causing shallow breaths or breathing pauses. This disorder can be mistaken for asthma but many people may have both conditions.
  • Rhinitis/Sinusitis is the inflammation (swelling) of the nose and sinuses. The nose and sinuses (upper airways) are connected to the lungs (lower airways). Treatment of rhinitis and sinusitis can result in less airway inflammation and irritation.
  • Stress, Depression, and Psychosocial Factors in Asthma can sometimes contribute to asthma symptoms becoming worse. The role of stress and depression in asthma has not been clearly defined as yet, but it seems that poor asthma control leads to stress and depression and that depression, in turn, can increases the negative impact of asthma.