Allergy & Immunology


Allergies are a common driver of asthma. Allergic asthma is the most common of asthma ailments.  Nearly 50 percent of adults with allergies have asthma. The common allergens that can cause an allergic reaction in some may cause an asthma attack in other people. Asthma is a chronic illness that affects the airways of the lungs. Having a family history of allergies makes someone more susceptible to developing asthma.    

If you are allergic to a common allergen (pollen, dust, animal dander), this allergen can trigger a response of your immune system which can cause the airway passages of your lungs to become inflamed. The inflammation can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or swelling which can be life-threatening.

People with allergic asthma are typically more sensitive to certain allergens. Once your body has been exposed to a substance you are allergic to, your body overreacts. Irritants other than allergens, like air pollution, strong fumes, or smells, can also initiate an asthma attack. 

Asthma is one of Mount Sinai’s areas of expertise. Our allergists and immunologists are highly qualified in diagnosing and treating asthma. Through a blood or skin test, we can help you determine if seasonal or year-round allergies trigger your asthma. We will help you identify your allergic triggers and take control of your life and your allergies. We offer thorough lung function testing and treat severe asthma by incorporating modern technology into our treatments.

Allergic Asthma Testing

Mount Sinai helps diagnose and treat asthma patients with a FeNO test, or exhaled nitric oxide test. Patients breathe into a mouthpiece of a machine that measures the level of nitric oxide gas in your exhaled breath. This test is done in conjunction with a physical exam to determine how much lung inflammation is present and how well your lungs are working.

Exhaled nitric testing is also done to determine if steroid mediations will be helpful in treating your asthma. The allergists at Mount Sinai will recheck your nitric oxide levels to determine if the steroid medications are successful in keeping your asthma under control.

Spirometry is a test used to determine how well your lungs work. The test measures how much air you inhale, how much air you exhale, and how quickly you exhale. This test is recommended when patients shows signs of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and other breathing conditions. It also monitors your lung condition and checks if a current treatment is improving your breathing.

Allergic Asthma Treatment and Management

There is no cure for allergic asthma. It can only be managed and treated. The best way to treat allergic asthma is knowing the substances that trigger your allergy and asthma symptoms and learning how to limit your exposure to them. Your allergist will work with you on the best treatment for managing your symptoms.

No matter what type of allergic asthma you may have, the safest thing to do is to carry an inhaler for unexpected attacks.