Do you have asthma? If so, chances are that you have at least one allergy, as well. A study published in the April issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology examined data on 2,600 patients and found that the vast majority of asthma sufferers also have coinciding allergies.

The data the researchers used was collected by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey responses. The data showed that 75 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 who have asthma also have at least one allergy. In adults over the age of 55 with asthma, 65 percent suffer from some type of allergy.

“Allergists have known the prevalence of allergies among asthmatic children is high at 60 percent to 80 percent, but it was thought allergies were not as common in asthmatic adults,” study lead author Dr. Paula Busse said in a journal news release. “These findings are important, and can help lead to proper diagnosis and treatment.”

Over 26 million people in the United States have asthma, but the number is likely much higher, as adults are often undiagnosed, largely due to the stigma that asthma is a childhood disease.

“Both asthma and allergies can strike at any age, and are serious diseases,” ACAAI president Dr. Richard Weber said in the news release. Weber said people who think they have symptoms of asthma or an allergy should see an allergist.

If you notice symptoms of asthma, including shortness of breath, tightness in the chest or excessive coughing, with or without exercise, call Atlanta ENT today for a consultation.

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT