The question of whether or not cockroaches are a cause of asthma has long been debated. However, according to a study by Lung.org, roaches produce substances, or allergens, that aggravate asthma and trigger certain allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to those substances.
Can Cockroaches cause Asthma?
Cockroaches are a common pest in many urban areas, but can they actually cause asthma as widely believed?
Scientists have found that cockroaches produce allergens and other substances that can trigger asthma or worsen it.
Most inhalers for asthma patients do not contain these triggers and so cockroaches can’t really be blamed for worsening the condition. Inhalers typically contain bronchodilators, steroids, antihistamines, and other medications needed to control an asthma attack.
Cockroaches can in some cases cause asthma attacks. It is estimated that up to 2 million people have an allergic reaction to cockroach feces. When the droppings are stirred up and inhaled, it can lead to asthmatic symptoms.
The media is constantly spouting articles about the dangers of living in an apartment with cockroaches. However, there are very few studies that actually show a link between cockroach allergens and asthma.
The levels of allergens from cockroaches in apartments are comparable to those found in tree pollen or house dust mites, which don’t cause asthma.
Although cockroaches do secrete allergens, the amount of these allergens is small compared to the amount of other allergy-causing substances in your home.
So if you have asthma and live in an apartment with cockroaches, don’t let this stop you from enjoying life. Use your medications as directed and stay away from allergen triggers—like cockroaches.
Allergies Are Not the Same as Asthma
People sometimes confuse allergies with asthma. They are two different conditions, but they often occur together. In fact, 10% of people who have allergies also have asthma.
If you have asthma and think that you might be allergic to cockroaches, talk with your doctor or allergist.
He or she can help you figure out whether or not your symptoms are related to cockroach allergies.
ALSO SEE: Can Cockroaches Cause Skin Problems?
Cockroaches Are Determined to Get Inside Your Home
Despite all the prevention efforts, cockroaches will still make their way into your home.
This is why it’s important to eliminate them by getting rid of them and sanitizing affected areas. In addition, protecting your home by using barriers can also help to keep ants out of the house.
Does Cockroach Allergens Cause Asthma?
A recent study has found that cockroach allergens can contribute to asthma. A group of children were studied, and the children with both an allergy to cockroaches and asthma were 10 times more likely to experience more severe asthma attacks.
It’s important to note that the study does not show a cause-and-effect relationship, but it does show a connection.
How Do We Test for the Allergens in Cockroaches?
Testing for the allergens in cockroaches is not as simple as it sounds. Cockroach allergens are too tiny to get trapped in the filter of an air-duct or vacuum cleaner. The allergens are also found mostly on their tough outer shell that doesn’t shed much.
What are Other Causes of Asthma?
It’s true that cockroaches can cause asthma to worsen, but they are not the only cause. Other common causes of asthma symptoms include pollen, dust, and pet dander. Smoking is also a common trigger for asthma.
Do Cockroaches affect Asthma?
The idea that cockroaches could trigger asthma first came about as a cruel joke. It was said that people with asthma should avoid getting anywhere near them because they would cause their lungs to seize up and force them into an asthma attack. This is not exactly true.
However, it’s true that cockroaches cause allergic reactions in many people, and this can lead to symptoms of asthma or even worse conditions like bronchitis or COPD.
The truth is, the triggers for these serious conditions are usually dust mites and pet dander. Cockroaches are unlikely to be a contributing factor for asthma in most cases.
How do Roaches cause Asthma?
Roaches do not actually cause asthma and scientists have no idea how this rumor ever got started.
The only thing that roaches are known to do is trigger allergies. Roaches can leave allergens in their droppings, which can make your allergies worse!
The common misconception of roaches causing asthma came from a study done in 2000. The original study’s topic was food allergies, but the researchers found that roaches may be the culprit behind triggering asthma symptoms in some people.
No other studies were able to confirm these findings and it has since been debunked.
Can Roaches Trigger Asthma?
Roaches can trigger asthma because they carry dust and mold spores that get caught in the air. They also produce an allergen, which can aggravate the lungs and respiratory system.
How do Cockroaches Trigger Asthma?
Cockroaches can trigger asthma attacks by crawling over a person as they sleep, releasing their droppings and saliva while they walk on a person’s skin. A cockroach allergy is diagnosed when the body reacts to these substances with asthma-like symptoms.
Do Roaches make Asthma Worse?
The answer is no. Research shows that exposure to cockroaches won’t cause asthma and there is no evidence that asthma sufferers are more likely to get asthma from being exposed to roaches. Studies show that the allergens in cockroaches don’t even reach levels high enough to cause asthma, let alone make it worse.
How to Treat Cockroach Allergy?
Cockroaches can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people. There are some cases where cockroaches can cause asthma attacks if the individual is allergic to their protein. Roughly 1.6% of asthmatics have a cockroach allergy, but not all who suffer from asthma will be allergic to the roaches. It’s best to see a doctor if you think that you are suffering from an allergy to them and they may prescribe an anti-allergy medication.
Do Roaches cause Respiratory Problems?
COCKROACHES ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ASTHMA
The thought that cockroaches can cause asthma is a common urban legend. In reality, cockroaches do not have the ability to transfer such a condition to humans, nor do they carry it themselves.
There may be a correlation between cockroaches and asthma, but it’s unclear whether the link is causal. As cockroach populations grow, asthma rates seem to increase too. But there is no evidence that suggests that cockroaches actually cause asthma.