Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
Spring is here, and while many Americans enjoy the emerging flowers and thriving greenery, there are millions who see this season as a bit of a health challenge. Over 65 million people in the U.S. are affected by asthma or allergies – some with both – and now is the peak season for problems. To help bring awareness and education to these conditions, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has designated May as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
What to Know About Asthma and Allergies
According to the AAFA, roughly 25 million Americans have asthma, 32 million have food allergies, and 24 million are affected by seasonal allergy problems, such as hay fever, rhinitis, or nasal allergies. Unfortunately, since there is no cure for asthma or allergies, individuals must learn how to manage these conditions on a daily basis.
Asthma is considered to be one of the most common and costly diseases in the United States. In the years 2008 – 2013, the annual economic cost of asthma – including medical expenses, days off work and school – was more than $81.9 billion. Those with asthma have swelling of the airways, making these airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs more narrow. When asthma is triggered, such as by allergens or irritants, individuals can have trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness of the chest. In some cases, an asthma attack could result in death. Thankfully, with proper treatment, prevention, and care, these serious cases are avoidable.
Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to something it sees as harmful, also referred to as allergens. Individuals can be allergic to medications, food, insect stings or bites, household pests, latex, mold, pets, or pollen. For the most part, those with who experience an allergic reaction would feel uncomfortable with watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, a rash, or hives. However, there are some who experience dangerous reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which is trouble breathing and swelling in the mouth or throat that can be life-threatening. Allergies can be managed in a few ways: avoid the allergen completely, take allergy medication as recommended by an allergist or medical professional, and keep emergency medication with you to use if necessary, such as the EpiPen.
How to Promote Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month 2021
This year, the AAFA has created a campaign called 31 Days of Action for Raising Asthma and Allergy Awareness in May 2021. Each day, they offer different ways to help promote awareness to friends, family, and colleagues, as well as educate yourself on these conditions. The organization will be sharing informational videos, hosting webinars, providing activities for families and children and much more. Understanding how asthma and allergies may affect yourself and others could help you better recognize when medical intervention is required, or even seek out the guidance from an experienced practitioner.
If you are experiencing allergies or need help with treating your asthma, visit any of the area Midwest Express Clinic locations today. This Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we want to do everything we can to help educate our patients and keep our communities safe and healthy so you can finally enjoy the springtime weather.