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National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

allergies and asthmaFor those with asthma and allergies, spring can be a difficult season, causing symptoms to flare. Chances are, we all know someone who is afflicted with either condition, so it is important to understand how their lives are affected, as well as how to help support them. This May, help bring more awareness to these conditions during National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a breathing condition that can become dangerous if proper treatment plan is not followed. The most common symptoms experienced are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. When a person has asthma, problems can be triggered by various things, from outside influences like pollen and extreme weather changes, or even stress and exercise. These can cause swelling, mucous production and narrowing in the airways. Symptoms can be managed by following a treatment plan provided by a doctor and avoiding triggers as directed.

What are Allergies?

Allergies are considered one of the most chronic diseases, meaning it can last for an extended period of time and occur often. Symptoms result from the body’s immune system overreacting to a substance it sees as harmful, such as medicines, food, insect stings or bites, latex, mold, pets and pollen. Those who suffer from allergies most commonly will be uncomfortable, with watery eyes, sneezing, or a rash. Some will experience a much more serious reaction that would cause breathing trouble and swelling in the mouth or throat, which is life-threatening. The easiest way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergen itself, but medication options are available, as well as immunotherapy.

How Can I Help?

Bringing awareness to asthma and allergies is the best way to help during this month and beyond. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there are more than 24.5 million Americans affected by asthma, with 6 million children under age 18 diagnosed with asthma. Unfortunately, ten people per day die from asthma. On top of that, there are over 50 million Americans with various types of allergies, and that number continues to grow. Neither of these currently has a cure, so understanding how to properly treat and care for those affected will prevent unnecessary deaths and complications.

If you have questions or concerns regarding asthma and allergies, or believe you or a love one are affected, contact us today for an evaluation and treatment plan.

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