Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

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May is National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. With more than 60 million Americans suffering from allergies and asthma, it’s important to build awareness of the diseases and the best ways to keep the symptoms under control.

This month is perfectly timed to build awareness of allergies and asthma, as this is when symptoms are typically at their peak for sufferers. Spring is the season when trees and plants are pollenating, causing symptoms like runny nose, congestion, sore throat, sinus inflammation, sneezing, headache, and even wheezing and coughing for those who have asthma. Allergies are not just caused by airborne allergens, but also by food, medications, insect bites, pet dander, latex and other substances. It’s important to remember that diseases like allergies and asthmas can be serious. Severe reactions can cause hives, swelling and even anaphylaxis. The diseases can be fatal if not treated properly. It’s important to get symptoms under control. The diseases account for nearly 2 million ER visits and 8 million doctor visits annually. Controlling the symptoms will not only reduce the need for medical treatment, but also save lives. An average of 3,000 deaths occurs each year in the U.S alone.

•  Limit time outside when pollen counts are high, typically between 5 am and 10 am

•  Protect against dust mites

  • Vacuum floors, curtains and furniture regularly
  • Wash bedding in hot water weekly
  • Change filters in heater and air conditioners
  • Use a dehumidifier

•  Shower after working in the yard or garden

•  Wash your hands frequently

•  Use HEPA air filters to remove irritants

•  Keep windows closed

•  Take medication to control symptoms

  • Allergies: antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, leukotriene modifiers
  • Asthmas: anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators