Monthly Health Message
Asthma and Allergy Awareness
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. In the US, approximately 25 million people have asthma of which almost 7 million are children. In 2010, almost 13 million people reported having an asthma attack (just over half of the total number of people with this condition). Awareness will help more people to take early actions to deal with any symptoms that might arise. Taking an early action, which in many cases may be preventative action, can improve the quality of life of asthma and allergy sufferers. Time and money spent on medical intervention can also be reduced.
Let’s look at some symptoms of an asthma or allergic reactions. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tightness in the chest. Symptoms of allergies can vary in severity. Mild allergy symptoms include congestion, skin rash, and itchy water eyes. Moderate symptoms include difficulty in breathing, and itchiness.
Severe asthma symptoms can begin with itching of the eyes and face, but soon progress to swelling, causing breathing difficulties, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Confusion and dizziness are further symptoms of asthma.
Being aware can help people recognize asthma triggers which bring on symptoms of asthma, and how asthma can be controlled. Environmental triggers of asthma attacks include passive smoking, molds, cockroaches, pet hair, and dust mites. Combined with adequate medical treatment, these environment triggers can be controlled enabling people with asthma/allergies to live active and healthy lives.