May Is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Each year in May, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America observes National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. If you or a loved one suffers from these diseases, now is a great time to become more educated about their causes and effects. While there is no cure for allergies or asthma, you can avoid many complications, and even death, with the proper precautions and treatment.
RediClinic, your local walk-in clinic, explains more about asthma and allergies.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the airways which results in shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and/or chest tightness. When a person with asthma inhales a certain substance, known as a trigger, asthma symptoms occur. These symptoms happen every time the person encounters the trigger. Common asthma triggers include pollen, smoke, dust mites, pollution, pet dander, cold air, stress and exercise.
How Is Asthma Treated?
Asthma sufferers take medications on an ongoing basis to prevent and control symptoms, and to reduce airway inflammation. Treatment plans vary from person to person and may need to be adjusted over time.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances. The immune system flags a harmless substance – such as pollen – as an invading organism, and releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms in an effort to rid the body of that substance. Allergic symptoms most often affect the nasal passages, and may include runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Those who do not treat their allergy symptoms are more likely to develop asthma.
How Are Allergies Treated?
There are many prescription and over-the-counter medications that target allergy symptoms. Treatments may not get rid of the symptoms altogether, but they usually lessen them and make it easier to cope. Treatment plans vary from person to person and may need to be adjusted over time.
Take Charge of Symptoms at RediClinic
RediClinic can help you make a plan to get your allergy and asthma symptoms under control. We prescribe medication (if appropriate) and offer a variety of treatment options, including nebulizer breathing treatments and allergy steroid shots administered by board-certified clinicians.