While allergies and asthma are certainly a popular topic of conversation among the residents of Central Mississippi, there are some facts about these conditions that could use a little more public understanding and discussion. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America celebrates National Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month in May, with the goal to bring about awareness to these common conditions that affect millions, and can range widely in severity of symptoms.
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma is usually identified by the most common symptoms, which include shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness, wheezing when exhaling, as well as coughing and wheezing that is made worse when in conjunction with a respiratory virus like the flu or a cold. Asthma causes the airways to swell and narrow, which means that less air is being delivered to the mouth and lungs. It is often triggered when allergens enter the lungs. These allergens can include environmental particles from flowers such as pollen, pet dander, or dust and mold. Asthma can also be triggered by respiratory infections, smoke in the air, stress, certain foods and additives, or physical activity. Asthma affects an estimated 25 million Americans.
What Should We Know About Allergies?
An estimated 50 million Americans experience allergies every year. Some of the most common allergies include food allergies and environmental triggers. Environmental allergies can include those found outside, like grass, pollen, or insect bites and stings, as well as those found inside homes and offices which might include dust, pet dander, or mold. Allergic reactions can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, from fairly mild skin reactions to serious and potentially deadly anaphylaxis. There are no cures for allergies, although some people do outgrow them as they age. Medications are available to help with the reactions to allergens, but will not cure them.
Why Should We Talk About Allergies And Asthma?
National Asthma And Allergy Awareness Month give us the chance to have important conversations surrounding these conditions that affect millions of Americans daily. Since they are both common conditions, it’s important to understand the triggers and causes so that we can be mindful of those around us who may be suffering from them. If you are currently suffering from allergies or asthma, you can take the opportunity to teach others about what you are dealing with, as well as providing advice to friends and family as to how they can help if you have a reaction. If you aren’t suffering from either of these conditions, but have a friend or family member who is, you can take the chance to learn more in order to help. With increased education, we can all do our part to understand and help make those around us more comfortable and eliminate any common triggers for those surrounding us.
Most importantly, if you’ve been suffering from asthma or allergies and haven’t received a diagnosis, it’s time to stop by a TrustCare Express Medical Clinic for a quick allergy test. We offer a simple blood test that can determine if you are allergic to 25 food allergens and 36 regional allergens. In addition to the testing, we also offer treatment options and education. By determining what might be causing your allergies, we can offer you information on how best to avoid these things and what to do in the event that you come in contact with them.
Take time this May to have these important conversations, as well as making sure you are addressing any personal needs you might have.