Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Since 1984, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has declared May to be an awareness month for its causes.
May is the peak season for allergies and asthma, so there is no better time to educate patients, friends, families, and the general public about allergy and asthma issues.
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Asthma and Allergy Stats
More than 60 million Americans have asthma or allergies; that is nearly one in five people!
- About 25 million Americans have asthma
- About 32 million Americans have food allergies
- About 21 million Americans have hay fever, rhinitis or nasal allergies
While these numbers paint a picture of just how many people live with allergies and asthma, they cannot depict the personal hardships and challenges that these conditions create.
If you or a loved one are living with allergies or asthma, then you know how important it is to stay up to date on the latest news and guidelines regarding your conditions.
In these uncertain times, organizations and healthcare providers are coming together to get people the information and treatment they need.
How PlushCare Can Help
At PlushCare, our mission is to make access to medical treatment simple, convenient, and affordable through online medical consultations.
Our board-certified primary care doctors have an average of 15 years of experience and are all graduates from the top 50 U.S. medical schools. They commonly treat asthma and allergies; whether you need a referral for allergy testing, your prescription refilled, or want to try a new treatment plan, we are here to help.
You can book an appointment online with one of our trusted doctors, or continue reading to find out more about allergies and asthma.
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening may include:
- Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
- Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
- The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:
- Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
- Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
- Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander)
Severe asthma attacks can be deadly. If you are experiencing any of these new symptoms or believe your symptoms are worsening, contact a doctor for proper care.
Seek emergency treatment if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing
- No improvement even after using a quick-relief asthma inhaler, such as albuterol
- Shortness of breath when you are doing minimal physical activity
Asthma is typically treated with medication administered via inhaler.
There are 2 main groups of inhalers:
- Long-acting inhalers, meant for the long-term management of asthma symptoms, are used to suppress symptoms and improve lung capacity over time.
- Short-acting inhalers are meant for the immediate treatment of an asthma attack.
Common long-acting inhalers include:
Common short-acting inhalers include:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny, or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- Itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and a cough
- A raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- Stomach pain, feeling sick, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dry, red and cracked skin
Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can be deadly. Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- swelling of the throat and mouth
- difficulty breathing
- blue skin or lips
- collapsing and losing consciousness
For mild or seasonal allergies, medications are available at pharmacies without a prescription. However, it is always important to consult with a doctor before taking a new medication.
Common allergy medicines include:
- Antihistamines taken to reduce symptoms or prevent reactions.
- Decongestants used to clear the nose after an allergic reactions
- Lotions and creams to reduce itchy skin and inflammation
- Steroids to reduce allergy-induced inflammation
Common allergy prescription medications include:
To speak to a doctor about what kind of allergy medicine is right for you, book an appointment online today.