Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, PharmDMay is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month! This is the perfect time to spread the word about asthma and allergies, and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is leading the charge. With cases of asthma and allergies peaking in May, the AAFA aims to educate patients, family, friends, and the public on how to manage and prevent symptoms. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn and raise awareness!
What do allergies and asthma have in common?
Did you know that asthma and allergies have a lot in common? Yes, it's true! The same substances that trigger allergic reactions, such as pollen, dust, and mites, can also cause asthma symptoms. This condition is known as allergy-induced asthma. During an allergic response, immune system proteins called antibodies mistakenly identify allergens as invaders, leading to the release of chemicals that cause allergic symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, skin reaction, and even asthma symptoms in some people.
Facts About Asthma and Allergies
Let's take a quick look at some eye-opening facts about asthma and allergies:
In the United States, asthma is a widespread condition, affecting roughly one-third of the population. This means that approximately 20 million adults and 5 million children in the country suffer from this condition. However, asthma is not the only concern as more than 65 million Americans have both asthma and allergies. Food allergies are another major issue, affecting around 26 million adults and 6 million children in the US alone. Additionally, an estimated 24 million Americans suffer from rhinitis. Unfortunately, both asthma and allergies are not curable, which means that patients must manage their symptoms on an ongoing basis. The US government spends a staggering $50 billion on asthma-related healthcare expenses every year. Moreover, asthma and allergies are responsible for more than 10 million absences every year in the US, affecting both school and work.
What are the risk factors for allergic asthma?
If you have a family history of allergies or have allergies yourself, you're at a higher risk of developing allergic asthma. Not all asthma is due to allergies, but allergy-induced asthma is a prevalent type. Other asthma triggers include exercise, infections, cold air, stress, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and it's possible to have more than one type simultaneously. A family history of allergies is a risk factor for allergic asthma. Your risk increases if you have allergies yourself.
How do I control my allergy and asthma symptoms?
To control your allergy and asthma symptoms, you need to know the triggers and limit your exposure to them. Consult your doctor for the best treatment to manage your symptoms. The treatment approach for asthma often differs from the treatment approach for allergies, but there are a few treatment options that can help both allergies and asthma. Some of them include leukotriene modifiers like montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate), and zileuton (Zyflo), immunotherapy, and anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) therapy.
How can I get involved in National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month?
You can take part in National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month by sharing related content on social media, joining a volunteering organization in your community, or showing people how to save costs on their allergy and asthma medications using an rxless coupon. Let's spread awareness and help make a difference in the lives of those suffering from asthma and allergies.