May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, as it is peak season for those dealing with both asthma and allergies. Although there is no cure for either, there are ways to help cope with these conditions with medication. What may trigger allergies and/or asthma varies from person to person, so it is imperative that people are aware of what their triggers are. Both reactions can range from mild to severe. Learning how to reduce exposure and how to manage symptoms will benefit individuals suffering from these conditions.
What are the symptoms?
Asthma: Since asthma attacks may vary in severity and their trigger source, not everyone will show the same symptoms. Individuals may experience different symptoms from previous incidents. However, the common symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, pain or pressure. These are caused by inflammation of the ariways, which prevents oxygen from reaching the lungs.
Allergies: It is sometimes tricky for someone to understand the cause of their sneezing and coughing, as a cold can be misinterpreted as allergies or vice versa. It’s important to monitor your symptoms and observe when and how they occur. See your physician if your symptoms persist for days or even months, as colds do not last for more than 14 days. The following symptoms may arise from an allergic reaction, possibly in combination:
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy throat
- Stomach ache
- Itchy skin
If you or someone you know is currently dealing with asthma and/or allergies, visit Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) where you can learn more about these conditions and how to better control them. Knowing how to prevent future allergy or asthma attacks can improve or even save your life.