Spring is here, and with it comes insects, flowers, green grass, pollen, dust, mold, and a bunch of other stuff that can make your nose stuff up and your eyes water. And if you have asthma, you can expect that to be accompanied by coughing, wheezing and tightness of the chest.
Allergies occur when the body identifies harmless substances in the environment as threats and begins to produce antibodies against them.
Asthma, on the other hand, is a respiratory condition that affects the airways. It can be triggered by allergens, as well as a variety of other factors, such as physical activity, weather changes, and stress.
While allergies and asthma are two different conditions, they often go hand in hand. Allergic asthma is responsible for 60% of all asthma diagnosis in the US, and is caused by the same allergens that lead to hayfever.
Both allergies and asthma are considered to be chronic conditions, as there is no cure, though symptoms may come and go over the course of your life, leading to the common misconception that you can outgrow asthma.
In the case of allergic asthma, children can outgrow their trigger allergies, decreasing the frequency or severity of attacks significantly, the condition of the lungs that leads to asthma attacks will be present for the rest of their lives.
The best way to manage both is to avoid triggers and if necessary, take medication to minimize the effects of the allergens.
May has been declared to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and they want everyone to help #TackleAsthma and #TackleAllergies. If you have any advice to share on how you manage your symptoms and attacks, let us know by using the AAFA hashtags in this post.
Happy spring everyone!