May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to highlight the causes, symptoms, and treatments for these conditions. While there is no cure, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) seeks to educate Americans on ways to identify symptoms and reduce the triggers that affect millions of Americans.
Causes of Asthma and Allergies
About 25 million Americans suffer from asthma which is responsible for millions of annual doctor visits and over one and a half million emergency room visits. An average of 11 people die from the disease every day in the U.S. Additionally, roughly 24 million Americans suffer from rhinitis (hay fever) or nasal allergies. When you add food allergies to these numbers, over 65 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies which makes awareness an important part of providing relief
There is no single cause of asthma and allergies and different people experience different triggers and reactions. For some, pet dander triggers an attack while for others indoor allergens such as dust and mold cause a reaction. Outdoors pollen from plants and chemical fumes are also potential triggers. For others, certain food additives and drugs are the culprits. Exercise may prompt asthma as well and the weather is a factor too. Cold, dry, or wet air and windy conditions can trigger symptoms too.
Awareness of the Asthma and Allergy Differences
Both asthma and allergies have the same triggers and often occur at the same time. While the triggers vary among people, for those with asthma, their body sees these foreign substances as harmful and tries to fight them off by releasing chemicals. This causes the airways to tighten and produces excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult as a result. In an allergic reaction, the body also reacts to these pollutants as outside invaders and attacks them even though they may be harmless.
Symptoms of Asthma
The symptoms of asthma vary by individual. Some reactions are more severe and some are life-threatening. While no cure for the disease exists, controlling symptoms is possible.
Asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Wheezing when exhaling
- Difficulty sleeping
If these symptoms don’t improve with the use of a quick-relief inhaler, emergency treatment is necessary.
Symptoms of Allergies
The symptoms of allergies also vary with some people having more severe reactions to certain pollutants than others.
Allergy symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red, and watery eyes
- Itchy, irritated skin
- Asthma symptoms
Reducing Risks and Increasing Awareness of Asthma and Allergies
Knowing the causes of asthma is an important first step, however, putting that knowledge into action is the way to relieve symptoms
Allergen Test Kits
As was mentioned above, different allergens trigger different asthma and allergy symptoms in people. Testing for allergies in the home or workplace, however, helps eliminate the cause. For example, using a dust-mite test kit reveals the presence of these microscopic pests. Likewise, a mold test reveals the presence of this fungus. After the detection of these allergens, remediation follows.
It’s important to note, however, that asthma triggers don’t mean the home or workplace isn’t clean. In fact, dusting disturbs these tiny particles and sends them airborne where they eventually settle on surfaces like rugs, furniture, and clothing.
Home allergen test kits are an affordable solution that delivers quick results. These easy-to-use DIY kits allow you to collect samples and mail them to an environmental lab with results arriving in just a few days.
Air Purifiers with HEPA Filtration
Another effective way to provide relief for asthma and allergy sufferers is with air-cleaning technology equipped with HEPA filtration. These air purifiers trap 99.97% of all allergens and other pollutants. In the workplace, depending on the model, an air purifier can clean the air in rooms from 150 to 250 square feet with some models effective in rooms up to 1,100 square feet. These devices clean the air of medical offices and exam rooms, offices, lobbies, conference rooms, and classrooms. Depending on your needs, choose between a wall-mounted or portable device.
Choosing a model like the AeraMax Pro 2 gives you the protection of a 4-stage filtration system. In addition to trapping allergens such as dust and dander, these devices also rid the air of chemicals and reduce odors too. The AeraMax Pro 2 uses EnviroSmart™ technology which detects motion and sound and adjusts its performance accordingly.
Find Out More About Asthma and Allergy Awareness Today
Allergens in the home or workplace can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms but they can be controlled. Testing is the first step and air purifiers with HEPA filtration filter pollutants out of indoor air. To order these products, or to find out more information about asthma and allergy awareness, call 727-572-4550 today.