It’s that time of year again where our friends pollen and heat come to visit. Asthma and allergies will yet again be on the move.
More than 34 million Americans suffer from asthma or some difficulty in breathing. The ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology) estimates 12.8 million school and 24.5 million work days are missed annually due to asthma.
Oddly enough, allergy season has arrived earlier this year, after an unseasonably warm winter. Because of this warm weather, there is more pollen and mold in the air, creating more allergens.
Asthma is a disorder that causes airways of the lungs to swell up and contract, leading to the shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma can be trigged by allergies.
In fact, 90 percent of kids with childhood asthma and 50% of adults have allergies. An allergy is defined the immune system’s reaction when exposed to what is otherwise a harmless substance.
For sensitive people, asthma can be triggered by breathing in allergens such as:
- Animal (pet hair or odor)
- Changes in weather
- Chemicals in the air or food
- Shortness of breath
- Pulling of skin between ribs
Emergency symptoms include:
- Turning blue
- Difficulty in breathing
- Rapid Pulse
- Anxiety due to shortness in breath
There is currently no cure for asthma, but MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has compiled a list of ways to prevent an asthma attack, and ways to stay healthy.
- Vacuum regularly to keep your carpets fresh and clean throughout the house.
- Use unscented detergents when cleaning the house or clothing to eliminate strong odors.
- Keep humidity levels low and find leaks to reduce the growth of mold in the house
- Eliminate tobacco smoking.
- Control or limit animal contact if necessary.
Make sure you know the asthma symptoms to watch out for, and know your doctor’s phone number in case you have trouble. In the event of an emergency, always call 911.
If you need a primary care doctor, or an asthma or allergy specialist, call 443-777-7900 for MedStar Franklin Square’s Physician Referral Line. You can also visit www.medstarfranklin.org and click on “Find a Doctor.”