May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Globally, the first Tuesday in May is recognized as World Asthma Day, a project that brings together organizations from international countries to raise awareness about asthma and to improve the care that people with asthma receive. Here in the U.S., the entire month of May is dedicated to awareness of asthma and allergies, which often go hand in hand.
Asthma is dangerous chronic condition that occurs when a person’s airways constrict, swell and produce extra mucus, making breathing very difficult. There are allergic and non-allergic forms of asthma depending on what the trigger is. The symptoms, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, are the same for both types of asthma, but in non-allergic asthma, there is no immune response from the body.
Having asthma can complicate parts of daily life like quality of sleep, ability to participate in physical activities, and more. Treatment for asthma usually includes inhaled steroids, allergy medications, and by having an asthma action plan that includes avoiding triggers. More than 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and it is the most common non-communicable disease among children.
Asthma can be a tricky and rather deceptive condition to have, primarily because a variety of environmental factors can help trigger an asthma attack. Children and adults with asthma need medical alert jewelry because they might not be able to communicate during an asthma attack, and because asthma doesn't always look the way people expect. Wearing a medical ID engraved with “asthma” can help others to provide safer, more accurate emergency treatment if necessary.
You can get involved with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America by participating in a walk or event in your area, advocating for legal rights in your state, or making a gift to the organization.