In the United States, 25 million Americans suffer from asthma and more than 50 million Americans have allergies. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and there’s no better time than now to educate yourself on asthma and allergies if you haven’t already done so.
Today, your right-hand McAllen sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT will highlight everything you need to know about asthma and allergies.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that is caused by the swelling of your airways. This results in the narrowing of the airways that carry air from the mouth and nose to your lungs.
What Causes Asthma?
Many things can trigger asthma with some of the most common being airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, and particles of cockroach waste. Physical activity, respiratory infections like the common cold, and cold air can also trigger asthma for those who suffer from it.
How You Can Control Asthma
Luckily, if you suffer from asthma, you can keep it under control by doing the following:
- Knowing what triggers your asthma and avoiding it
- Using asthma management tools
- Learning how to use your inhaler correctly
- Quitting smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke
- Staying fit by exercising
- Coming up with an asthma action plan
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance referred to as an allergen. Allergies are usually from a substance in the environment that is harmless to most people.
What Causes Allergies?
The causes of allergies vary from person to person, but the most common causes include:
- Airborne allergies, (e.g. pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and mold)
- Certain foods (e.g. peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, and milk)
- Insect stings (e.g. bee or wasp sting)
- Medications (e.g. penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics)
Symptoms of Allergies
Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. Different conditions can cause different symptoms.
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, can cause the following symptoms:
- Itchy nose
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Watery, swollen itchy eyes
A food allergy can cause the following symptoms:
- Tingling in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat
- Life-threatening anaphylaxis
An insect sting allergy can cause:
- A large area of swelling at the sting site
- Itching or hives all over the body
- Cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath
A drug allergy can cause:
- Itchy skin
- Facial swelling
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, can cause the skin to:
- Become red
- Flake or peel
How To Keep Your Allergies Under Control
Fortunately, allergies can be controlled and managed if done correctly. Allergies can be managed by using antihistamines, decongestants, and allergy shots.
Asthma and allergies can be serious conditions if not managed properly. However, thanks to modern medicine and proper care, it is possible.
In honor of May being National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, you can acknowledge the importance of this event by seeking treatment for asthma or allergies if you or a loved one are suffering from either or both, or simply by spreading awareness on the matter.
Don’t let your asthma or allergy symptoms take over – visit the Glatz Group of Valley ENT.
No one wants to live a life dealing with symptoms caused by allergies or asthma, contact the Glatz Group today to make an appointment!