May: Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

May 1, 2014 by Molly Huff

May is Ashthma and Allergy Awareness Month - and all of us know people or ARE someone that suffers from one or both.  Asthma and allergies affect so many Americans - in the past 20 years, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the number of Americans suffering from these two chronic conditions has doubled. That means the current estimate of people afflicted is around 60 million.

Just last year, approximately two million emergency room visits and almost half a million hospital stays were due to asthma/allergy attacks. So, what can be done to reduce and prevent the symptoms/attacks? Affinity physicians are well-equipped to diagnose what’s going on with you if you think are suffering from either asthma and/or allergies, and can get you feeling better through prevention and treatment.

Prevention
Identify and eliminate the triggers in your environment that can cause an allergy or asthma attack. This isn’t always easy, but the more you know about your specific condition, the better equipped you are to prevent those attacks. Common triggers include:

  • Pollen - Air Purifiers, especially those with HEPA filters, are excellent for cleaning the air of pollen.
  • Dust Mites - Allergy bedding, steam cleaning, dehumidifying, and vacuuming will help keep dust mites from sticking around. Air purifiers help with these as well.
  • Cockroaches - Professional exterminators ensure proper eradication of these nasty pests that are a serious threat to allergy and asthma sufferers.
  • Mildew and Mold - A quality dehumidifier will keep your home in ideal balance year round.
  • Pet Dander - If you and your allergy-producing pet are inseparable, regular baths, baby wipes between bathing, keeping pets off of furniture, regular vacuuming and frequent hand-washing are your best bets. Air purifiers help, too.
  • Smoke - A real danger to asthma and allergy sufferers, smoking should only be done outside. If you must smoke indoors, air purifiers designed to absorb smoke are a must. Fireplaces also can cause attacks - it’s best to avoid them if you have asthma.
  • Cleaning Products - Steamers as opposed to cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals are a great alternative. They only use tap water and are easy to operate.
  • Fragrances - Scented candles, perfumes, lotions, air fresheners - these can all be culprits. Avoid overdoing any of these if you have an allergy/asthma sufferer in your home.

If you are suffering this spring, give Affinity a call and set up an appointment with one of our physicians. We will help you identify your allergens and help you find ways to enjoy life a little more - minus the sniffling, watery eyes and asthma attacks. Stay well!