May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance - something you eat, inhale into your lungs or touch. Mild reactions include coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and a scratchy throat. Reactions such as rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing trouble and asthma attacks can lead to death. Allergens or environmental triggers - such as smoke, mold, pet hair, and dust mites - entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms. Asthma causes swelling of the airways, which results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Symptoms include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly. In the US, approximately 25 million people – including more than 6 million children - have asthma, and over 50 million people have allergies. Allergy and asthma sufferers are sometimes forced to limit their physical activity or miss days at school and work. By working with a medical professional, avoiding triggers and taking medication, those with asthma and allergies can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. To learn more, please click here.