Allergies and breathing issues – like asthma – are not fun to deal with. About 1 in 13 people in the United States live with asthma. For May’s National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, we will look at how you can help yourself or a loved one with asthma or allergies live a better quality of life.
Seasonal allergies are also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis If you have allergies, you might have:
- A runny nose
There are things you can do to help keep your seasonal allergies under control:
- Stay inside on dry and windy days. The best time to go outside is after it rains. This helps get rid of pollen from the air.
- Think about wearing a face mask if you do outside chores.
- Keep your indoor air clean. It might not get rid of all allergens in your home. But it will reduce them.
- Avoid mowing the lawn, pulling weeds or other garden chores.
- When you get inside, take off clothes right away. Shower to wash off the pollen from your skin and hair.
- Do not hang laundry outside. Pollen can stick to sheets, clothes and towels.
Think about trying over-the-counter medicine to help with your allergies. You can try:
- Oral antihistamines
- Nasal sprays
- Oral decongestants
Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist to help you find the right over-the-counter medicine.
If they do not help, you can talk to your doctor about other treatments like allergy shots or a stronger medicine to help.
So, what is asthma? How is it different than seasonal allergies?
Asthma is a lung disease. It is a physical and medical problem that can be treated. While it can be treated, it needs to be taken seriously. You can die during an asthma attack if you do not take care of it right away. Get emergency help right away if you or a loved one has an attack.
The signs and symptoms of asthma are different for each person. Your symptoms and how often you have them can also change over time. People who have asthma have at least one of these symptoms:
- Coughing. Coughing from asthma can get worse at night. It can be hard to sleep. You might also cough up some mucus.
- Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound. You will hear it when you breathe in and out.
- Chest tightness. It can feel like something is squeezing your chest. It can also feel like someone is sitting on your chest.
- Shortness of breath. It might be hard to catch your breath. It might feel like you are out of breath. You might feel like you cannot get enough air. It could also feel like you are breathing through a straw.
You can also talk to your doctor about asthma. They can help diagnose you if you think you or a loved one might have it. Then, you can work together to create a treatment plan to manage it.
Do not let asthma and seasonal allergies stop you from getting outside and enjoying some fun in the sun! Get the help you need to keep asthma and allergies away this spring and beyond!