Most of us are no strangers to allergies and asthma. In fact, more than 65 million Americans experience either allergy or asthma. Whether your asthma is triggered by either food or the environment, our bodies’ biological response can be uncomfortable or even life-threatening.
While there is no cure, greater awareness, and understanding of how allergies and asthma work has prompted encouraging developments for those combatting their conditions. Since 1984, the month of May has been designated as the National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
The month of May lines up perfectly when most Americans suffer the most from seasonal allergies and holds time for educating families, friends, and the public.
Around 25 million Americans are currently living with asthma and over 20% of them are children. Asthma is most prevalent amongst Black, Latinx, and low-income individuals. Asthma can be onset by the environment, allergies, obesity, sickness, and several other factors.
Higher rates of asthma are also tied to increased rates of hospitalizations and deaths for asthma-related incidents. Additionally, about 32 million Americans have a food allergy, and 24 million Americans have allergies related to the environment (i.e. hay fever, rhinitis, etc). While there is no cure, many Americans turn to inhalers to help with their asthma and antihistamines to help quell severe allergy symptoms.
Inhalers work by breathing medication into the mouth, down to the lungs, and relax the muscles that tighten around the airways. This allows users to breathe more easily and avoid asthma attacks.
Moreover, antihistamines work by blocking histamines in the body. Typically, the immune system releases histamines when it detects a ‘threat’. The build-up of histamines leads to swelling, itching, sneezing, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Triggers & Challenges
The most popular triggers for allergies and asthma attacks are pollen, grass, animals, and foods.