May is "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month". It is peak season for people with asthma and allergies. Asthma and allergies are often overlooked as life-threatening conditions as frequently people do not understand the seriousness of these diseases. Approximately 65-70 million Americans have asthma and allergies (about 26 million Americans have asthma, 32 million Americans have food allergies and about 21 million Americans have hay fever, rhinitis, or nasal allergies). Male children are more likely to have asthma than female children. This trend reverses in adulthood, where female adults are more likely to have asthma than male adults At least 80% of children and 50-60% of adults diagnosed with asthma have allergies that trigger their symptoms. It is critical to identify your asthma triggers and develop an asthma maintenance plan.
Asthma is a common chronic (long-term) lung disease in which the lungs' bronchial tubes, or airways, become inflamed. This inflammation causes the airways to become sensitive to environmental triggers such as dust, smoke, pet dander, respiratory infections, cold air and/or mediations. In reaction to these triggers, an asthma attack can occur. The muscles around the bronchial tubes tighten, the lining of the airways becomes inflamed, and the airways often overproduce mucus, all making it difficult to breathe. Asthma symptoms include trouble breath