May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and because your health matters, Heartland Health & Wellness Fund wants to help you keep your lungs and nose clear!
Pollen allergies are a nuisance, while asthma can be deadly. Read on for information to help keep your asthma in check, and make the warmer seasons a bit more enjoyable.
Knowing your allergies
According to WebMD, pollen is the biggest cause of spring and summer allergies. These tiny specks are released by trees, weeds and grass. They’re meant to fertilize other plants, but can just as easily find their way into someone’s nose.
“When they get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the body’s defenses haywire,” reads WebMD.
For many people, runny noses, itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing go hand-in-hand with the warmer months.
Pollen can also travel for miles, so even if you’re not in an area with a lot of plants, you could experience these symptoms if you’re allergic.
Know your Asthma
Asthma occurs when the entrance to your lungs is inflamed. There’s no cure, but with treatment the symptoms can be managed.
An asthma attack involves shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and a tightness in the chest.
According to WebMD, no two cases of asthma are the same. Someone with the condition might have extended periods of time with no attacks at all. Others might only see symptoms when they exercise, or during an illness.
What should you do?
If you think you might suffer from allergies, see your medical provider. To find out what you’re allergic to, a doctor might do a blood test or other minor tests.
Tests for asthma could include measuring lung function and chest X-rays. Medications include steroids and other inflammatory drugs, or drugs that relax the airways into your lungs.
There are also various over-the-counter drugs that can help keep your allergies in check. Ask your pharmacist for help finding something that’s right for you.
“Asthma medications can save your life – allowing you live an active life in spite of your asthma,” reads WebMD.