Asthma and Allergies — Time to Take Action!
Spring is in full bloom, with budding flowers and sprouting leaves to delight the senses. But for the 65 million Americans who suffer from asthma or allergies, it’s also peak season for flare-ups. That’s why the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designated May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. This annual observance is a perfect time to spread awareness about these conditions and learn how to manage symptoms effectively.
Asthma vs. Allergies: What’s the Difference?
Asthma and allergies often occur together and may seem alike at first glance. But it’s important to note that they are two distinct conditions.
Allergies: An allergy is essentially an immune system response in which the body overreacts to a foreign substance that would not normally be a threat—like pollen, dust, or pet dander. Symptoms commonly include itchy eyes, runny nose, dry skin, and hives. These symptoms can often be treated with medication or by avoiding the allergen. In some cases, allergies can trigger asthma, a more serious condition.
Asthma: Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. The same substances that can trigger an allergic response can also trigger an asthma attack (also known as allergy-induced asthma or allergic asthma). Other asthma triggers can include exercise, smoke, and stress.
Whether it’s asthma or allergies, patients are advised to seek medical guidance to develop a treatment strategy. Your doctor may recommend a peak flow meter to help strengthen your lungs and track your daily progress. Patients may also be prescribed nebulizer treatments, which allow inhalable medications to reach the lungs. Dynarex’s Resp-O2™ product line provides a wide selection of premium respiratory solutions to help patients manage their symptoms.
The Power of a Plan
The AAFA encourages patients to work with their medical providers to develop a customized action plan. Allergy and Asthma action plans allow patients to record essential information, including appropriate medications and benchmarks to watch for. Most action plans are organized into three categories—Green, Yellow, and Red—to represent the relative severity of symptoms:
- Green (Go) - You are in the Green zone if all of the following are true:
- • Breathing is normal
- • No coughing or wheezing
- • You’re able to do all of the things you normally do
Action: Continue your regular course of treatment and any prescribed medication.
- Yellow (Caution) - You are in the Yellow zone if you have ANY of the following:
- • First sign of a cold
- • Exposure to known trigger
- • Mild coughing and/or wheezing
Action: Add any appropriate medication or treatment as prescribed by your doctor.
Red: (Danger) - Seek help immediately if you have any of the following:
- • Medicine is not helping
- • Breathing is hard and fast
- • You have trouble speaking
Action: Take any appropriate medication prescribed by your doctor and get medical help immediately!
Because everyone experiences asthma and allergies differently, actions plans are personalized to patients’ individual triggers and reactions. The more patients stay aware of their symptoms and up to date on their treatment plans, the better these conditions can be managed. Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is the perfect time to help friends, family, and loved ones get organized, keep track of their health, and enjoy all the beauty that spring has to offer.
The Dynarex Resp-O2™ line of premium respiratory supplies offers a wide selection of bronchial and asthma management products, including peak flow meters and aerosol therapy supplies, including nebulizers and nebulizer cups—to help patients manage their symptoms. Explore our full line of high-quality medical products here.