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May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

May 1, 2022
by Thomas Johnson II, MD

When pollen is high: stay inside

In 1984 May was declared National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).  May was chosen because it is a peak season for people who suffer from asthma and allergy symptoms. What better time to educate patients, family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else about these conditions?

During this month, many organizations, such as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Global Initiative for Asthma, drive public awareness during conferences, meetings, walks, runs, and other activities.

The Environmental Protection Agency usually assigns the first few days to raise knowledge about air quality in our environment, which allows us to discuss ways to improve air quality in the United States and abroad.

How do you raise awareness for asthma?

To help raise awareness for allergies and asthma, you can do several things, from wearing a gray ribbon to volunteering at local events, partnering with organizations, and posting educational content on your social media platforms.

You Can Help Spread Awareness

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has many activities throughout May that you can participate in. They are found at aafa.org/asthma-and-allergy-awareness-month.

The first Tuesday in May is also called “World Asthma Day,” a day dedicated by the Global Initiative for Asthma. On this day, they release a report which ranks the top 100 cities that are challenging for people suffering from asthma to live in. Click here to view it.

Know the Asthma Facts

Asthma is a long-term lung condition that affects the bronchial tubes. Every asthma patient gets a different treatment. Asthma patients can control their symptoms with a number of different medicines. Did you know: 

  • It occurs everywhere. Asthma affects everyone in all countries, regardless of the levels of development.
  • Asthma is one of the major non-communicable diseases. It affects more than 262 million people across the globe and is the most chronic disease among children.
  • Asthma is often overlooked. It’s under-diagnosed and under-treated. People discount it as a “simple breathing problem.”
  • It is expensive for the country. Each year, asthma costs the United States more than $50 billion in healthcare expenses.
  • Children miss out on school days. Statistics have proven that asthma is responsible for more than 10 million absences a year in the United States.
  • Gender plays a role in asthma occurrences. Studies have shown that in children, more boys are affected than girls. On the other hand, women are more likely to have asthma than men, and women are more likely to die from asthma than men.
  • 50 million Americans have allergies each year. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) can help reduce hay fever. This is successful in about 85% of people with allergic rhinitis.
  • Food and skin allergies have increased in children. From 1997-2011, these allergies increased in children under 18 years old. 8.4% of US children under 18 suffer from hay fever, 10% from respiratory allergies, 5.4% from food allergies, and 11.6% from skin allergies.
  • Allergic rhinitis can be either seasonal or perennial.

    Thomas L. Johnson II, MD
    Medically Reviewed By: Thomas Johnson II, MD
    Reviewed on: June 1, 2022

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    We regularly check to see if the info in this article matches up with the latest scientific research and expert advice so that we can give you the most up-to-date information. See list of trusted resources here.

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