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May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Asthma affects more than 24.5 million Americans. Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans including allergies to pollen, food, and latex just to name a few. There is no cure for asthma and allergies however both can be properly managed with effective treatment and care.

Prevent Seasonal Outdoor Allergies

Since allergy symptoms only occur in the presence of an allergen, one option for reducing symptoms is to simply avoid the allergen. With easily identifiable allergens such as drugs and foods, this may be a reasonable strategy. However, since airborne allergens exist in such high quantities in the air it is nearly impossible to avoid them when they are in season.

Taking steps to minimize your exposure can be helpful to reduce your symptoms.

Some options you can do are:

• Avoid going into natural areas during pollen season

• Keep your windows closed to minimize the amount of pollen coming into your home

• Use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to remove pollen, mold spores, and dander

• Regularly vacuum and clean your home to prevent the build-up of dust and other allergens

• Use mattress and pillow covers and/or wash linens frequently in hot water to remove dust mites, dander and pollen

These interventions may not be sufficient to completely remove all allergy symptoms. Another option is to supplement them with other treatments such as short term use of over-the-counter medications like an antihistamine. The best option is to see an allergy professional for a long term solution.

Information provided by: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org/