One in 14 Americans has asthma, and one in five is affected by allergies. Is your loved among them? This May, Asthma and Allergy Awareness month hopes to raise understanding and support during one of the peak seasons at which individuals are affected by these diseases.
What is an allergy?
Each spring and fall, seasonal allergies take their toll on people across the U.S. with overactive immune systems. Triggered by normally harmless substances (pollen, food, dust, etc.), allergies make their irritating presence known with sneezes, congestion, and runny noses a plenty. And that’s if you’re lucky. If you suffer severe allergies, you could experience hives, anaphylaxis, or worse - death. There is no safe place from allergies, nor is there a cure, only prevention and treatment.
Did you know?
- Allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in America.
- Allergies incidence has been increasing in frequency across the U.S. since the 1980s across all age, sex, and racial groups, accounting for more than 17 million outpatient office visits annually.
- Have a parent with an allergy? You have a 1 in 3 chance of becoming effected. Both parents? Your chances increase to 7 in 10.
- Common allergens include animal dander, latex, pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and cockroaches.
- Seven percent of allergy sufferers have skin allergies, experiencing itching, hives, and inflammation on allergen contact. Four percent experience eye allergies (itchy eyes).
- Ninety percent of food allergies, which result in more than 200 deaths annually, are caused by reactions to milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish.
- Penicillin is the most common drug allergy, resulting in nearly 400 deaths annually.
- Allergies to insect venom (wasp/bee stings and ant bites) cause nearly 100 deaths each year.
Do you live near one of these allergy hotspots?
Allergy hotspots have a higher than average pollen count, in addition to higher than average allergy medication usage. The top 5 are…
- Jackson, MS
- Louisville, KY
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Memphis, TN
- Knoxville, TN
Asthma… taking allergies to the next level.
Similar to allergies, asthma sufferers experience breathing difficulty typically following exposure to triggers such as dust, dander, smoke, and pollen, though sometimes triggers may be unknown. Difficulty breathing, or the “asthma attack,” is accompanied by a whistling sound in the lungs, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. It is a serious, potentially life-threatening chronic disease. Though asthma usually starts in childhood, anyone can develop asthma at any time. There is no known cause or cure, only treatment and prevention with proper management including avoiding triggers, knowing the warning signs of an impending attack, and following the treatment advice of a doctor.
An orchestra of asthma facts:
- Every day, 9 Americans die from asthma.
- Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases, effecting 25.9 million Americans.
- Like allergies, it has been increasing in frequency since the 1980s across all age, sex, and racial groups.
- Strangely, it is more common in women than men, but more common in boys than girls.
- Asthma is the #1 chronic disease and the third-ranking cause for hospitalization in children.
- One in 10 children are affected, versus 1 in 12 adults.
- Two million emergency room visits, 14 million doctor visits, and 439,000 hospitalizations each year are attributable to asthma.
Do you live near an asthma capital?
- Memphis, TN
- Richmond, VA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Detroit, MI
- Oklahoma City, OK
Did you know your air conditioner can help you in the battle against asthma
Your heating and air system performs many functions to keep you breathing easier, filtering out common allergens such as dust, dander, and pollen, and maintaining humidity levels to prevent the proliferation of triggers such as mold and mildew in your home.
Get the help you need to win the fight against asthma and allergies in your home. Contact an Aire Serv®professional today to learn more about services that can boost your indoor air quality, such as:
- HEPA filtration
- UV air purification
- Whole-house air purifiers
- Duct cleaning
- And more…
At Aire Serv, we have your health at heart!