Every May the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) celebrates Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Pollen counts are particularly high during May due to all the plants sprouting back up after winter, making May a peak season for asthma and allergy triggers.
The goal of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is to let people know that asthma is a serious chronic respiratory disease, but it can be controlled. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) outlines six key actions families can take to better control their asthma:
- Use inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma if you have persistent asthma. Your doctor will help you choose the best treatment.
- Use a written asthma action plan to highlight two things: 1) what to do daily to control your asthma, and 2) how to handle symptoms or asthma attacks.
- Assess asthma severity at the initial visit to determine what treatment to start to get your asthma under control.
- Assess and monitor how well controlled your asthma is at follow up visits. Your doctor may need to increase, or decrease your medicine to keep asthma under control.
- Schedule follow-up visits at periodic intervals, and at least every six months.
- Control environmental exposures such as allergens or irritants that worsen your asthma.
You can read more about the six key actions here.
All across America, states are putting on asthma related events and educating families, schools and medical practitioners on how to control and treat asthma. Kentucky, which has one of the highest asthma rates in the US, is making its schools more asthma friendly, promoting better indoor air quality at schools and workplaces, and sponsoring the “Fight for Air Walk.” Massachusetts is holding a press conference on asthma, public summits on asthma education, and the “Celebrating Asthma Champions” meeting which honors those who aid the fight against asthma. California is holding several conferences on asthma as well as an overnight summer camp for kids with asthma.
These are just a few of the many activities taking place. For a full list, visit the Asthma Community Network’s Events Calendar. And remember, you can control your asthma. So prepare an asthma action plan, take your medication, and breathe easy.