Did you know May is Asthma Awareness Month?
May is the time to head outdoors! We make plans to get out of the house to see nature bloom. Time to buy flowers and seeds to dress up our yards and plant in our gardens. May is about proms, graduation parties and big outdoor weddings–but not this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed our thoughts, processes; and maybe our livelihood. You may know of someone who has lost a relative or friend to this virus. This May is different.
But for some, this May will be the same as all the Mays before it. May brings pollen–lots of pollen! Those suffering from Asthma and allergies dread going outside. As spring rains increase so does mold counts. Staying inside doesn’t always protect them either. Many studies show indoor air pollution can be 5 times greater than outside air. Pollen and mold spores infiltrate and dispersed throughout the home via the air duct system. If indoor air quality (IAQ) steps are not taken the asthma and allergy sufferer will have to endure another miserable spring.
A Silver Lining To The Asthma Cloud
A new study has shown that those with asthma and allergies may have a better defense against COVID-19. For one, staying inside protects them from coming in contact with a possible carrier. But there may be something within their body chemistry that helps against the virus. A Reuters Health article states, “People with asthma and allergies have reduced angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) gene expression and this may offer protection against severe COVID-19 illness, a new study suggests.”
Asthma Awareness - Know The Triggers
POLLEN can be a trigger depending on the species. Throughout the spring various plants are blooming and with it comes the pollens that are dispersed through the air. Pollen is basically the “male” generated part of pollination allowing plants to reproduce. Once airborne, these tiny particulates can me inhaled. That’s when asthma attacks and allergic reactions take place. The effects can be mile to severe–possibly resulting in Anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction)
DUST MITES are a main trigger. It’s actually a protein found in their body parts and feces that causes the allergic reaction or asthma attack. Studies show that between 100,000 and 10 million live in your bed. Another disturbing fact is that your bed may hold over 2.5 billion droppings. If you have a 2-year-old pillow, 10% of its weight is dust mites–dead and alive. They live off of dead skin cells–we shed about 10 grams of dead skin each week. So, do you think you may be vacuuming your bed tonight!
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “If you have allergies or asthma, a tiny creature living in your home could be making big problems for you. Although you can’t see them, you may be having an allergic reaction to them. They are dust mites and they live in many homes throughout the world.
Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma. They are on every continent except Antarctica. It may not be possible to rid your home entirely of these creatures. But there are ways in which you can lessen your allergic reactions to them.”
Did you know cockroaches are a year-round asthma trigger? The AAFA states, “Studies show children who are allergic to cockroaches, and are exposed to them, need to go to the hospital for asthma more often than other children with asthma.”
Like the dust mite, cockroaches contain a protein to which many people are allergic. A simple skin prick test can be used to see if a person is allergic to cockroaches.
There is more information on Asthma and Allergy triggers found on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s website. Since May is Asthma Awareness Month, it’s a good time to educate yourself and others on the subject.
Asthma Awareness - Challenging Places To Live
St Louis MO, our neighbor to the west, ranks 30th out of the top 100 cities considered Allergy Capitals. That gives us an idea of how severe asthma and allergies can be in our area. If you don’t suffer from them, count yourself blessed. There are solutions to limit the triggers for those who do suffer. Our intent is to shed light on those solutions.
Asthma Awareness Month Education & Fun
The EPA has put together a fun-book for kids to learn about Asthma triggers. The whole family can take part. You can download HERE.
We’re offering your kids and grandkids a coloring challenge!
Have them complete page 7, color it in, scan or take a photo of the completed artwork, then post it on our Facebook page. We’ll upload it to our website; on which everyone can vote. Whoever receives the most votes, will win a $25.00 gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. Second and third place prizes will be awarded as well!
So join the fun! Learn and share something new about asthma and allergies.