It’s the peak season for pollen — a trigger for asthma symptoms. That’s why the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declared May Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
More than 25 million Americans have this chronic condition. Asthma causes intermittent narrowing of airways, resulting in wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and shortness of breath. The symptoms can happen rarely or every day and, if acute, produce an asthma attack which may need emergency care.
The AAFA lists 4 types of asthma:
- Intermittent asthma means you have symptoms less than twice a week and wake up fewer than 2 nights a month with symptoms.
- Mild persistent asthma is diagnosed if you experience symptoms
- 2 or more days a week and symptoms wake you up 3 to 4 nights a month.
- Moderate persistent asthma indicates symptoms occur at least daily and wake you up 1 or more nights a week.
- Severe persistent asthma is marked by symptoms during the day and nightly awakenings.
Good news: Working with an allergist to identify and treat allergies can help reduce or prevent asthma symptoms. Note: Not all asthma types are caused by allergies. To learn more, search for asthma triggers at aafa.org.