Today is World Asthma Day, and we are in the midst of the time of year many know for seasonal allergies and asthma attack symptoms. Most spring allergies are caused by pollen released by trees, grass, weeds, and other plants and can cause runny nose, itchy eyes, and other uncomfortable symptoms. The rising temperatures can also negatively impact those with asthma.
While some of the symptoms are the same, allergies and asthma are two entirely different diseases, but there can be overlap. The primary difference is that allergies are a disease of the immune system whereas asthma is a disease of the lungs. Over 26 million Americans are affected by asthma. There are two types of asthma, allergic and non-allergic, with similar symptoms caused by airway obstruction and inflammation. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. The difference between the two is that non-allergic asthma is triggered by a variety of causes (such as cold air, exercise, smoke, or stress and anxiety) while allergic asthma is triggered by pollen, mold, pet dander, or other inhaled allergens. Allergies are much more common than asthma, affecting an estimated 50 million Americans. Allergies are broken down into seven types: indoor, outdoor, food, latex, insect, skin, and eye. If the spring air is causing you to experience symptoms, you more than likely have outdoor allergies.
There are a number of different resources for asthma and allergies available on the NeedyMeds site. The first place to check is the Asthma and Allergies Diagnosis Information Page – which ties together all of the assistance listings we have in one place. This page includes a list of patient assistance programs that may provide prescribed medications at low or no cost for asthma and allergy medications. We also have listings for camps and recreational retreats for individuals and families with asthma or allergies. There are three camps available for allergy sufferers and over 40 camps for those with Asthma. For more information, call our toll-free helpline at 1-800-503-6897 (open 9am to 5pm ET, Monday through Friday).