May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and it is that time of year again when flowers and trees are sprouting colorful buds and blooms and dusty pollen wafts through the air like minuscule snowflakes. Allergies become more pronounced due to all the pollen in the air.
These allergens can cause a lot of issues for those with asthma and sleep apnea as well. There are several similarities between asthma and sleep apnea, and when you add allergies into the mix, it can make things especially challenging.
Did you know asthma is known medically as reactive airway disease? Symptoms of asthma occur when the airway becomes inflamed and constricts to make breathing difficult. These symptoms occur often at night and make it very challenging to sleep. On the other hand, sleep apnea symptoms of coughing, pauses in breathing, and snoring occur while a person sleeps also tend to occur at night. Most often, sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction to the airway. There are notable differences in the two conditions, but the common factors are hard to miss.
The AAFA, or Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, are taking this opportunity and time of year to bring attention to asthma and allergies. Visiting this link will provide you with information and ideas on how to spread the word about asthma and allergies. According to the AAFA, you can take action, “The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supports policies that aim to improve access to health care, increase funding for medical research, and promote a higher quality of life for those with asthma and allergies. By joining our Action Network, you will be able to track bills, contact your legislators, and make your voice heard by taking action on issues that are important to you. No act of advocacy is too small; every little bit makes a difference!”
If you have a desire to create awareness about asthma and allergies this season, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website for ideas on how to get the word out with your friends and family, and attend one of the activities scheduled to become part of the network! Allergies don’t have to make your sleep apnea worse, and you don’t have to stay inside during the most beautiful months of the year!