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Be more aware of where those sneezes are coming from in May

AllergiespicWhen: May

What: When spring and summer roll around, people often spend more time outdoors. They soak up the sun, participate in sports and enjoy all that the warmer weather has to offer. But spring and summer are also the time of year when seasonal allergies, including outdoor-related asthma sensitivities, begin to rear their ugly head. In May, familiarize yourself with allergies and asthma during National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month.

Background: There are a range of different types of allergies besides seasonal, including indoor, food, latex, skin and eye allergies. Asthma can also be triggered by a variety of factors, including secondhand smoke, dust mites, mold, pets or chemical irritants. Sponsored by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month is observed in an attempt to spread awareness during peak allergy and asthma season.

Story Pitch: A number of groups and organizations can pitch around Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month. Allergists who deal specifically with diagnosing and pinpointing allergies can alert their patients to allergy testing and what may be involved in getting to the bottom of various sensitivities. In addition, producers of allergy products, including medicines, may want to note the appearance of seasonal allergies and suggest ways to manage them. Pediatricians can alert parents of the possibilities of asthma in young children, giving them signs and symptoms to monitor.

Story Hook: According to the AAFA, an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some kind of allergy, whether it’s indoor, food, or skin and eye. In addition, nearly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. Consider the following when making your pitch:

  • What age group is mainly affected by asthma? What treatments are available?
  • What are some ways to manage seasonal allergies? Indoor allergies?
  • In terms of food allergies, what is the most prevalent food allergen?
  • Which seasonal allergy affects people the most?

Tips: A doctor who frequently diagnoses and treats allergies and asthma may have tips and suggestions on how to manage both conditions. In addition, someone who suffers from seasonal allergies will have ideas on allergy management.

Resources:

Allergy and Asthma Network
(800) 878-4403
www.aanma.org

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
(847) 427-1200
www.acaai.org

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
(800) 727-8462
info(at)aafa.org
www.aafa.org

Centers for Disease Control
(800) 232-4636
www.cdc.gov

Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 564-4355
www.epa.gov

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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