May is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. The following tips take the coronavirus pandemic into account for this Awareness Month.
As we enter the month of May many people in the northern hemisphere, start to have spring pollen allergy symptoms of:
- itchy eyes, nose, or mouth
- runny or stuffy nose
- red, watery eyes
People with asthma may also experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and pain or tightness in the chest, if pollen triggers their asthma symptoms. Congested sinuses may cause headaches or face pain. Some people with asthma don’t wheeze; they cough a lot instead. I have that type of asthma.
Untreated allergy symptoms not only cause misery, but can progress to sinus infections, bronchitis, or asthma flares. The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America has published this chart to help you decide what may be causing your symptoms.
Dealing With Eczema and The Need For Frequent Hand-Washing
The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America recommends that if you suffer from eczema on your hands, that you limit the use of disinfectant products as much as possible because they are more drying to the skin. They suggest washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap, patting the skin dry, and applying moisturizer to damp skin. You can read their article here.
Dealing With Tree Pollen Allergies
Spring tree pollen has been a problem for me for 30 years. I love spring, but I hate spring allergies. I used to be able to get allergy shots when I first developed tree pollen allergies. Since I’ve developed an immune deficiency, I can’t take allergy shots, because my immune system doesn’t work right.
Because of COVID-19, I’m trying really hard to manage my pollen allergies well. I have a tendency to get sinus infections, and asthma flares at this time of year. I’ve been diligently wearing a mask every time I’m outside to slow down the amount of pollen I’m inhaling.
Unfortunately, I live in an apartment that centrally controls the heating and air conditioning systems. In spring it often gets too hot in my apartment, so I have to open the windows. I’m constantly, opening and closing windows, and turning my air cleaner up higher trying to manage my exposure to pollen, and heat. It’s frustrating!
Many places are using spray disinfectants to clean surfaces. If fumes trigger asthma flares for you, be cautious. Last week, at physical therapy, the workers were using bleach spray to clean surfaces. Even with a cloth mask on, my airway got irritated. I had to ask them not to use bleach products when I was there. I didn’t have my rescue inhaler with me either. ):
TIP: Take your rescue inhaler with you wherever you go!!
If you would like to read more about how air quality affects asthma, check out this post here: https://www.upbeatliving.net/published-on-the-migthy-what-i-wish-others-understood-about-asthma-and-the-air-we-breathe/
So, if you’re having asthma or allergy problems talk to your doctor about it. Do everything you can to manage your asthma and allergy symptoms well. Untreated health conditions are miserable, and can make infections that much harder to treat.
In this time of COVID-19, keeping ourselves as healthy as we can is so important.
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