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Asthma and allergy screenings help sufferers find relief
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (April 21, 2014) - Allergy and asthma are national epidemics that are on the rise, affecting more than 76 million Americans. But what many people don't know is these two conditions go hand-in-hand, many asthma sufferers also have an allergy. Allergies which can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks for some that are unaware they have one, or both, of these chronic illnesses.
To help children and adults with symptoms of asthma and allergy know if they are at risk, allergists from around the country will be holding the 18th annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) will offer free allergy and asthma screenings throughout the year, with the majority of screenings happening in May as part of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. The screenings, sponsored by Teva Respiratory, will take place at about 100 locations nationwide.
"If asthma and allergy aren t diagnosed and treated early on, symptoms can make every day miserable for sufferers, and the effects of the conditions can sometimes be fatal," said allergist John Winder, chair of the ACAAI Nationwide Asthma Screening Program. "It is important that children and adults know the cause of their symptoms and this screening program provides that at no cost."
During the screening, allergists test participants for nasal allergies and breathing difficulties that may be attributed to asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). If a participant is showing signs of one or more conditions, the allergists will answer their questions and discuss next steps to find relief.
Asthma and allergy symptoms can often mimic other illnesses, such as respiratory infections and colds. If symptoms last longer than two weeks, sufferers should see an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
"Allergies and asthma are serious diseases," said Dr. Winder. "Misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment can be dangerous."
For those that may think they have allergy and asthma but cannot attend a screening, ACAAI offers free online tools, such as the Asthma and Allergies Symptom Test, MyNasalAllergyJournal and an Allergist Locator, to track symptoms and find a local board-certified allergist.
A list of screenings can be found by visiting www.acaai.org/nasp.