If you’re living with asthma or allergies, then you know firsthand how staying up-to-date on the latest news and guidelines about your condition can be an important step in helping you better manage your symptoms and avoid flare-ups. But for the more than 7.7 million Americans who have asthma and 24 million who have allergies, keeping up with that information is a struggle. (1,2)
So, efforts like Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — when organizations, healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers come together to raise awareness about asthma and allergies — can do a whole lot of good for individuals who have or are affected by these conditions.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) since 1984 has deemed May "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” Since May is the peak season for many people with these conditions, it is the ideal time to educate patients and their loved ones, according to the AAFA.
“The goal of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is to increase awareness in the healthcare population and the lay population about asthma and allergies,” says Rebecca Decker, the program director of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), an international organization made up of healthcare professionals and public health officials seeking to promote awareness and research and reduce mortality rates due to asthma. “Most people are unaware that these [conditions] can be very severe and even fatal. Our aim is to educate the population and increase specific diagnosis, prevention, and awareness of asthma. We try to do that every day, but especially during May.”
For Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, organizations like GINA, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and others will select themes and awareness days to focus on certain conditions that fall under this umbrella of diseases. Depending on which organizations participate and what the plans are for each year, the month can include conferences, meetings, walks, runs, and other asthma-and-allergy-related activities to educate the public about asthma and allergy treatment, prevention, and safety.
To participate in Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, you can volunteer with these organizations to help out with awareness events. And there are also several things you can do to raise awareness on your own, including fundraising, writing to your local representatives about policies that support people with these conditions and their health, join a related Facebook group, and wear a gray ribbon for asthma or a teal ribbon for allergies.
Here’s everything you need to know about Asthma and Allergy Awareness month in May 2020, including awareness dates, upcoming runs and walks, conferences, volunteer opportunities, and how you can get involved at home.