The unseasonably warm weather is making this spring season difficult for millions of Americans who suffer from asthma and allergies. To help adults and children who have symptoms find out if they are at risk, allergists will conduct the 16th annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program, expanding the program this year to include screening for nasal allergies.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offers more than 200 free asthma and nasal allergy screenings through the public service campaign which is supported by Teva Respiratory. The screenings help those experiencing nasal allergy and asthma-related symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, shortness of breath and runny nose. A list of screening locations and an online Asthma and Allergy Symptom Test is available at www.acaai.org/nasp.
"Asthma and allergies are often connected, and we offer the tools and resources, available at the screenings and online, to give people a chance to see if they are at risk and get them on the path to find relief," said allergist Dr. John Winder, chair of the ACAAI Nationwide Asthma Screening Program. "The screening is quick, painless and free and now checks for three conditions that could affect your quality of life."
Allergists screen participants for:
•Breathing difficulties that might be asthma
•Nasal allergies, often called hay fever or allergic rhinitis
•Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), breathing problems that occur during or after exercise
For those already diagnosed with any of the conditions, the screening provides the chance to ensure their condition is under control.
"Allergies and asthma are serious diseases and misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment can have serious health consequences," said Dr. Winder. "Board-certified allergists are the best-trained health professionals to perform allergy testing and treat allergic diseases effectively so that people with asthma, allergies or EIB can have a healthy lifestyle."