What is Asthma ?

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways in the lungs which can flare up due to allergic reaction (pollen and animal dander), viral infections, or exposure to irritants like smoke.  If not managed properly, asthma episodes can be life threatening.

Symptoms may include:

Coughing and wheezing
Shortness of breath with activity
Chest tightness


What are Allergies?

Allergies are an over reaction of the immune system to substances (such as animal dander, mold, pollen, dust or foods) that are harmless to most people.  Allergic reactions can affect the lungs, nose, eyes skin and gastrointestinal tract.  The most severe cases can cause life threatening anaphylactic shock.

Symptoms may include:

Coughing and wheezing
Itchy dry or watery eyes
Stuffy or runny nose
Unexplained hives or rash
Trouble breathing after insect bite or sting, or after eating certain foods

Asthma and allergies are on the rise, striking on out of every six Americans.  They negatively impact quality of life, interfere with work and school, and may even cause death.

Consider these facts:

Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism and childhood emergency room visits
Asthma is the fourth leading cause of work loss, resulting in 9 million lost workdays each year
Asthma is the underlying cause of nearly 5,000 U.S. deaths each year
In 1997, 9 Alaskans died from asthma
Approximately 15 million Americans have asthma and more than 50 million have allergies
Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S.
More than 22 million Americans have allergic rhinitis or hay fever, it is the most frequently reported chronic condition in children, limiting activities for more than 40 percent of them

Asthma and allergies in Alaska:

It is estimated that 6-8% of Alaskans have asthma and 20% have allergies.  With our extremes in weather, geography, and cultural diversity, asthma and allergy education is a challenge.

For comprehensive asthma information, please follow this link to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America


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Today's Pollen Count

Anchorage pollen counts aided by a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation

Anchorage pollen counts aided by a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation

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