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Help for Spring Allergy, Asthma Sufferers

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Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin has information that will help pay for asthma medications. (MayerKleinosthein, iStockPhoto.com)
Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin has information that will help pay for asthma medications. (MayerKleinosthein, iStockPhoto.com)
May 23, 2016

WEST BEND, Wis. – Asthma is a chronic lung disease that cannot be cured, but can be controlled.

In Wisconsin, one in ten adults and one in thirteen children have asthma.

May is Asthma Awareness Month, and Kristen Grimes, who manages the Wisconsin Asthma Coalition, recommends that all asthma sufferers have an asthma action plan to help get them through the spring allergy season.

"An asthma action plan is one that is written up between the doctor and the patient to indicate what they should do when their asthma is in good control, so we call that their green zone – how do they manage on a daily basis when they're feeling good," she explains.

Grimes says the plan also should include what patients should do when they slip into the yellow zone, which is the start of an asthma attack, including which medications they should take at that point.

The plan also should cover the red zone, which means the patient is in an asthma emergency, with specific directions about how to deal with it.

According to Grimes, there are many good and effective asthma medications, but often they are costly, and many people find it difficult to pay for these important medications.

"We've created a website where we have listed all of the asthma medications, and on that website it also lists if there are any coupon offers for that medication or if there's prescription assistance programs available for that medication," she states.

The site is chawisconsin.org/meds.

Spring can be a tough season for people with asthma and allergies, and Grimes says there are a number of things sufferers can do to minimize their exposure. Keeping windows closed can be one step to prevent allergens from coming into the home.

"Try not to go outside when we have high pollen days, and you can see that on your weather report,” she advises. “It often tells you if it's a high pollen day, especially early in the morning.

“If you are outside – say, working in the garden or doing exercise or playing – when you come inside, take a shower right away to remove those allergens off your skin and hair."

Another tip is to wipe down indoor surfaces with a wet towel or cloth to remove allergens, and to avoid using harsh chemical cleaners and use low-odor cleaners instead.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI