Those who suffer from asthma in Atlanta have an especially hard time in the summer when it’s time for pollen season. When the trees shed all of their pollen in a desperate bid to reproduce, it hangs in the air or on the ground for days, or even weeks. Not to mention how often plant debris gets kicked up into the air when people mow their lawns, which happens every week or two during the summer.

Allergies are bad enough on their own, but unfortunately they can be even worse for those with asthma. If you’re not sure if you have asthma, an asthma attack is usually characterized by:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Faster, shallow breaths
  • Difficulty talking

These symptoms are the result of inflammation and mucus in the airways, which can easily be brought on by an allergic reaction to something in the air, or just by the unpleasant feeling of breathing in the particulate matter released by trees or other plants.

Allergies, on the other hand, are usually characterized by:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sinus pain
  • Watery eyes

Knowing the difference between the two can be key, because if you’re suffering from asthma, you desperately need treatment. Asthma can potentially be a life-threatening condition, because attacks can come on at any time, even when driving.

While asthma can’t be entirely cured, it can easily be managed by medication. Taking care of your asthma will free you from fear, and will allow you to spend your summers outdoors!

Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT