Ocean County Health Department Offers Advice As Asthma and Allergies Spike

May 02, 2018

April showers bring May flowers … and allergies for many. As such, the Ocean County Health Department is marking Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month with a public information campaign to help individuals avoid triggers and take early action to manage symptoms.

“Many of our residents suffer from asthma and allergies and will experience the worst of the physical symptoms this month, so it is appropriate to conduct an awareness campaign to educate family, friends, co-workers and all members of the public about allergies and asthma,” said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health.

As Little noted, “In the U.S., about 25 million people suffer the effects of asthma, inclusive of 7 million children, and each year half of those sufferers will have an asthma attack.

“Emergency responses and hospitalizations often result, which underscores the importance of education and preventative action.”

Daniel Regenye, public health coordinator for the county health department, pointed out, “Symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, while allergy symptoms include congestion, skin rash and itchy, watery eyes with possible difficulties in breathing as well.

“Education about asthma triggers will help to avoid symptoms and attacks,” he said. In addition to the environmental springtime triggers, other sources may include passive smoking, dust mites, animal hair and mold.

He added, “Combined with adequate medical care and treatment, environmental triggers may be controlled to permit people with asthma to live normal, active and healthy lives, enjoying all that Ocean County has to offer as spring brings people outdoors.

“Simple steps such as keeping windows closed during peak allergy times, changing out of clothes worn outdoors upon arrival home, wearing a dust mask for outdoor chores and treating allergy symptoms seriously all help to make the season healthier and more enjoyable.”

Brian E. Rumpf, director of administration and program development for the county health department, encourages residents to explore the department website – ochd.org – to assist with issues of public health. Residents can also call 732-341-9700 for additional information. —J.K.-H.

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