National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month – May 2021

May

Extend your support and increase your awareness about asthma in National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, which is observed every May. This month, people with asthma and organizations dedicated to this cause join together to create awareness and better the lives of all those living with this condition.

History of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a leading nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and reducing deaths due to this condition, declared May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

Why May, you ask? This is usually the peak season for asthma flare-ups and, therefore, is the perfect time to educate the public about the debilitating effects of this condition as many are unaware of the harm it can cause. During this month, various organizations dedicated to this cause — the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and others — drive public awareness campaigns in the form of conferences, meetings, walks, runs, and other activities. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, usually designates the first few days, or the days leading up to the month, to raising knowledge about air quality in our environment, since bad air quality and pollution are some of the common triggers of asthma. This awareness campaign is also intended to discuss ways to improve air quality in the U.S. and abroad.

GINA also dedicates a special day (usually the first Tuesday in May), World Asthma Day, to raising awareness and organizing local events centered around asthma. They also release a report, which ranks the top 100 U.S. cities that are challenging for people with asthma to live in. Each year, GINA designates a special theme to celebrate this day.

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month timeline

1984
The Month is Chosen

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

1989
New Initiatives

The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) program is initiated in conjunction with the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about asthma.

1998
World Asthma Day

The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) names the first Tuesday of May as World Asthma Day.

May 2007
Another Special Event

Members of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) petitions to have the third week of May declared as National Eosinophil Awareness Week (NEAW).

2013
Run to Raise Awareness

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) starts hosting a yearly 5K run/walk to raise funds for and awareness around ashtma.

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month FAQs

What is the color for asthma awareness?

The color gray is used to represent asthma awareness. To show your support during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, you can tie a gray ribbon around your arm and make sure to encourage everyone you come in contact with to do the same.

How do you raise awareness for asthma?

You can attend the various events, meetings, charity runs, etc. taking place during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and read up on data shared by health authorities.

What causes asthma?

Asthma triggers include airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, etc., and respiratory infections such as the common cold, excess physical activity, and cold air.

How to Observe National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

  1. Volunteer at local events

    You can volunteer with organizations like the AAFA, the AAAAI, and Food Allergy Research Education to show your support. These organizations accept volunteers for various tasks like sorting mail, doing research, and more.

  2. Partner with organizations

    Healthcare professionals, researchers, and others in this field can also partner with multiple organizations to provide funds, raise awareness, and volunteer their expert services.

  3. Post on social media

    If you are unable to visit such events or volunteer, you can do your part by posting about the cause on social media and connecting with others who are passionate about it — Facebook groups like the AAFA Facebook, Kids With Food Allergies Facebook, Asthma Support Group, Mommies of Kids With Asthma, Allergy Moms, Food Allergy Treatment Talk are a good place to start.

Facts About National Asthma And Allergy Awareness Month

  1. It occurs everywhere

    Asthma affects people in all countries, regardless of the level of development.

  2. Asthma is one of the major non-communicable diseases

    It affects more than 230 million people across the globe and is the most chronic disease among children.

  3. This disease is often overlooked

    Many times, asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated — people pass it off as a simple breathing problem.

  4. Asthma treatment is expensive for the country

    Each year, asthma costs the U.S. more than $50 billion in healthcare expenses.

  5. Kids miss out on school days

    Statistics show this illness is responsible for a total of more than 10 million absences a year in the U.S.

  6. Gender plays a role in asthma occurrences

    AAFA studies show that, in children, asthma affects more boys than it does girls.

Why National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is Important

  1. It helps raise awareness about this chronic illness

    With a substantial segment of the population being affected by this disease, asthma is not to be taken lightly. This month, including each event and activity organized around it, helps create greater cognizance about asthma among the public.

  2. It helps manage asthma

    The campaigns that run during this month remind all those afflicted with this condition about the best safety measures and tips to keep themselves healthy. The drives, funding, events, etc., serve as a reminder that while asthma can be difficult to deal with, there are various ways to manage this condition.

  3. It contributes to the solution

    Each event offers ample opportunity for everyone to get involved and raise asthma awareness. You can contribute to causes that aim to increase awareness and improve health outcomes and the quality of life of those living with asthma.

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2021May 1Saturday
2022May 1Sunday
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday