Allergy season especially tough for those with asthma

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - Spring weather can be tough on allergy sufferers but it's especially hard on those with asthma.

According to the CDC the number of people with asthma has increased 4.3 million from 2001 to 2009. May is also Asthma Awareness Month. Asthma costs the U.S. $56 billion each year and about 9 people die every day.

Missouri legislature was the first to allow schools to stock quick relief asthma medication for emergencies.

Controlling your allergies will help control your asthma. Seventeen percent of students in the Kennett School District have asthma which is higher than the national average of 10 percent.  only compares to the national average of 10 percent.

"I found out I had asthma in the 8th grade right before cheerleading tryouts," said junior at Kennett High School, Alli Mowrer. "It was a little scary at first but everybody was so nice to the school and they got me set up with a doctor in Columbia."

But after years of breathing treatments and the right medication, Mowrer is feeling much better.

"They really took the time to explain things to me and I always make sure I have my inhaler on hand," she said.

Kennett along with other school districts in the state keep emergency asthma medication on hand in case there's an emergency.

"It makes me feel really safe because I'm always running around to tennis and going to other activities and sometimes I just forget it so it's good to know they have one for me too," Mowrer told Region 8 News.

And she is not alone. Senior Declan Wallace have had to deal with asthma all his life.

"When I was born both of my lungs collapsed and I always had trouble breathing so that's how I knew I've always had asthma," he said."It's a lot better than when I was a kid, that's really when I had most of my trouble in sports and things but now I'm doing a lot better."

School nurse, Alyce Bryant said this new law has helped them dramatically.

"When our students would come in off the playground and they did not have inhalers at school, we would have to make a 911 call," she said. "Now with this law we can administer emergency medication."

And during spring and summer months it's important to get a handle on your allergies.

"One way to control allergies is to rinse the pollen out of your nose and so if you can do a nasal rinse that will help control the allergy, and that will also help control your asthma," Bryant said. "The things to do when you're living with asthma is to take your medications daily, if you're feeling good you still to take your medications daily."

Bryant said all coaches are trained to recognize the symptoms of asthma and administer medication.

In March, the Missouri House passed a bill to allow Medicaid reimbursement for asthma education and home assessments.

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.