Millions of Americans share their beds with enough dust mites to trigger an allergic asthma attack in susceptible people. In fact, two million times a year those symptoms are severe enough to cause a trip to the emergency room. In an effort to help allergic asthma sufferers reduce their exposure to allergens in the home, Andrew Dan-Jumbo of TLC’s While You Were Out has partnered with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) on an educational campaign called “Sleep Work Play at Home.”
As part of the “Sleep Work Play at Home” campaign, asthma and allergic asthma sufferers can enter an essay contest to win a personal “at home” consultation with Andrew and a $500 gift certificate for supplies to manage exposure to allergens in the home. Contestants can enter online at www.sleepworkplay.com by Thursday, July 13, 2006.
Sleep Work Play aims to improve the dialogue between patients and physicians by helping patients to explain their experience with asthma symptoms.
At the Web site, you can find a questionnaire designed to help patients better assess the impact allergic asthma has on daily functioning. By asking three simple questions, Sleep Work Play helps allergic asthma patients understand that interruptions of sleep, work, school or play are not inevitable aspects of their disease and that improved communication with their doctor can lead to better asthma management.
Mimi Gilles, one of 10 million Americans who suffers from allergic asthma, attests to years of interruptions in her sleep, work and play. Rushing to the ER because of an asthma attack became an accepted intrusion in her life-she even considered herself lucky when the hospital visits were limited to only once per month.
However, Mimi finally found relief from her allergic asthma symptoms by discussing another treatment option with her doctor. “Until you know there is another way to manage your illness, you don’t know there’s anything different about how you have been living,” Mimi reflects.
If you are being treated for asthma and have tried reducing allergens in your home, but are still affected by symptoms, speak to your physician about a new treatment plan.