National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Since 1984, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has declared May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It is a peak season for people with asthma and allergies and a perfect time to educate patients, family, friends, co-workers, and other people about allergic diseases.
Quick Facts (Download Fact Sheet)
More than 100 million people in the United States have asthma and/or allergies. Some people may have more than one of these conditions.
- Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. have asthma (20.7 million adults and 4.8 million children).1,2
- About 20 million people in the U.S. have food allergies (16.0 million adults and 4.3 million children).3,4
- About 80 million people in the U.S. have rhinitis due to nasal allergies, also called “hay fever” (66.4 million adults and 13.9 million children).3,4
- There is no cure for asthma or allergies.
These numbers paint a picture of how many people in the U.S. are managing asthma and allergies. But they don’t paint a picture of the overall impact these diseases have on people, their caregivers, and communities.
Get Involved and Take Action
This year’s theme is debunking myths and misinformation about asthma and allergies, including what causes them and how to treat them. Use our resources and tools to spread awareness during May and all year long!
Join us for 31 Days of Action for National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month 2023!
May 1: Ready! Set! Facts!
- Air Quality Awareness Week is May 1-5.
- Download and share our fact sheets on asthma (PDF), allergy (PDF), and food allergy (PDF) or our awareness images throughout the month.
- Sign up for AAFA’s e-newsletters to get the latest information about asthma and allergies.
- Follow AAFA National on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest. Change your profile pictures to raise awareness. For food allergy awareness, follow our Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) division.
May 2: World Asthma Day! This year’s global theme is “Asthma Care for All.”
- Advocacy Action Day! Use our widget to ask your elected officials to support programs and laws that help improve the lives of people with asthma and food allergies.
- AAFA will announce the next phase of our Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL)
May 3: Join AAFA’s New England Chapter for a webinar at 7 p.m. ET titled “Beyond Tuskegee: The Impact of Institutional Trustworthiness and Everyday Racism on Racial Diversity in Research in Allergies and Asthma.” The webinar will feature Margee Louisias, MD, MPH. Register now!
May 4: People spend 90% of their time indoors where indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Use AAFA’s Healthier Home Checklist to look for ways to improve your indoor air quality by reducing asthma and allergy triggers in your home.
May 5: Let’s wrap up Air Quality Awareness Week. Climate change is a threat to public health. Everyone is at risk, but some populations are at greater risk. Learn more in the “Spotlight: Climate Change and Allergies” from AAFA’s Allergy Capitals™ report.
May 6: Medicines are most effective when used correctly. Get the facts about using your asthma and allergy medicines.
- Top Questions About Using Asthma and Allergy Medicines
- Food Allergy FAQs: Top Questions About Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine
May 7: Review your Asthma Action Plan and/or Anaphylaxis Action Plan. Check expiration dates and remaining doses on your medicines. There are resources available if you have trouble paying for your asthma medicines or affording epinephrine.
May 8: Make a donation today! Your donations allow us to provide life-saving education and information to the more than 100 million people in the U.S. with asthma and or allergies.
May 9: Local Advocacy Day! Asthma and allergies are greatly influenced by where someone lives. People who have affordable and accessible health care, clean air, and economic stability have a greater chance of managing and controlling their asthma. Watch our blog to learn how to contact your local elected officials about the challenges you are experiencing.
May 10: Bust some asthma and allergy myths at our #AllergyReady Twitter chat with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and David Stukus, MD, at 1 p.m. ET. Follow @AAFANational and @KFATweets.
May 11: Sign up to take one of AAFA’s online classes. We also have continuing education opportunities (CME/CEU) for health care provides, nurses, and respiratory therapists.
May 12: An allergic reaction to latex can be severe and life-threatening. Some reactions to latex are contact dermatitis. Get the facts about latex allergy.
May 13: Drop in our social media today as we ask the experts about common asthma and allergy misinformation.
May 14: Food Allergy Awareness Week and National Eosinophil Awareness Week begin!
- Join our KFA community and share food allergy facts and images. Offer inspiration, support, understanding, and hope by sending an invitation to someone who has been newly diagnosed with a food allergy.
- Learn about eosinophilic asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a form of food allergy.
May 15: Find safe foods and recipes. Visit KFA’s Safe Eats® Recipe Collection for tasty recipes that just happen to be free from allergens. KFA’s Allergy Friendly Foods Collection has new food finds from candy to frozen food and everything in between.
May 16: Drop in on KFA’s social media today as we ask the experts about common food allergy misinformation.
May 17: Eosinophilic [EE-oh-sin-oh-FILL-ick] esophagitis [uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis] − “EoE” for short − is an allergic condition that causes swelling in your esophagus (swallowing tube). Learn more about EoE and share one of our images to raise awareness.
May 18: Tune in for an Instagram Live: The Allergy Chef X KFA at 8 p.m. ET. AAFA’s Kathy P. (@kidswithfoodallergies) and Kathlena, (@TheAllergyChef), will cook awesome food and answer your questions about cooking free of food allergens on a budget. Watch the recap here.
May 19: Learn about eosinophilic asthma, what makes it different from other asthma subtypes, why it can be harder to treat, and what treatment options are available.
May 20: Ask your friends to make a donation to AAFA! Your donations allow us to provide trusted and practical information to help families safely manage their conditions. We couldn’t do it without you! aafa.org/give-may
May 21: AAFA advocates for patients to be involved in every step of research so we can ensure research meets the needs of individuals living with asthma and allergies. See our latest research updates and learn how you can get involved in research to help us advance treatments and care!
May 22: Check out AAFA’s Ask the Allergist knowledge base to bust some common myths. Browse existing questions and answers or submit your question for our experts to answer.
May 23: Drop in our social media today as we ask the experts about common asthma and allergy misinformation.
May 24: Asthma and allergies can affect any person, but they don’t affect everyone equally. Watch our blogs for spotlights on people making a difference in their community to reduce health disparities.
May 25: Join our webinar titled “Myths and Misconceptions of Asthma and Climate Change.” Register here.
May 26: Take part in Remembrance Day to honor the memories of people lost to asthma or allergy. Visit a park and honor them by blowing bubbles (a more environmentally friendly option than releasing a balloon).
May 27: Prepare for the next school year! Get the facts about school care plans to manage your student’s asthma or food allergies. Our information hubs have resources for parents, school nurses, and school staff to help manage asthma and allergies at school.
- AAFA’s School Zone for asthma and allergies
- KFA’s School Zone for food allergies
May 28: Not all trees produce pollen, a common allergy and asthma trigger. Visit your local nursery to find a native tree to plant at home, school, or workplace. Look for local tree planting events in your area if you don’t have a place to plant one. Learn how to choose trees that are better for people with pollen allergies.
May 29: Use science facts and not marketing hype to choose products that will improve remove and reduce your exposure to allergy and asthma triggers. Learn about the science behind the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. Find products that have been tested and proven to help you have a healthier indoor living space: aafa.org/certified
May 30: Join AAFA’s asthma and allergy support community and opt in to get involved in advocacy, research, or become a patient spokesperson.
May 31: It’s World No Tobacco Day! Experts believe that smoking is probably the single largest cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Tobacco can be bad for your health even if you are not the one smoking. Make a plan to quit or encourage a loved one to quit. Learn about the impact of tobacco smoke, particularly on children.
1. National Center for Health Statistics. (2022). 2021 NHIS Adult Summary Health Statistics. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://data.cdc.gov/d/25m4-6qqq.
2. National Center for Health Statistics. (2022). 2021 NHIS Child Summary Health Statistics. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://data.cdc.gov/d/wxz7-ekz9
3. Ng, A.E. & Boersma, P. (2023). NCHS Data Brief, no 460: Diagnosed allergic conditions in adults: United States, 2021. National Center for Health Statistics. https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:122809
4. Zablotsky, B., Black, L.I., & Akinbami, L.J.(2023). NCHS Data Brief, no 459: Diagnosed allergic conditions in children aged 0-17 years: United States, 2021. National Center for Health Statistics. https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:123250