ACT for Asthma and Allergy

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the MedicAlert Foundation have teamed up to raise awareness about asthma and anaphylaxis. The goal of this partnership is to help you manage your conditions and prevent life-threatening medical emergencies.

This is more important now more than ever in light of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus). With many health care providers stressed, the best thing you can do is to keep your asthma and allergies under control to avoid a trip to the emergency department. Both AAFA and MedicAlert want to give you the resources to manage your conditions.

Medical Alert braceletA MedicAlert ID and membership can help protect those with allergies and asthma in the event of an emergency. If you can’t speak for yourself, MedicAlert can be your voice.
When you enroll in a new MedicAlert membership through this special link or via phone (1.800.432.5378), use the code AAFA and MedicAlert will donate 20% of your membership fees to support our mission to save lives and reduce the burden of disease for people with asthma and allergies through support, advocacy, education and research.

Make a Pact to “ACT” for Asthma and Allergies

“A” means have an action plan for asthma or anaphylaxis.

You make this plan with your doctor. The action plan helps you identify severe symptoms and tells you which medicines to take right away.

Fill your prescriptions for emergency medicines. AAFA has resources if you can’t afford your prescription. Know the causes and triggers of your asthma and/or allergies.

Learn about what is and isn’t a risk for your condition.

“C” reminds you to carry your emergency medicines and with a copy of your action plan everywhere you go.

Don’t leave them in a car or separate building. Wear a medical ID bracelet to alert others of your condition. With the presence of a MedicAlert medical ID, first responders can connect with medical personnel to get your complete health history.

T” calls for having a treatment plan that includes when to take your medicines and what to do in an emergency.

Talk to your doctor about the best therapies and treatments for you.

Use your medicines as prescribed.

Practice how to use your emergency medicines.


Asthma is a chronic disease in which your airways become inflamed and makes it hard to breathe. This can happen when you are exposed to your triggers, such as pollen, dust, certain pests, scents, chemicals and smoke. There is no cure for asthma. But you can manage it through prevention and treatment.

Asthma symptoms can result in a medical emergency. It’s important that you know how to recognize severe symptoms and know what to do in an emergency.

Common asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

The best way to prevent an asthma episode, or attack, is to follow your treatment plan. Learn your triggers and avoid them.

Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)

Nearly one in 50 Americans are at risk for having a severe allergic reaction. This reaction is called anaphylaxis [anna-fih-LACK-sis]. Foods, medicines, insects and latex can cause anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can cause symptoms that affect more than one system in the body, such as the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Symptoms can include hives, swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, vomiting and dizziness. It requires emergency treatment using epinephrine.

There is no cure for severe allergic reactions. You can only manage it by avoiding your allergens and carrying emergency medicine. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis.

Prepare to ACT, Then Take Care and Share

Share these tweets to spread awareness:

In honor of Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, I’m making a pact to A.C.T. for Asthma and Allergy. By working together, we can reduce severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions: #act4asthma #act4allergy via @AAFANational Tweet This

A is for Action Plan: Make an asthma action plan with your doctor. Be able to identify severe symptoms, know which medicine to take and know your #asthma triggers. #act4asthma via @AAFANational Tweet This

C is for Carry: Always carry important medications and wear a medical ID to alert others of your condition. #act4asthma via @AAFANational Tweet This

T is for Treatment: Talk with your doctor about #asthma treatments that may work for you. Use your medicines as prescribed. Practice how to use your emergency medicines. #act4asthma via @AAFANational Tweet This

Share these images to spread awareness:


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2. (2018). Asthma | Healthy Schools | CDC. [online] Available at:
3. National Health Interview Survey. (2018). [ebook] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Available at:
4. Zahran, H., Bailey, C., Damon, S., Garbe, P. and Breysse, P. (2018). Vital Signs: Asthma in Children — United States, 2001–2016. DOI:
5. Gupta, R. S., Warren, C. M., Smith, B. M., Jiang, J., Blumenstock, J. A., Davis, M. M., … Nadeau, K. C. (2019). Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA Network Open, 2(1), e185630. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5630 
6. Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. The Public Health Impact of Parent-Reported Childhood Food Allergies in the United States. Pediatrics. 2018:142(6):e20181235. (2019). Pediatrics, 143(3), e20183835. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-3835   
7. (2018). Food Allergies | Healthy Schools | CDC. [online] Available at:
8. (2018). Food Allergies: What You Need to Know. [online] Available at: