American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Notes Rise of Allergy-Triggered Asthma, Need for Patient Education

CHICAGO—June 15, 2015—Continually increasing pollen counts are causing more people to experience first-time allergy and asthma symptoms, signaling a need for physicians to educate patients about when to seek immediate medical attention, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

Over 70 percent of the 25 million Americans with asthma suffer from allergic asthma or “asthmergies.” People with first-time symptoms need to learn how to manage the condition and recognize when they require emergency intervention, according to Pamela Georgeson, DO, a board-certified allergist and immunologist in Michigan.

“The high pollen days can come as a shock to someone who hasn’t had a history of allergies and asthma and can even surprise experienced asthma patients who’ve suddenly developed allergies,” said Dr. Georgeson. “As osteopathic physicians, we need to prepare patients to manage the new or worsening disease so they know when and where to seek treatment.”

Any person experiencing the following symptoms is advised to seek emergency treatment:

  • Out of breath, even when they aren’t moving
  • Persistent cough and wheezing associated with shortness of breath
  • Trouble walking, talking or performing normal activities
  • Anxiety because of breathing difficulty
  • Bluish lips or fingernails
  • Breathless, exhausted and confused
  • The skin over the ribs looks “sucked in”

Because pollen counts are increasing annually, Dr. Georgeson and her fellow allergists recommend the people with any degree of symptoms take some simple steps to limit their exposure.

  • Avoid exercising outdoors during peak pollen hours (4-10 a.m.)
  • Wipe off pets before they come in from outdoors to limit pollen exposure
  • Shower after being outside for extended periods
  • Keep windows closed and air conditioner on
  • Don’t dry clothing outdoors

Editor’s Note: An infographic on controlling allergic asthma is available for your use at

About the AOA

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 110,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at


Media Contact:   

Nicole Grady
(312) 202-8038


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