Nearly 30 million American children and adults suffer from asthma, which is when the respiratory "pipes" (bronchi) that carry air in and out of the lungs are inflamed and spasm. And every year, the disease sends more than 500,000 people to the hospital, killing 4,000 with severe, choking asthma attacks.
Fifty percent of people with asthma have attacks triggered by allergens, such as molds, dust mites, and animal dander. Of course, you can have allergies without asthma. You can have hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), which is when your immune system mistakes pollen from grass, trees, or weeds for a foreign invader and revs up its defenses, triggering sneezing, red and itchy eyes, a stuffed and runny nose, and fatigue.
But whether you have asthma or asthma and allergies or just allergies, you may have noticed your condition is getting worse. The rates of asthma have increased over the past 25 years—the number of people with asthma has increased fourfold, and the number of deaths from asthma attacks has doubled. And people with hay fever are noticing that every allergy season seems like the worst ever. What's happening? It could be changes in the environment.
And these foods and herbs may just be the solutions to your allergy problems: