Ocean County Health Dept Recognizes Asthma & Allergy Awareness

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari helped plant seasonal flowers at the corner of Hooper Avenue and Washington Street in downtown Toms River. (Photo courtesy Ocean County Government)

OCEAN COUNTY – During the month of May many residents of Ocean County will suffer profound reactions to the warm springtime weather we eagerly await all winter.

It is therefore fitting, according to Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, that we recognize Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month throughout the month of May.

“Many of our residents suffer from asthma and allergies and will experience the worst of the physical symptoms this month. So it is appropriate to conduct an awareness campaign to educate family, friends, co-workers and all members of the public about allergies and asthma,” according to Freeholder Director Little.

Freeholder Director Little further remarks that “in the U.S., about 25 million people suffer the effects of asthma, inclusive of 7 million children and each year half of those sufferers will have an asthma attack.”

“Emergency responses and hospitalizations often result which underscores the importance of education and preventative action,” according to Freeholder Director Little.

Ocean County Health Department
Ocean County Health Department (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

Daniel Regenye, Public Health Coordinator for Ocean County Health Department, remarks that one mission of public health is educating the public in the hope that more people will take early action to deal with symptoms, thereby improving the quality of life for asthma and allergy sufferers here in Ocean County.

According to Regenye, “symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, while allergy symptoms include congestion, skin rash and itchy, watery eyes with possible difficulties in breathing as well. Education about asthma triggers will help to avoid symptoms and attacks, and in addition to the obvious environmental springtime triggers, other sources may include passive smoking, dust mites, animal hair, molds, etc.” according to Regenye.

Regenye adds that “combined with adequate medical care and treatment, environmental triggers may be controlled to permit people with asthma to live normal, active and healthy lives, enjoying all that Ocean County has to offer as spring brings people outdoors.”

“Simple steps such as keeping windows closed during peak allergy times, changing out of clothes worn outdoors upon arrival home, wearing a dust mask for outdoor chores and treating allergy symptoms seriously all help to make the season healthier and more enjoyable,” Regenye concludes.

Brian E. Rumpf, Director of Administration and Program Development for the Ocean County Health Department, adds that “the Ocean County Health Department invites the public to explore its new website with helpful links to information and other materials which are designed to assist Ocean County residents concerned with issues of public health.”

Any resident looking for help can also call 732-341-9700 for additional information.