Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen on asthma and allergies on April 29, 2013

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If you're among the 27 million North Americans with asthma, chances are it's triggered by allergies to airborne irritants in your environment (a whopping 75 percent of adults with sensitive airways have allergic asthma). Unfortunately, only 25 percent of people with asthma know what they're allergic to and how to avoid the triggers that make their airways constrict, swell and clog up with mucus. That may be why more than half of all PWA (people with asthma) have at least one asthma attack each year -- and why that scary "I can't breathe" feeling sends a half-million folks to the emergency room annually (and, we hate to add, needlessly kills thousands).
 
Clearly, if you have allergic asthma, identifying and avoiding your triggers -- and setting up a smart asthma treatment plan -- could be a lifesaver.
 
The allergens that are the most common wheezemakers include pollen (especially grass pollen), dust mites, mold, household pests like cockroaches and pets of all kinds. So you want to get hip to the asthma triggers and start hunting for your hazards.
 
Here's how to become an allergy sleuth.