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Lets Talk Asthma

Aug 17, 2007
Of 10 to 12 million Americans with asthma, 5,000 die each year.

If you dont know this by know you will probably learn it here; Environmental interventions are mandatory for all patients with asthma and may result in dramatic reductions in symptoms and medication use. The first step in achieving long-term control of asthma is avoiding triggers.

I would like to stress on the fact that More than two thousand irritants are indoors, where we spend as much as 900 % of our time. To optimally protect yourself from getting exposed to indoor and outdoor irritants, you should keep your home clean, reduce pet dander, decontaminate decor, attach a filter to vacuums, use air conditioners, maintain optimum humidity, ensure clean air and do not wear contacts during pollen season.

Another fact is that most cases of asthma are the result of a combination of allergic and/or nonallergic mechanisms. Known triggers include allergens-house dust mites, pollen, molds and dander from animals, especially cats.

Air pollutants and irritants like burning coal, gasoline and wood release nitrogen and sulfur dioxide into the air and directly result in airway hypersensitivity. Even strong odors, such as household cleaners and cleansers, personal care products, perfumes, varnishes, fabric softeners, laundry detergents and cooking fumes can trigger attacks in sensitive people.

Off course we all know that smoking irritates and inflames the airways. Children whose parents smoke also have increased risk and asthmatics can have attacks by breathing second-hand tobacco smoke.

People may be unaware of this but, respiratory infections in asthmatics, where the airways are overly sensitive to viral infections such as a cold and especially if it progresses to infected airways or sinuses, will more than likely result in an asthma attack.

Also, exertion and cold weather, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and endurance problems may develop during and after exercise and these symptoms can occur even if the asthmatic is receiving proper medication.

Lets shift gears and discuss some medications such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These and medications for high blood pressure, glaucoma, migraine or heart, thyroid or liver conditions have been known to aggravate mild asthma symptoms. So, you may want to double check your medications if you find your symptoms out of control.

People with sensitivities to aspirin tend to have chronic sinusitis and polyps inside their noses, a little tip that I found helpful.

Beta-blockers used for cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure cause airway constriction and are generally contra-indicated for asthmatics. Also, sulfites which are preservatives added to some perishable foods can cause hives, allergies and shortness of breath in people with asthma.

On an emotional level, stress like anxiety may aggravate asthma symptoms and allthough psychological factors alone do not seem to provoke attacks, therapy may be needed to adequately control the symptoms.

In the end I would like to stress on the fact that we seek medications to control everything and more than likely we do not pay enough attention to what is the trigger of the problems we are experiencing.

About the Author
Dr.Iman Ashour. She is a member of the Fourpoint Group and helps people set up a healthy and successful home based business that result in a stable extra source of income.
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