Respiratory diseases such as allergies and asthma are a serious public health burden around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma and that millions are affected by allergies. Each year, thousands of people die of asthma. The prevalence of allergies and asthma is growing, and there is a continued need for new and more effective therapies.
Spring is often associated with allergies, although any change of season or weather condition can actually trigger allergies and asthma. For many people, a drop in temperature is enough to spark such respiratory disorders. What happens is that when humidity drops, the air becomes drier. Because dry air is more likely to irritate a hypersensitive respiratory system, people with asthma usually suffer from an attack when humidity is low.
While most people think of allergy and asthma as disorders caused by outside factors, such as weather changes and dry air, the underlying problem is actually innate. Both allergy and asthma develop when a particular part of the immune system is out of balance. The immune system is naturally designed to protect the body against infections and to keep it healthy. Meanwhile, allergy comes up when the immune system mistakes something that is normally harmless as being a threat. Because the immune system perceives the thing as something foreign and harmful, it creates a strong inflammatory response in an attempt to “protect” the body from it. This inflammatory response is exactly what produces the symptoms allergy, such as runny nose, coughing, hives, itching, rashes, and puffy eyes. In asthma, this inflammatory process manifests in the form of shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezes, or cough.
If seasonal allergies and asthma are affecting your ability to take pleasure in the outdoors, then it’s best to seek professional help from a certified allergist. A health care expert can prescribe medication for allergies and asthma, as well as provide education on medication and therapies so that you know exactly how and why they work. Taking medications may not be enough in a number of cases, which is why it’s also important that you become well equipped about the proactive ways to avoid asthma or allergy flare-ups. Below are some useful tips on how you can keep clear of asthma and allergic episodes.
1) Know what Triggers your Asthma and Allergies
Try to determine what triggers your asthma or allergies. Talk to a medical professional about emergency medications in case of an episode. Once you know what medications to take, be sure to know when and how to take them.
2) Good Housekeeping
It’s very important to keep your house clean every day. However, since cleaning puts dust into the air, ask another person without asthma or allergies to do the task. If you can’t find somebody else to clean, be sure to wear a dust mask. Try to keep your clutters down by storing your belongings in plastic or boxes instead of keeping them in piles somewhere. Remember, clutters kept in stacks collect dust and make cleaning a lot harder.
3) Control Household Pests
Dust mites are a common trigger of allergies and asthma. To avoid exposure to dust mites, use zippered plastic mattress and special anti-allergy pillow covers beneath sheets and pillowcases. Also, don’t forget to wash beddings in hot water every week. Temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit are effective in killing dust mites.
Rodents and cockroaches can also trigger asthma and allergies. To keep these pests away, store food in tightly sealed containers, empty your garbage often, clean up crumbs and spills immediately, wash dirty dishes right away, and seal cracks where these pests hide or enter your home.
4) Avoid Having Pets inside the Home
Furry pets like dogs and cats can cause asthma and allergy episodes because of dander. It is best to either not have pets at all or keep them outside the house. If you do have pets inside, make sure to keep them out of the bedroom and off upholstered furniture.
Millions of people suffer from allergies and asthma. Asthma is among the major reasons why children miss school and end up in the hospital. It causes wheezing, coughing, difficulty of breathing, and tightening of the chest. Allergies, on the other hand, cause uncomfortable symptoms such as runny nose, itching, and rash. Both these disorders make sufferers difficult to breathe. The good news is, both of these conditions can be controlled just as long as you know what triggers them and how you can avoid them.