The wonder that is the internet has made a wealth of information available to the general public, information that was once difficult to find. This spread of information has brought with it an increase in the general populace’s all around knowledge, making us all better prepared in the handling of potentially damaging situations. A key benefit to this proliferation of information is how it has affected our knowledge on health issues and how to treat or even prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you’ve been keeping up to date with our blog, you’ll know we’ve recently focused on how to make your home safer for those with allergies or asthma. To ensure your home is the safest it can be for an asthma sufferer we’re going to continue on this trail and look at 5 surprising reasons for your child's asthma symptoms.
The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) released by many gas appliances can go completely unnoticed within your home. The gas is completely odorless and can cause irritation in your eyes, nose and throat. To add to this, NO2 can cause shortness of breath and also makes children with asthma far more susceptible to respiratory infections. Whilst you won't be able to tell if you’re appliances are releasing low levels of NO2 without specific testing apparatus, it is relatively easy to combat. By ensuring that rooms with gas appliances are well ventilated you’ll be able to dramatically reduce the risks of NO2 in your home.
Learning to swim is often an integral part of a child’s development, a skill that needs to be learned for safety as well as recreational reasons. Unfortunately research has shown that chlorinated pools can agitate the respiratory system of swimmers, this research has also shown that children are most at risk. Not teaching your children to swim is an extreme response to this issue, a better approach would be to find an unchlorinated pool for them to learn in. If that isn't possible, try to limit the number of hours that they are in the pool.
There’s a very strong link between asthma and allergies, both falling under the umbrella term of Anaphylaxis. As such, it’s no surprise that a food allergy could trigger a severe asthmatic reaction, and whilst staying away from the foods you are allergic to is a great first step, it may not be enough. A number of different commonly used preservatives have also been reported as causing asthmatic symptoms. It’s mainly sulphites that cause a reaction so if possible, try to avoid food which is heavy on using them as a preservative.
It’s common knowledge that exercise can leave you short of breath and an even worse kept secret that those with asthma can find this a very troublesome problem. The term for an exercise induced attack is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) and affects nearly all asthma sufferers. Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and shouldn’t be cut out even for those with asthma. The key to staying fit with aerobic exercise if you do suffer from asthma is to control your exercise. Try not to overdo it and ensure you're taking regular breaks.
Changes in Weather
We’ve covered how weather related issues such as summer time pollen can cause an asthmatic reaction in previous posts, however, most are unaware that a quick change in the weather can also bring on an attack. Those with asthma have over reactive airways when it comes to allergens and irritants, a quick change in temperature and /or humidity also causes a change in the airways. Whilst this is not an issue for people without allergies or asthma, it can be enough to heighten irritation to a point that causes a reaction in asthma sufferers. Image - Ana Maria Dacol