Now that the Spring Season is upon us and with all the allergies in the air it is essential to address the subject of Asthma.
Asthma is a disease of the lungs, according to WebMD.People with asthma are sensitive to allergens and other irritants in the air and environment. Asthma symptoms normally start when allergens and irritants cause the lining of the lung airways to swell and narrow. The muscles around the airways begin to spasm causing the airways to narrow. When the lining of the airways becomes inflamed, it produces more mucus. This mucus clogs the airways and further blocks air flow, which causes an asthma attack.
Treatment of these symptoms involves avoiding things that cause asthma attacks, keeping track of your symptoms and taking your medications. Use air conditioner and change your AC filter as recommended if your asthma is caused by pollen and mold. To manage mold, clean and air out bathrooms, kitchens, and basements often. Keep the humidity level under 50% by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier. Read more about treatment and prevention here on the Mayo Clinic’s website.
For those who are allergic to dust, they are actually allergic to the droppings of dust mites. To reduce dust mites in your home, wash bed sheets weekly in hot water. Cover mattresses and pillows in airtight covers and remove carpets and drapes. If you must have carpet, treat it with chemicals to help reduce dust mites. Avoid stuffed animals, dried flowers, and other things that catch dust. If you have pets, keep the pets out of the bed room. Also, Do not allow smoking in your house or car. Tobacco smoke can worsen asthma.
Things that trigger an asthma attack:
- Air pollution
- Dust/ Mold/ Pollen
- Tobacco smoke
- Pet dander
- Temperature Changes
- Some foods/ food preservatives found in red wine, beer, salad bars and dehydrated foods
- Aspirin / Ibuprofen
- Sinus infections/ Viruses
- Perfumes / spray on deodorant
- Strong Emotions
In order to manage your asthma, you need to know when your asthma is getting worse. You can measure this through a flow meter. This is a device that measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. This device can tell you your personal best peak flow. In conjunction with your doctor, you can calculate your personal best based on your age, height, and weight. A drop in your peak flow, having symptoms at night, and using rescue medicines more often are all signs that your asthma is getting worse.
If you are concerned you are suffering from asthma or need to schedule and asthma check-up, call the office today at (757) 488-3333 and schedule an appointment. We can help you live better, even with asthma.
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed