Prevent Asthma 101

Prevent Asthma 101

The number of asthma cases is still increasing, despite advances in understanding of the condition and its successful treatment. Factors which could have contributed to this include air pollution, greater use of food preservatives, a more sedentary lifestyle and more time spent by people in indoor areas.

Asthma is a chronic lung condition where attacks of narrowing and swelling of the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs occur. The attacks result in breathing difficulties, tightness of the chest, noisy breathing and wheezing and coughing. They occur in response to various triggers, such as moulds, dust mites, pollens, certain foods, chemical additives and industrial products.

While asthma is more common in children, especially those below six years old, anybody can get the disease at any age. Some children get less frequent attacks when they grow older, although the attacks may start again if there are factors that trigger them.

Although there is no cure for asthma, there are effective treatments for keeping the condition under control. Medications for asthma can be classified as controllers and quick relief medications. Controllers are used daily on a long-term basis to help prevent future attacks or asthma. Quick relief medications in the bronchial tubes and are used to treat a sudden asthma attack.

Heat and humidity provide an ideal setting for the growth of mould and mildew. They in turn serve as food for house dust mites. These allergens, common in local homes, can trigger asthma attacks in people who are allergic to them. People who are not allergic to them but have asthma can have their condition worsened by these particles.

The effects of these asthma triggers is different for each person, and may depend on how many triggers are present and how sensitive each persons lungs are to them. Other triggers for asthma which may be found in homes include insect parts, tobacco smoke, paint, detergents, perfumes and household chemicals.

Mould is a parasitic, microscopic fungi which reproduces through spores that float in the air like pollen. Mildew is caused by mould. Dust mites live in pillows, mattresses, carpets, fabrics and soft furnishings. They are tiny, blind arachnids (eight-legged creatures like ticks and spiders) that live in dust.

There is currently no cure for asthma, and no single exact cause of the disease has been pinpointed. However, in most cases, asthma starts in early childhood, in toddlers from 2-6 years old. The cause of asthma for this age group is often linked to exposure to allergens like moulds, dust mites, tobacco smoke and viral respiratory infections. Hence, the control and reduction of asthma triggers commonly found in our homes is an important step in preventing the disease.

If there is a noticeable patch on the surface of clothes, upholstery or even in the floor of a home, and this patch grows over a short period of time, there is a high probability the surface is affected by mould. The allergen can also grow on the dirty surface of most air conditioner filters as well as on the cooling coil. The color of mould patches can be green, while grey, black or other colors. Mould growth may also result in foul odors.

Moulds produce millions of tiny spores and these get deposited in our lungs when breathed in. Mould spores and fragments can produce allergic reactions in sensitive persons, regardless of whether the spores are alive or dead. All moulds can potentially affect our health. Other than being an asthma trigger, moulds can also cause health hazards like skin irritation, breathing difficulties, headaches, irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and other areas, skin diseases and athlete's foot.

Allergic reactions to moulds are common in sensitive individuals. This occurs when they inhale or touch mould spores, and the reaction can be immediate or delayed. However, frequent, or even single exposure to mould or mould spores can cause those who are not sensitive to develop allergic reactions. If the exposure is more frequent, there is a greater likelihood to become allergic to moulds. D

Dust mites thrive in the constant humidity and warm temperatures of local homes. They infest beddings and other fabrics and soft furnishings. Unlike mould spores, however, dust mites are found in large particles that do not become airborne easily or stay airborne for long.

Learn how to cook Vegetarian Recipes

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the above cooking ingredients here

More Health, Fitness, Diet Articles

Copyright 101 Vegetarian Recipes All rights Reserved. Sitemap

Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy