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Do you have asthma? The best way to remain safe from an attack is to avoid the triggers. Check out our video to learn about asthma triggers.
Transcript: If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment....
If you have asthma, an attack is always possible --even if you're not short of breath right at the moment. Most people with asthma have airways that are always a bit SWOLLEN, inflamed and hyper-sensitive. When you're exposed to a TRIGGER, airways can swell up rapidly and your body may produce a lot of airway-clogging mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Knowing - and AVOIDING -- your asthma triggers is a vital step in preventing attacks, so let's run through a list of the 10 most common. SMOKE is a VERY common asthma trigger. If you smoke, seek help to quit. If you hang out with smokers, ask them to put out their cigarettes or to go outside. AIR POLLUTION is another major culprit. You probably can't avoid it altogether. Listen for air quality reports-if pollution is high, you may want to limit your time outdoors. Dust mites, mold, and rodent and COCKROACH droppings are ALL liable to spark an episode. Avoid these by keeping up with household tasks- fix water leaks, wash your sheets, vacuum, dust, and keep your home ventilated. People with asthma may not want to own a dog, cat or other furry pets due to their DANDER. If you do have one, try and keep the pet OUTSIDE and away from your bed and furniture. Otherwise, you may have to find your pet another home. Pollen also elicits attacks -50% of people with asthma developed the condition as a result of allergies. If this is you, listen to the weather reports and consider staying indoors on days with high pollen counts. Colds and flus are also common attack triggers. Everyone with asthma should get a FLU VACCINE every year. Also, try to prevent colds by avoiding sick people and washing your hands often. INTENSE EXERCISE is a common asthma trigger because increased respiration makes your lungs more sensitive. But you definitely SHOULDN'T avoid physical activity - work with your doctor to figure out which medications to use BEFORE you exercise or if you have an attack. Just like exercise, laughing is fun, and it's good for you. But INTENSE laughing--as well as yelling and crying--can actually SET OFF an attack. Emotional STRESS can spark one too. If you feel like you're ready to EXPLODE with anger or anxiety, take a break and calm down. Intense odors are known to prompt attacks, so choose the unscented versions of detergents, deodorants, hair products, and more. Some patients experience an attack after taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. If you have a reaction to one, it's best to avoid ALL anti-inflammatories. Knowing your triggers can help you prevent an asthma attack and let you breathe much, much easier.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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There are many triggers that can cause adult onset allergies. Some believe that it is due to an underdeveloped immune system. Learn more about the increase in adult onset allergies
Transcript: You may have been able to avoid allergies for decades, when suddenly at age 20 or 30 or older, you develop...
You may have been able to avoid allergies for decades, when suddenly at age 20 or 30 or older, you develop them. It hardly seems fair, but according to research, adult onset allergies are increasingly common. But why? Research suggests that many adults actually had allergies as a child, but may never have known, or have forgotten about them. The allergies subsided as they grew up. But NOW, as people get older and their immune system WEAKENS, the allergies flare up again. For other adults, repeated exposure to allergens finally sensitizes their immune system. They develop an allergy to cats, for example, after having been a long-time cat-lover.Allergies can also develop if a WEAKENED immune system is exposed to allergens. This may occur after a viral infection or during pregnancy. In fact, it's pretty common for women to develop allergies after pregnancy.Then there's the HYGIENE hypothesis. This theory claims that our immune systems-these remarkable ENGINES designed to fend off assaults from germs-are underused these days. Due to an overuse of sanitizing agents, antibiotics, and a our highly germ-free environment, our immune systems don't come in contact with the disease-causing antigens that our forebears did. That causes our underused immune systems to turn on own bodies, creating allergies and autoimmune diseases. The immune system is acting like a bored adolescent, getting in trouble just because there doesn't seem to be anything else to do.Luckily, adult onset allergies-including allergic asthma--can be treated with antihistamines, antileukotrienes and nasal corticosteroid sprays. And immunotherapy with shots or sublingual drops can help reset the immune system so the allergic reaction is reduced or even prevented. Only a board certified allergist can determine what form of immunotherapy is best for you, depending on the type of allergies you might have as well as their severity.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
adult allergies, dust mites, pet dander, seasonal allergies, hygiene hypothesis, weakened immune system sublingual drops, immunotherapy, antileukotrienes, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, antihistamines histamines, allergies, allergens, immune system, immune response, antibodies
If you're an asthmatic, learning how to use a peak flow meter can be a lifesaver. This instrument helps measure lung function. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all OBVIOUS signs that your asthma isn't well-controlled....
Wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all OBVIOUS signs that your asthma isn't well-controlled. But to get a measurement of just HOW inflamed and narrowed your airways are, use a PEAK FLOW METER. Children and adults with moderate to severe asthma SHOULD have a peak flow meter. It measures lung function on a SCALE; a lower peak expiratory flow rate-or PEFR-- means LESS air is moving through your lungs. To USE a peak flow meter, move the marker to zero, or the bottom of the scale. Take a DEEP breath, hold it, and give one HARD blow out into the mouthpiece for 1 to 2 seconds. DON'T cough, spit or let your tongue cover the mouthpiece-if you do, START OVER. Do it correctly THREE times, and RECORD your highest number in your asthma diary. The number is important because it can indicate DECREASED lung function, even though you FEEL fine. Your doctor will tell you how OFTEN you should check your PEFR--it depends on the severity of your asthma. But no matter the severity, you should ALWAYS check your peak flow before and AFTER you use a rescue inhaler to check to see how well medication worked. Before frequent testing though, you should determine your "personal best" PEFR so you have a number to which you can compare all your SUBSEQUENT scores. To do this, check your peak flow EVERY day for 2 to 3 weeks when your asthma is NOT acting up. The best number is the one you should ALWAYS aim to have. Many doctors teach their patients the 'traffic light system' as a guide for assessing lung function at any given time. If your PEFR is 80 to 100 percent of your personal best score, then-- according to the system--you're in the GREEN zone. Your asthma IS under control. You're in the YELLOW zone if your score is only 50 to 80 percent of your personal best. Your asthma ISN'T well-managed anymore, and your doctor should adjust your prescription. If your PEFR is UNDER 50 percent of your personal best, you NEED to use your rescue inhaler to bring airflow back. If your score STILL isn't rising after inhaler use, contact your doctor or call 911. To learn more about asthma, take a look at more videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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