Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Allergies and Asthma

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Every May marks the beginning of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month – a time dedicated to increasing understanding of one of the world’s most common, noncommunicable diseases, and how to ease the burden of it. 

This is a cause close to our hearts here at Greentech, as we know how vitally important it is for asthma and allergy sufferers to live and breathe in an environment they’re safe in. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to lung diseases like asthma, COPD and lung cancer and research clearly shows that air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms. One study showed those with moderate to severe asthma may be up to 40% more likely to have acute asthma episodes on high pollution days, than on days with average pollution levels.

And of course, it should not just be down to people with asthma to ensure their environmental air is as safe as possible. Anyone who employs workers in an enclosed space, like an office, should take it upon themselves to find ways to keep their employees well. 

One of the most effective and easiest ways to do this is by fitting a pure air purifier, whether that’s a whole home air purifier or an air purifier for a room. You don’t have to take our word for it! There are numerous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of HEPA air cleaners on asthma morbidity. One 2021 study concluded that “air purifiers can have a positive effect on the health of asthma patients by filtering fine dust and microbes from indoor air.” In this report, researchers found that indoor pollution concentrations significantly decreased through the use of an air purifier for 3 weeks, which resulted in a reduction of medications used and the microbiome burden in children with asthma. 

If you or a loved one suffer from asthma, there are a number of ways to reduce allergy load and lift the burden of this disease. The first step is understanding potential triggers and how to deal with those. Take a look at our blog on how indoor air pollution can impact mental health, for more info on that! 

But first, let’s learn a little more about what asthma (and allergies) actually is.

  • Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide.
  • Studies indicate that prevalence rates of allergies are increasing worldwide.
  • The genetic predisposition to develop sensitivity to common aeroallergens is the strongest probable cause of asthma.
  • Having allergies interferes with social interaction and creates an economic burden not only for the affected subject but for the family and society at large.
  • Management is based on patient education, environmental control measures, pharmacotherapy and specific immunotherapy.

According to the American Lung Association, several factors can contribute to the development of asthma. These include having a parent with asthma, falling ill with a severe respiratory infection as a child, having an allergic condition, and being exposed to certain chemical irritants or industrial dust in the workplace. Once you have asthma, numerous triggers can make things worse, such as exposure to air pollutants. Exposure to certain industrial dust, chemical fumes, and moulds can also cause asthma to develop for the first time.

Asthma is probably best known for its potential to cause breathing difficulties, a symptom which occurs as a result of the swelling of breathing tubes, causing them to narrow, therefore restricting breath. But the symptoms and side effects of poorly controlled asthma can take on many forms, from feeling tired, anxious or depressed, to experiencing delays in growth or puberty.

For most people asthma is a long-term condition, which can become better or worse over the years, often fluctuating or even disappearing entirely during teenage years. However, most people will experience ongoing problems that require management.

How to manage asthma and allergies

Management of a disease like asthma, or severe allergies, must of course be overseen by a medical professional. In many cases, patients are prescribed both reliever and preventer inhalers, to quickly relieve an asthma attack and keep episodes at bay.

But some things can be done to reduce the burden and potential risk of asthma and allergies in the home and workplace.

Try an anti-inflammatory diet

As asthma is an inflammatory disease, many experts recommend trying to stick to a diet that fights inflammation. Examples of food you might want to include in your daily meals are leafy greens, fresh berries, fatty fish (or omega-3 supplements), fermented foods and turmeric,

Practice breathing exercises

In an article for Insider, Maureen George, PhD, RN, a professor at Columbia School of Nursing who specialises in respiratory disease, says “Practicing breathing techniques can also help you feel more in control of your breathing, which can be difficult for people with asthma”

She recommends two breathing exercises, ‘pursed lip breathing’ and ‘belly breathing’ which you can learn how to do here.

Use an air purifier

Going back to the beginning, one of the best and most evidenced ways to reduce the risk of acute asthma and allergy episodes is to keep your environmental air free from contaminants as possible. The most effective way to do this is by investing in a pure air purifier. 

Want to know more about how air purifiers might be able to help? Feel free to get in touch, we’ll be more than happy to help.

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