Posts tagged asthma treatment
Dealing with allergies can be difficult, especially during childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of children (under the age of 18) have experienced respiratory allergies. It is difficult for kids, who are dealing with childhood allergies, to avoid anything that will trigger their symptoms. However, it is more important for parents to make sure they that their children are safe in places like school.
Are Childhood Allergies Safe at School?
Airborne allergens come in many forms, from pollen to dust mites. However, if you want your children to remain safe, it is important to know where they accumulate. This means making sure that schools are allergen-free. The problem is that some educational institutions contain airborne allergens. These allergens trigger the symptoms of children, putting them at risk.
Wanda Phipatanakul of Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted a recent study. She and other researchers sought to find out if airborne allergen affected kids in school. By examining 37 inner-city schools, they were able to detect if there were any common indoor allergens. Surprisingly, there are not many.
Researchers found that these schools contained a high level of mouse allergens. These were the biggest cause of severe asthma symptoms. Researchers also found a very low amount of other allergy triggers. This includes dust mites, cockroaches, and rats.
Schools seem to keep themselves clean. However, given the location of the study, it is understandable why mice are a problem. Inner-cities have high populations of mice. Their feces are a known allergy trigger. If they are not kept out of the schools, it can be bad for many kids. Parents expect their children to learn in a safe environment, free from any possible danger.
The authors had this to say about their findings: “Exposure Reduction strategies in the school may effectively and efficiently benefit all children with asthma. Future school-based environmental intervention studies may be warranted.”
Surgery Could Improve Asthma Control: Sleep Apnea in Children and Young Adults
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is one of the most commonly experienced sleep disturbances in the world. This sleep disorder causes an obstruction in the airway during sleep (usually the tonsils and soft palate of the mouth). The passages close temporarily, creating a brief moment where the person stops breathing. These moments cause the person to slightly wake up, but only just enough to push enough air out to start the breathing process again. The sufferer usually never realizes they have awoken in this manner – yet they do it many times each night. The result is a person who is not getting solid rest and who fails to reach those stages of sleep that are needed for proper rest and rejuvenation. When this sleep disorder is diagnosed in children and younger adults, surgery is a possible route to stop the OSA from causing a lifetime of problems. However, this swelling of the back of the throat may also be related to asthma, another disorder that affects millions of Americans, including a large population of America’s children. The connection between breathing problems and their common source (blockage of the airway), leads to the question of whether there is a common solution to both disorders. This is a distinct possibility, as researchers studying the effects of sleep apnea surgery have concluded this surgery could improve asthma control in children and young adults.
The study took data from over 40,000 US citizens between the ages of three and seventeen. Of these children, about 13,500 had asthma and had undergone the surgery that removed their tonsils and adenoids (soft tissue at the back of the throat), as a treatment for OSA. The preliminary research concludes that the children averaged a 30 percent reduction in acute asthma triggers. Moreover, there was a nearly 40 percent decrease in the medical emergency of acute status asthmaticus (where the inability to breathe reaches the point of suffocating). It should be noted that the research is only preliminary. Thus, even though this surgery may possibly improve asthma control, more extensive studies are needed to understand the exact connection between the two disorders. This, in turn, may lead to singular or unified treatments.
Allergy and Asthma Attacks: Being Prepared For The Worst
Being caught off guard from an allergy attack that triggers asthma can create a feeling of helplessness and panic. While avoiding your own personal allergen triggers as much as possible is a good idea, they cannot always be avoided. Certain factors are always going to be out of your control. Yet, there are ways to be prepared for a combination of allergy and asthma attacks so, if it does happen, you can handle it quickly, calmly, and effectively.
The first thing you need, of course, is to make sure your medications are on hand. Knowing how to use your medications properly is vital but knowing when to use them is just as important. For example, you should know what to take for quick relief at the onset of an attack and what medicines should be used daily for prevention. Also, check the expiration dates, as expired medications may not be potent when you need them the most. From time to time you should check with your physician to make sure your dosages are correct. If you notice, for example, that it is taking a while for a fast-acting drug to take effect, you should inform your doctor. There could be several reasons the drug is not working the way it should work or the way it used to work for you. The medicine may be out of date, you may require a higher dose or it may be time for a completely different drug.
People who suffer from allergies should always be aware of their surroundings. Checking the local weather and air reports can help you to decide whether to stay indoors or to opt for a walk in the park. If the pollen counts are high it may be time to wear a mask when you have to go outdoors. Just like a forecast lets you decide whether to bring your umbrella, an air quality report can help you to be prepared for potential allergic reactions.
Should an attack suddenly occur, and it may, remember to remain calm. Panicking can make matters worse. If you have thought this out before hand, you will have a plan of action and your medications on hand. You will know that you will be alright and, with this knowledge, you know there is no need to panic. Remember to just breathe. Calming exercises, which you should practice during stress-free times at home, can help you control breathing and relax you when the attack hits.
It’s not possible to be ready for everything that life throws our way. However, we can be ready for sudden allergy and asthma attacks. Being prepared can go a long way to putting one’s mind at ease. Then you can handle an attack—even if it catches you at a time you least expect it.
When we only rely on our taste buds to tell us what to eat, we generally stay away from bitter foods. However, researchers have performed a study that demonstrates that bitter foods could potentially save a person’s life. When a person tastes something bitter, it causes a reaction that is just the opposite of when cells in your airway constrict. This process is called bronchodilation. This new knowledge can hopefully be used to create more effective means to fight conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
While bronchodilators are traditionally used to treat these conditions, researchers are excited because they hope this discovery will lead to a whole new class of drugs for treating chronic disorders. When we eat, we experience five different senses thanks to the cells in our tongue. Something can either be sweet, savory, salty, sour or bitter. We strive to keep away from bitter, since it usually alerts us to something being spoiled and unfit for eating. These receptors, however, are not limited to an oral reaction. Researchers now realize that respiratory cells are affected when something bitter is tasted.
During an asthma attack, a person’s airways become narrower. This is what causes difficulty breathing. Bitter tastes relax the cells in the airways, and they do it faster than many of the available medications that are used to treat asthma. This means that they have the potential to halt an attack, and researchers are looking to create new drugs for stopping asthma attacks quickly and efficiently.
How does the process work? When a person suffers an asthma attack, membranes in the airway open and accept calcium which causes the constriction. Bitter substances reverse this process, allowing airways to open and breathing to become easier. Now that the process is better understood, it will be easier for researchers to develop therapies using bronchodilation.