2 Everyday Allergens Aggravating your Asthma and Foods that Help Prevent It
When it comes to asthma, simple everyday allergens like pollution and smoke from burning wood can cause intense flare-ups and severe worsening of symptoms. It is most certainly not a fun way to spend the day.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute defines asthma as a chronic lung disease which inflames and narrows airways to cause wheezing, tightening of the chest, shortness of breath and coughing. 25 million US citizens currently live with asthma, out of which 7 million are children. Furthermore, there’s no known cure for asthma, though thankfully it rarely interferes with one’s daily routine. At a worldwide rate, over 300 million people are made to suffer` most from childhood, some developing later into adulthood.
It’s hard enough to grab some fresh air without the added worry of pollution affecting your ability to breathe as you walk by a busy road in the city or if you burn some logs to keep warm during the winter. The University of Melbourne’s study on 1383 adults revealed that, on average, pollution increases severity of asthma symptoms by a whopping 80%, while wood smoke aggravates it by 11% a combination of both? One would think it would be nearly impossible to breathe any oxygen.
How would either allergen exacerbate your asthma?
• Traffic pollution: Particles from heavy vehicle exhaust have inflammatory effects on a person’s airways, reducing the amount of oxygen they can breathe in. Higher rates of asthma sufferers due to pollution are found in urban areas.
• Wood burning: tightens airways and reduces oxygen intake, both of which can be relieved by changing old wood burning stoves and replacing with the new, as well as using clean burning practices. Furthermore, the practice of burning wood, dung, biomass and waste from crops has been known to cause cardiovascular problems like clogged arteries and high blood pressure. Since women are often the ones cooking, they take the brunt of the cardiovascular diseases caused. As such, there’s an increased chance for heart attack and stroke. Higher rates of asthma sufferers due to wood burning are found in rural areas.
Additional Source: Washington University in St. Louis