According to a recent report 4 million cases of childhood asthma worldwide could be attributed to air pollution. Asthma is the most commonly reported non-infectious disease among children. It affects around 1 in 12 people and numbers continue to rise every year.
People with asthma suffer from inflammation of the airways, this causes coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Asthma is a lifelong disease with no cure. It costs the country around $82 billion every year in medical bills and lost school and work days. It accounts for around 2 million emergency room visits every year. And each day, 10 people in the US die as a result of their asthma.
Asthma statistics are staggering but perhaps most alarming is the fact that asthma can be successfully managed. Asthma related deaths and ER visits can be avoided.
So why are so many Americans, particularly children, still suffering with asthma?
According to a study from the UK, complacency is a major issue. Often asthma symptoms can come and go, so patients forget to take their medication. Furthermore, doctors are not effectively monitoring patients, so many warning signs are missed.
So what can we do, as individuals, to improve asthma symptoms and manage the condition?
Remember to take your medication. Even if your symptoms have eased, you should still continue with your regular treatment.
Know your asthma triggers. Allergens such as pollen from trees and grasses, dust mites, cockroaches and animal dander may cause your asthma symptoms to worsen. For many people with asthma strong perfumes and odors can also trigger an attack. Avoid these triggers at all times. Keep the air in your home, particularly your bedroom, free from pollutants. Avoid clutter, this helps to keep dust to a minimum. Vacuum regularly. Keep your pets out of the bedroom. Consider investing in an air purifier to remove ALL airborne allergens from the home.
Illness that affects the respiratory system, such as infection and the flu can also cause asthma symptoms to worsen. If you get sick, ensure your asthma medication is up to date and close by.
Extreme weather conditions and strenuous exercise can also trigger an attack, be sure to keep your rescue medication with you at all times.
Understand your triggers and work to avoid them. Stay up to date with an effective course of treatment and keep fit and active. By following these simple guidelines, asthma symptoms can be kept to a minimum and asthma attacks all but eradicated.
For more on what you can do to keep your asthma in check follow this link.