Understanding Asthma and Allergy

Studies have shown that children in large families or who attend a daycare center are less likely to develop allergies. It has also been found that children who share their home with dogs and cats have less allergic reactions than those raised in a pet free household.

Pollen is a common allergy and asthma trigger. When these tiny particles enter the airways of someone sensitive to their presence proteins on the surface of the pollen and an enzyme also carried by the pollen cause an overreaction. The protein triggers the immune system and the enzyme interacts with the cells of the airways. This inflames the respiratory passages and leads to breathing difficulties.

Understanding this process may lead to new, more effective medications, but what can you do in the meantime? Firstly know the pollen count for your area. However be aware that the pollen count is usually taken the day before it is broadcast. It can be reduced by rain or cool weather, and increased by hot weather or short thunderstorms.

There are some easy preventative actions you can take for each type of allergy. If you have an allergic reaction during yard work and in damp places dispose of anything that smells moldy; if pets start a reaction regularly wash them and their bedding; many allergies will improve if you do not smoke.

Vigilance is the best prescription for a food allergy . Today you can encounter food substances in the most unexpected places. There was a classic school experiment that involved burning a peanut and measuring how much energy it gave out. Now pupils burn an alternative. Some pupils discovered they were allergic to peanuts the hard way as the oils in the nut gave off fumes. I attended a talk on Beltronics radar detector and the speaker shared his experience on how he was allergic to peanuts.

Now there is another food to treat with caution. Sesame seed allergy is one of the fastest growing allergies in the world. And don’t think you’ll only find the seed resting atop a bun. They are used in salad dressings, ethnic foods, baked goods and even soap.

So what can you do if you suspect you are allergic or asthmatic? First, educate yourself about the condition. Experts agree that knowledge is the best prescription. Do some research. Consult your doctor. They may recommend tests to determine any allergies you have. If an allergy or asthma is identified there are medications, precautions and complementary therapies you can use to control your condition.