If you have environmental allergies, you will want to make sure your home is a safe place. Minimizing the triggers in your home is of utmost importance, and it is harder to minimize triggers in an office or in public transit. Having a controlled home environment means that you can come home at the end of the day, to a safe place. Where your body gets some down time and is not exposed to as many triggers. Air purifiers are very good at cleaning the air in your home from those smaller particles that could be triggering you.
HEPA filters can be expensive. They usually range between $100.00 and $800.00 and in some cases, for larger houses, you may need two.
The University of Michigan Health System has come up with a short, informative video that demonstrates how you can make your own homemade filtration unit for approximately $25. I fully intend on making one myself to see how it works! Click here to view their video…
About a month ago I decided to take a break from the Immunotherapy. Both the new cat and dog sublingual treatment and the dust mites that are subcutaneous (by injection). I had been reacting more than ever before to the dust mites and thought perhaps my body needed a break for the injections. I had been on the sublingual treatment for cats and dogs for a month and the oral itching seemed to be getting worse. Benadryl seemed to be the only solution, which made me EXTREMELY drowsy. In the last week, I have been reacting to dust quite a bit more than usual, and I decided to resume the subcutaneous injections for dust mites.
The sublingual immunotherapy was new for me. I like the idea of being able to take it at home, as I would have less allergist/doctor appointments than the subcutaneous injections. It seemed more convenient and I wanted to give it a try. I know that this treatment has been successful for many, though I seem to react a little differently than most people to these types of things…
Is anyone else out there using the sublingual immunotherapy? If so, is it working out for you? I’ve been informed that the oral itching usually decreases with time. Is anyone past the oral itching stage? I’d like to start it up again however I’m not quite ready for all that oral itching and antihistamine drowsiness yet…
With classes approaching, asthmatics (children and young adults alike) will be faced with unique challenges and awareness of the triggers will be of great importance. How have you prepared for your child’ return to school in the past? If you are a University student, what does back to classes mean to you, that is if you were off for the summer…
I know I had a tough time, especially during pollen season. However, there is usually a work around, and hopefully some of your professors are understanding and willing to accommodate. In my own experience, discussing your allergies and asthma with the professor at the start of the course and/or making an appointment to talk with them during their office hours is always a GREAT idea!
Have you or someone you know ever had to be on prednisone? After such a flare-up were you able to fully identify what the triggers were that lead to the asthma attack? Most of the time it is hard to know EXACTLY what the trigger/triggers were. Sometimes it is a combination of things and our body is not able to handle it.
The last 10 days have been hard as I had a flare up with my allergies and asthma which has resulted in my being on prednisone. As annoying as the side effects can be, I am glad to be feeling better. This is the first serious flare-up for me in quite some time and it makes me realize that though I have lots of support, a great allergist and family doctor, there are still some actions I can take, which would make me even better prepared for any similar attacks in the future.
Do you have an adequate “Asthma Team” in place? Here in Victoria, BC we have an Asthma Clinic which has a pulmonary specialist on call. Do you have a pulmonary specialist? What is your action plan, or the action plan for your son/daughter or loved one? Having a proper plan in place is very important. Do you have a peak flow meter and know how to use it? Knowing what your lung capacity is when you are feeling at your very best and when you are feeling tight provides a great way to monitor your lungs. The American Association of Allergy Asthma & Immunology has a great article on peak flow meters and how important they are; ”A peak flow meter for asthma is like a thermometer for a fever. It helps monitor what’s going on inside your body.” AAAAI
I highly recommend having a glance through National Asthma Patient Alliance – Asthma Society of Canada‘s website. Do you know many others who struggle with asthma? Are you wondering how others deal with their asthma and how they might have overcome some of the challenges we often face on a day to day basis? Have a read through some real-life stories on the Asthma Society of Canada’s website! It’s always nice to know you are not the only one
I am very excited to be attending thanks to Allergen NCE. There is a little more information on their website now about the topics that will be discussed and the FINAL Program is also up!
Looking through the numerous sessions, titles and keynotes & speakers has been extremely inspiring, as my primary concerns and interest lie in why asthma is on the rise, and, how to manage asthma in the work place or school. It is one thing to have a home that is clear of mold and dust and is controlled, however I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with alternate environments which have multiple triggers that are beyond my control.
Over the next few days, I will be looking through the program and trying to figure out which sessions I will be attending! It’s like looking at a menu! Hopefully I will be seeing some of you there!
Do you have times of the year when you feel your asthma is worse? Perhaps your asthma is not majorly influenced by the variances in seasons like mine is. Do you know what your main asthma triggers are? Mold? Pollen? Exercise? Managing our asthma is often times very tough. For me, the hardest part of it all is when I can’t figure out what my trigger actually was for a specific attack. I have found myself coughing and coughing and before I know it I am wheezing, and I haven’t the slightest idea why. The worst is the asthma attacks that are brought on by laughter. I must say, I really do not enjoy these as I usually need to leave the group or whom ever I might have been with, to take my inhaler.
What do you do to try and get better control of your asthma? When do you go see your allergist or a doctor about your asthma not being as controlled as usual? If my asthma is still controlled, though I know it could be better, I will first try to ensure my sinuses are not a factor. Then if I am still having trouble controlling my asthma, I will go see a doctor, to get assessed. Often, this will mean trying a new medication or taking a closer look at what other triggers could be present in my life that I may have overlooked. Sometimes it is evident my immune system is weak and I have a cold or an infection, and it results in a prescription for prednisone or antibiotics. No two visits are identical.
In trying to be proactive in my approach, I exercise regularly as I know that it really helps me. This however, may not necessarily the case for everyone with asthma. I am also trying to add more yoga and meditation into my life in hopes of becoming more “in-tune” with my body. In practicing yoga, I find my ability to focus on my breathing has greatly improved.I am now using this skill in situations when my breathing is a little more rapid than it should be; particularly if I find I am anxious.
Here is an article written in the Yoga Journal about asthma. Have a read, maybe you’ll want to take up yoga too!
** PLEASE NOTE that if your asthma is NOT controlled and you are having an asthma attack, yoga or breathing is NOT a substitute for your inhalers. It is best to consult with your doctor before taking on any new exercise routines.