Asthma has been on the rise in the U.S. for over thirty years. That makes us really want to know--how do you get it? Let's get right to the point. There is a fair amount of research pointing to genetic causes, i.e. yes, you do inherit certain genes from your family that make you more susceptible to asthma. But most people do not have symptoms until they come in contact with something that triggers the gene to express itself. Stay away from the triggers, and you may not have to deal with it...
What is an asthma attack? An asthma attack is essentially a situation where a person has difficulty breathing due to constriction of the the airway / bronchial tubes, plain and simple. The usual cause of this constriction of the airway is inflammation of the tissue lining the airway--which is basically an allergic reaction to airborne chemicals, dust, smoke, mold, etc. The tissue swells as the body releases histamine, thereby making the airway smaller, and breathing more difficult.
What is not commonly known is that roughly 60-80% of asthma cases are a direct result of inhaling dust mites, dust mite particles, and their microscopic waste 'pellets'. Studies have shown that as many as 1.2 billion people could have some form of chronic allergy to dust mites. If you have dust, it's very likely that you have dust mites as well. See our page on dust mites for more information. Second hand smoke also causes thousands of new cases of asthma each year, so definitely stay away from smoke as much as you can--i.e., smokers, smoky bars, restaurants, etc. What Can I Do? Here are 3 Tips that will definitely reduce attacks, and may help you get rid of asthma entirely:
1). Vacuum floors, bedding and furniture weekly.
2) Stay away from smoke as much as possible.
3) Invest in at least one true-HEPA air purifier, ideally one with an activated carbon filter as well. The HEPA filter which will remove 99.97% of the these problem-causing dust / mold / dust mite particles; the carbon filter will remove smoke and the many offending chemicals that are present in most homes. With the right air purifier, you may even reduce or eliminate the need for medications (consult with your doctor, of course).
Here are a few top-notch air purifiers that we recommend for people with asthma or asthma-like symptoms. The DS, DXS models below are designed to remove smoke, DXS for heavier smoke concentrations, and we recommend adding the UV option if mold is suspected:
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