Asthma Is Not Just A Seasonal Disease

by Gaetane Ross - Date: 2007-05-30 - Word Count: 679 Share This!

Although it may seem to make sense that asthma is largely a summer disease, since pollen is one of the major triggering factors, in fact, asthma occurs year-round. It is true that asthmatic children's parents do need to gear up for the summer months, because high pollen counts from grasses and other plants make exposure very common.

In the winter, asthma is exacerbated not only by cold air, which can trigger asthma attacks itself, but also by indoor air pollutants, such as animal dander, cigarette smoke, and the like. In addition, the winter months are the season for colds and flu, which can be doubly hurtful to asthma sufferers. If you or someone you love has asthma, take special precautions to protect against a more severe attack and to watch for symptoms, so that you may thwart an attack if it should occur.

There are more than 200 different strains of cold and flu viruses for you to be aware of and to protect against. These are called rhinoviruses. Health professionals estimate that approximately 80% of children who must go to a hospital for asthma attack treatment have one of these rhinoviruses. In addition, there are also three types of flu virus, viral infections, and parainfluenza to be concerned about.

Although you may not be able to prevent asthma attacks in the winter entirely, you can certainly cut down on their occurrence and lessen the severity of the ones that do occur. First, minimize your risk of catching a cold or the flu. If you have asthma, this will help your symptoms. If you don't have asthma, you won't be a carrier of the illness to someone who does have asthma if you don't have a cold or the flu. If you do get sick and you don't have asthma, stay away from friends and loved ones who do have asthma so that they don't catch your cold or flu, too.

Second, watch the news and see what it says about possible epidemics in your area. If there is a cold or flu epidemic in your area, stay away from large crowds as much as possible. And make sure to get your flu shot. This will help keep you from getting the flu. Although it does not cover every type of flu virus, it covers the most common for the season and will greatly reduce your chances of getting sick.

In regard to children, make sure that they know these things too. Many if not most asthmatic children are very, very responsible when it comes to doing what they must to control their illness, since if they don't, they must then suffer the effects of more attacks, which are very uncomfortable and terrifying.

Third, in addition to minimizing your risk of exposure to cold or the flu, wash your hands regularly and make sure everyone around you does, too. As stated above, it is wise to ask anyone who is sick with a cold or the flu not to visit you while they are contagious. This will help prevent you or your child from catching the cold or flu if you or he/she has asthma. It should also be noted that if more than one person has asthma in your household, they should not share inhalers. This is a very good way of passing on a cold or flu virus.

It should also be noted, finally, that children don't quite have the immunities that adults do, and so, they are prone to get sick more often than adults do, anyway. It is very common, especially in the primary grades, for young children to be sick almost constantly. For healthy children, this is simply a way for them to build up their immunities, and it's normal. However, for children with asthma, this can be problematic. Staying informed and keeping children with asthma as healthy as possible, along with proper medical intervention and treatment, can make asthma a minor annoyance instead of a major problem. In addition, with a little good sense and good hygiene, children can enjoy the winter months as they were supposed to.

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Gaetane Ross is a Certified Natural Health Consultant who has spent 4 years focusing on Nutrition and Health. She also specializes in Alternative Medicine. Gaetane's mission is to positively transform the lives of everyone she meets by providing advice on Healthy Living.

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