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Webmaster | 24. April 2009 @ 13:00

Have you ever given any attention to your breathing? You probably haven’t, because we all generally take breathing for granted. The reason is that breathing is a subconscious activity. However, this is not possible for an asthmatic patient, as breathing is highly praised every moment.

In an asthma sufferer, the lungs and air passageways are affected. Consequently, it becomes very hard for them to breathe normally or properly. There is no absolute known prescription available for this condition. However, there are certain things that can be applied to curb the symptoms of asthma. The use of an air purifier can help to cure it.

Asthma includes two key components: constriction, and inflammation, which takes place in the air passageways. Due to constriction, the airways get narrowed as the surrounding muscles begin to tighten around them. On the other hand, inflammation causes irritation in the airways. Because of inflammation, the airways get swollen up.

All of these problems lead to asthma. As a result, the sufferer finds it hard to breathe properly, and the swelling of the lungs causes an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the sufferer begins to cough and wheeze in an effort to breathe properly. This can happen at any time and any moment, and can sometimes be severe.

Air purifiers can be very beneficial to asthma patients. There are a number of impurities in the air that can increase asthma. These air impurities include allergens like dust, pet dander, chemicals or pollen. If an asthma sufferer takes in these airborne substances, it makes it tough for them to breathe normally.

An air purifier is used to remove contaminants from indoor air. Thus, a better and cleaner environment can be created for the sufferer indoors. There will be less probability of an asthma attack due to fewer toxins in the air.

It has been proved that most air purifiers are capable of filtering 99.7 percent of all particles from indoor air. An air purifier cleans the air by drawing the air from the room into the system with the help of a fan. After that, the clean air is released back into the room.

It may be a little tough to make a proper selection between the various air purifiers available in the market. While buying an air purifier, it is important to be familiar with the working of the air purifier system. The purpose is to eliminate contaminants, harmful chemicals and odors, so you must look for an air purifier that possesses activated carbon or a UV purification system. It is also essential to get knowledge about the power of the machine and its overall effectiveness.

In conclusion, it is quite good to find a comparative table for air purifiers manufactured under different brands and compare them. This will give you the details about the various brands and models of air purifiers, and grade them on the basis of their effectiveness.

About The Author: Stefan Rockhaus writes about various http://www.compare-air-purifiers.info topics. For more information visit http://www.air-purifiers-guide.info - Find more articles at http://www.information-point.info

HT ~ Asthma :: Comments (0) :: Link
Webmaster | 23. March 2009 @ 13:00

When we hear of allergy and asthma studies, we often find them lumpted together. Is there really a connection between allergies and asthma? To get to the answer to this, we must first learn what allergies and asthma actually are.

Allergies are immune system reactions to things that others would find harmless. Certain foods, pollen, even dust are all considered allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction. The immune system produces antibodies that release chemicals

Asthma is a chronic lung condition, characterized by difficulty in breathing due to extra sensitive or hyper-responsive airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing, causing increased resistance to airflow, and obstructing the flow of air to and from the lungs. Common early warning signs of asthma include fatigue, coughing (especially at night), wheezing, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, runny nose, and itchy throat.

Allergies, on the other hand, are immune system reactions to things that most people would experience as harmless. Certain foods, dust, pollen ... these are allergens that can trigger an allergy attack. When they're encountered, the body's immune system produces IgE antibodies to fight the allergen. These antibodies create the release of chemicals into the bloodstream, one of which (histamine) affects the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin, causing the allergy's symptoms.

So now that we have a better picture of how these two health conditions work, the question becomes ... is there a relationship between allergies and asthma?

It's true that those with certain allergies (usually allergies that affect the nose and eyes, such as dust mites, animal dander, mold or pollen) are more likely to develop asthma than say ... those without allergies or those with allergies in other classifications, such as food allergies. But it's also true that many of those with allergies never develop asthma at all.

In addition, there are other factors that can contribute to a person's asthma. Unmonitored exercise, for example. Or other illnesses, such as colds or the flu.

Scientists aren't sure what lies at the root cause of asthma. Various studies are looking at a variety of factors, including air pollution, obesity, and as strange as it might sound, even the lack of exposure to viruses and bacteria in childhood (which may prevent the immune system from growing stronger).

What we do know is that exposure to indoor allergens, pollen, animal dander, grass ... in other words, allergy-related factors, are often found in asthmatics. Often, but not always. And it also appears that asthma tends to run in families. If both parents have asthma, there's actually a 40% probability their children will develop the disease as well.

Current research efforts have been exploring the influence of environmental factors, genetics (as mentioned above), and even stress on asthma. This creates the potential to dramatically reduce a person's asthma severity levels by altering his or her exposure to the aggravating factors. This can be particularly successful when the culprit is something that's relatively easy to control. Dust, for instance. Or something only encountered in a work environment. Or, though it's certainly much more difficult because of the emotional component, a family pet.

Unfortunately, the most common allergy that appears to have a direct influence on asthma is an allergy to dust mites. Eliminating these mites to the extent that it might make a difference in the severity of your asthma requires a major change in lifestyle and can often be quite expensive. That doesn't mean it can't be done, only that it's not as easy as simply staying indoors during the pollen season or switching to a less stressful job.

Of course, new treatments are coming along all the time, and considerable research is currently dedicated to finding ways to modify, abolish or diminish the affect allergies have on the body. It's believed that with the successful control of allergies can come the successful control of asthma, particularly in younger sufferers.

In the meantime, here's what we know ... asthma can be triggered by allergic reactions, but it can also be triggered by nonallergic reactions. Most asthma attacks result from exposure to allergens such as pollen, household dust, and mold. These attacks can be influenced by indoor or outdoor environments. Because a majority of asthma sufferers are affected by some form of allergies, it's worth the effor to work closely with your doctor to try to identify and control all potential allergens within your influence.

About The Author: Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com - a website for health, fitness and wellness information.

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Webmaster | 7. March 2009 @ 13:00

Until recently, western medical research has been inconclusive in determining whether or not there is real benefit for an asthmatic to conduct breathing exercises as part of an overall asthma management program. These exercises have certainly been popular in many alternative type asthma management programs but have not yet been embraced by allopathic, or traditional western physicians.

But they are beneficial and will help an asthma sufferer reduce symptoms and increase strength.

The two most often practiced techniques are Buteyko (named after the Russian doctor who developed them) and a yoga training technique known as pranayama. In very simple terms, Buteyko exercises involve breathing through the nose (not mouth), exhaling for as long as possible and then holding the breath as long as possible at the end of the exhale. During the inhale, a series of short, but shallow breaths are practiced. Pranayama is about correct posture, relaxation and controlled, slow inhalation and exhalation, with a focus on using the diaphragm muscles to assist with breathing.

While breathing techniques have long been supported by naturopathic physicians, it is only in the last several years that the allopathic medical community (traditional doctors) has moved to try and quantify any potential benefit from these exercises. One study, published in the March 2004 edition of “Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine” concluded there might be some benefit, although more study was required.

In several patient groups (some using buteyko training and others using pranayana), there did appear to be reduced asthma symptoms although lung function did not appreciably change (as measured by PEFR). Nevertheless, patients felt better and did experience a reduction in need for relief medications.

How do breathing exercises help asthmatics

Since asthma is related to inflammation of the lungs and constriction of the smooth involuntary bronchiole muscles, how can doing breathing exercises help alleviate symptoms?

For starters, it is estimated that some 30% of asthmatics suffer some degree of breathing dysfunction. Bad habits are easily learned when suffering from asthma symptoms and it is not uncommon for those habits to continue in between attacks – breathing through the mouth and short, shallow breaths for example.

This type of breathing deprives the lungs of their full potential to effectively exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide. Breathing exercises enforce good habits where the full range of lung function is used. Consequently, the body gets the oxygen it needs and the chronic asthmatic feels better, with more energy.

And not only will it make the breathing process more efficient, there is evidence that breathing muscles (diaphragm and lung muscles) are strengthened. So even if breath training doesn’t directly improve lung function, eliminating bad habits will improve overall health and quality of life. And this new energy level is important in getting stronger and finding the motivation to attack asthma with a total management plan that results in symptoms being completely controlled – with very little, if any need for medications.

In addition to increased energy levels and stronger lung muscles, there is another benefit to breathing exercises –even if it doesn’t directly result in increased lung function. And that is when actually enduring an asthma attack.

Anyone who has asthma knows what it is like to struggle for breath. You can’t get enough air into your lungs and just as agonizing, you can’t seem to get any air out. Asthmatics who practice correct breathing exercises are much more likely to be able to endure, in a controlled manner, an asthma attack than those that don’t.

Of course that is not to say that controlled breathing replaces relief medication – it most certainly doesn’t. But it does contribute, in a real way, to stabilizing the attack because the asthmatic can fight the temptation to start breathing in an uncontrolled manner. Indeed, biofeedback, a technique in which patients are trained to basically will themselves to breath more efficiently, seems to be getting more and more traction.

Controlling asthma cannot be achieved by only using one tool. Multiple tools should be used – in addition to the control and relief medications prescribed by your physician. Diet, exercise, trigger controls are all essential components; and so is a good and consistent program of breathing exercises. Using all of these tools will allow an asthmatic to completely control her disease and enjoy a symptom free lifestyle.

About The Author: Peter T Kavanagh is editor of http://www.asthmahelpcenter.com. He is also the author of ASTHMA DOESN"T HAVE TO HURT, an ebook descriibing how he and his daughter became totally symptom free.

info@asthmahelpcenter.com

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