Why does cold air trigger asthma?

Dry airways become irritated and swollen, which worsens asthma symptoms. Cold air also causes your airways to produce a substance called histamine, which is the same chemical your body makes during an allergy attack. Histamine triggers wheezing and other asthma symptoms.

When you work out, your body needs more oxygen, so your breathing speeds up. Often, you’ll breathe through your mouth to take in more air. While your nose has blood vessels that warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs, air that travels directly through your mouth remains cold and dry. This is just one way that exercising outdoors in cold weather increases your likelihood of having an asthma attack.

Colds, flu, and other respiratory infections tend to circulate during the winter months. These infections are also known to set off asthma symptoms.

Cold air can also drive you indoors, where dust, mold, and pet dander flourish. These allergens set off asthma symptoms in some people.

Make sure your asthma is under control before winter arrives. See your doctor to develop an asthma action plan, and then take the medicines your doctor prescribed. You may take medicine every day or just when you need it.

Long-term controller medicines are drugs you take every day to manage your asthma symptoms. They include inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-agonists, and leukotriene modifiers.

Quick-relief medicines are medicines that you only take when you need them, such as before exercising in the cold. Short-acting bronchodilators and anticholinergics are examples of these drugs.

Here are a few tips:

  • Drink extra fluids in the winter. This can keep the mucus in your lungs thinner and easier for your body to remove.
  • Try to avoid anyone who appears to be sick.
  • Get your flu vaccine early in the fall.
  • Vacuum and dust your home often to remove indoor allergens.
  • Wash your sheets and blankets every week in hot water to get rid of dust mites.
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Life by Chloe

Chloe was diagnosed with severe Pulmonary Hypertension four years ago, after having been misdiagnosed for five years.

When I was finally diagnosed, I was in heart failure (the right side of my heart was three times its normal size), I was told that I may not have much time left to live, that I may never leave the hospital again and that if I did, chances were that I would have to be on oxygen for the rest of my life! (Not the best news!)

 

Her five key elements are:

Nutritional Lifestyle, Exercise, Mindset, Creative Expression, Family & Friends

Taking the breath of life

People with a lung condition can get short of breath but The British Lung Foundation have set out the following tips for breathing exercises to help the shortness of breath and breathe more easily each day.

  • relaxed slow deep breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out through your nose and mouth. Try to feel relaxed and calm each time you breathe out.
  • pursed-lips breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out with your lips pursed as if you are whistling.
  • blow as you go: use this when you’re doing something that makes you breathless, such as standing up. Breathe in before you make the effort. Then breathe out while making the effort. Try using pursed lips as you breathe out.
  • paced breathing: this is useful when you’re active, such as climbing stairs. You pace your steps to your breathing. For example, breathe in when on the stair, and breathe out as you go up a stair.

Try to practise them every day. They can also help if you get out of breath suddenly. Being in control of your breathing means breathing gently, using the least effort, with your shoulders supported and relaxed.

Great advice!

 

travel by car with medical oxygen

A great resource over at COPD.net on the safety tips of travelling with oxygen.

car travel with oxygenDo’s

  • DO fill the portable tank carefully, if using liquid oxygen. Liquid oxygen is extremely cold and can injure your hands, if frost should develop.
  • DO carry your portable tank only in the case supplied with it.
  • DO use a cart or holster to carry portable oxygen cylinders.
  • DO keep your oxygen delivery system out of the bright sunlight or other heat sources.
  • DO secure your tank, cylinder or portable concentrator so it does not roll around in the car. Liquid tanks should never be laid on their sides; portable cylinders may be.
  • DO bring extra batteries to power your concentrator.

Don’ts

  • DON’T put a portable tank inside a backpack or other carry bag.
  • DON’T place your tank, cylinder or portable concentrator in a car trunk or other tightly enclosed space.

There are quite a few DO’s for you to remember and t is always best to be prepared before embarking on a week or two away on holiday. Any advice needed on arranging oxygen please do just speak with the team at OxygenWorldwide.

 

ref: https://copd.net/living/traveling-with-oxygen/

The CF gene = low levels of oxygen

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common genetic disease that is inherited from your biological parents and occurs because of abnormalities in our genes. The CF gene is the instructions on how to build a channel (or pore) in our cells that allows salt to move into and out of the cell.  This salt channel is called CFTR, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator.  A mutation in this gene means that this salt channel does not work properly.

The lungs are the most commonly affected organ in patients with cystic fibrosis. As a result, patients with CF can have a chronic cough, phlegm production, shortness of breath, chest tightness, sinus problems and occasionally cough up blood.

A standard treatment regimen includes:

  • airway clearance and exercise,
  • chest physiotherapy,
  • anti-inflammatory agents,
  • supplemental oxygen, and
  • nutritional support.

Nearly half of CF sufferers report poor sleep quality. Your oxygen levels may lower during an exacerbation and this is most noticeable during sleep. In some people these changes in breathing and oxygen during sleep can affect their performance during the day. They may have difficulties with concentration, memory and feeling tired during the day. People who have low oxygen levels while awake will usually also have low oxygen levels during sleep. In some cases, patients who may not require oxygen while awake may need extra oxygen while sleeping.

Individuals with CF can have low levels of oxygen in their bodies and some need to use supplemental oxygen to bring their oxygen levels up to a healthier level.  Supplemental oxygen protects the body from the effects of low oxygen levels. It also helps your body to function better and allows you to stay more active. Some individuals only need oxygen when they are active or while sleeping, however, in most cases, oxygen should be used 24 hours a day.

Perfumes and Paints Are Polluting…

Scientists have found that everyday household products, like soaps, paints and perfumes are causing nearly as much air pollution as cars and industries combined.

Most air pollutants come from the extraction, refining and use of fossil fuels. These pollutants include hundreds of different compounds that scientists clump into what they call Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). “Once they’re emitted into the atmosphere, they can lead to the formation of ground level ozone and particles, both of which are detrimental to human health,” says Jessica Gilman, an atmospheric chemist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and an author of the new study. However, in recent years household products have become a bigger source of air pollution, the team reports in today’s issue of the journal, Science.

They made similar observations for isopropanol, or rubbing alcohol, and acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover, and a whole range of other chemicals in everyday products like soaps, wall paint, printer ink, perfumes and pesticides.

The findings are important and surprising, says Albert Presto, an atmospheric scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. “We’re all conditioned to think about traffic and industry as the big drivers for air pollution and pollutants. And this study says, ‘wait a minute, a lot of it is really stuff we’re using inside our homes.'”

These household sources have emerged as big polluters because cars have become cleaner, says Jonathan Levy, an environmental health expert at Boston University. “As traffic sources decline, other sources become more and more important over time.”

Air pollution remains one of the top causes for the burden of disease worldwide. “Ozone can do things like worsen asthma, trigger asthma attacks,” says Janice Nolen, the assistant vice president of national policy at the American Lung Association. “It can also kill people, it can shorten lives.” Exposure to particulate matter has similar deleterious health effects.

So, the new study has implications for further reducing air pollution, says Presto, especially for cities that are struggling with meeting air pollution standards, like Los Angeles, which has one of the highest levels of ozone in the country. “You can only make cars so clean,” he says. “Maybe the way to get ozone below federal limits is to reduce emissions from indoors.”

The new study suggest we need “some national measures to help reduce emissions” from these everyday sources, says Nolen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ref https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/15/585886321/your-wall-paint-perfumes-and-cleaning-agents-are-polluting-our-air

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