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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting the Facts About Asthma

Asthma is a term that describes reactions in the human body when breathing passages in the body are affected by external or internal conditions leading to a constriction of the airways.

Asthma is often associated with people who have allergies as well. It is known that a majority-- some 60% of the people who suffer from asthma--also have allergies.

Knowing some quick facts about asthma can help you research and understand the types of asthma and how they can be treated. There is not a complete cure for asthma but quality of life can be greatly enhanced with proper preventative and responsive treatment.

For some people asthma can be a life-threatening condition, so it is important to learn as much as you can about the disease through consultation with medical professionals. What follows is a primer on the condition known as asthma, some facts about its impacts in the human population and common treatments.

Asthma in America

Every day in the United States:

  •          40,000 people a day have an asthma attack
  •          9 people a day die from asthma
  •          1,200 people check into the hospital each day with asthma symptoms
  •          4,700 asthma attacks per day result in visits to the emergency room
  •          27,000 people will miss work today due to asthma symptoms
  •          35,000 children will miss school (again!) due to asthma conditions

These statistics illustrate the impact of asthma on the lives and health of Americans.

  •         More than 3,000 people will die this year from asthma alone
  •         14,600,000 people (approximately 4% of the overall population) experience asthma attacks each day
  •         Asthma actually impacts more than 25 million Americans, more than twice the number of diabetics.

Asthma is therefore one of the most serious health concerns in the nation, and is apparently on the increase due to factors that have not been entirely identified. Yet the current facts are daunting enough to encourage anyone with a risk of asthma to take action to protect their family or themselves.

  •        Asthma is one of the most common and chronic conditions among children.
  •         Nearly 5 million asthma sufferers are under age of 18.
  •        Women are more commonly at risk from asthma than men.
  •         Asthma affects African-Americans in a slightly larger percentage than Caucasians

Impact of Asthma on Culture and Economy

Treating asthma and allergies requires a spectrum of treatments to control the condition. Each treatment strategy is highly personal and may differ, even within a family
  •         The costs of treating asthma are estimated at $18 billion per year in America.
  •         Costs include time lost at work and school due to asthma-related illness, absenteeism and other associated difficulties.

National strategies

Difference in quality of asthma care can be pronounced due to economic and social structures.

  •         Factors such as local air pollution levels can greatly affect the number of asthma cases.
  •         Economic factors, especially urban living conditions and industrialized areas can exaggerate risks of asthma.
  •         Racial or cultural differences may affect quality of health care and access to effective asthma treatment technology and strategies.
  •         The elderly are at particular risk from death due to asthma, with senior citizens accounting for 60% of the annual 4,000 deaths due to asthma.

Personal Strategies

Educating yourself about asthma treatment strategies is critical to protecting your own health, no matter what age or background you are. Affordable technology is available to help you breathe better, treat the air quality of the environment and living space you inhabit, and finding ways to address chronic or temporary bouts of asthma.

Check out our asthma control devices for more information on how to help treat asthma.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Air Purifiers a Necessity in Some Cities

To understand how world markets operate in a global fashion these days, one only has to think about the air, which goes everywhere. That is the one commodity we definitely all share, even more than water, which is arguably the next most important resource on the list of things human beings need to survive.

As we think about air, there are various definitions of the word to consider. Which is how the idea for this blog came about. On a recent drive across southwestern Wisconsin a public radio station was airing a program called Science Friday in which modern issues of technology and science are examined in light of recent news stories. The program focused on the increasing problem of intense air pollution in the Chinese city of Beijing. Due to high rates of industrial pollution the air quality ratings were five times worse than the highest point on an internationally accepted scale of dangerous conditions.
Beijing residents were becoming sick from the high level of particulates in the air. People would not even venture outside for fear of the air, which was thick with smoke grit and industrial chemicals floating in a smoggy cloud.

Purifying indoor air

Inside their homes Beijing residents were doing everything they could to improve air quality in their residences. There was just one solution to the problem: indoor air purifiers.     

The sale of air purifiers in China has skyrocketed as a result of the horrid air quality. Both retail and online sales of air purifiers is meeting the demand for safe, breathable air indoors even when the air outside can literally kill people, especially those susceptible to asthma and allergies.

Air purifiers for rooms of all sizes

Air purifiers can filter out 99.97% of particulate matter, unwanted chemicals or odors in the air. The process works to your health benefits from very small rooms, to larger spaces where HEPA Air Purifiers can clean indoor air in normal rooms or large areas. Even very large room areas can be cleansed using Extra Large Room HEPA Air Purifiers. You can even remove germs from the air and room surfaces with a UV Air Purifier that utilizes targeted light in a specific spectrum of ultraviolet rays to kills germs or substances that cause flu, cold and allergies.

The conditions in China are admittedly extreme, but Beijing is not alone in its struggle with air quality. Recent reports from Fairbanks, Alaska have determined that the air quality in that region is even worse than in China. The smoke from wood-burning stoves gets trapped in cold air inversions that result in dense, dangerous smog that can choke people to death.

Wood has always been considered something of a “green” form of renewable fuel, but the conditions in Fairbanks, Alaska prove that even the best intentions can result in polluted conditions.

Air quality matters even when you go on the road, and travel air purifiers are designed to go with you anywhere in the world. The Win Mini-mate Wearable Air Purifier even protects the breathing space right around your mouth, cleaning the air everywhere you go, eliminating allergens, bacteria and viruses too.

There’s no reason to live with bad air if you know how to combat the problem. Air purifiers are the answer to a multitude of situations in which the air is not suitable to breathe.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Allergies and Asthma may be Closer than you Think

It is difficult for people who do not experience the symptoms of allergies or asthma to understand how troublesome and even frightening these two conditions can be. Both allergies and asthma occur when triggers from either inside or outside the body produce an exaggerated response of the immune system.

Allergies are often triggered by coming in contact with foreign substances from outside the body. Substances such as pollen or molds that cause severe allergic reactions in some people create no allergic response in others. Yet there are estimated 50 million people in North America, a population equal to 1/5 the entire population of the United States who are allergic to one substance or another. The economic impact of allergies on Americans is profound, with an estimated $10B spent on treating allergies or their symptoms annually.

How common are allergies and asthma?

The Center For Disease Control reports that asthma is also a prevalent condition among Americans. The number of people diagnosed with asthma has risen by 4.3 million people from 2001 to 2009, with nearly 50% of that increase occurring among black children. Asthma causes nearly 4,000 deaths on average each year, and costs of treating asthma reaches more than $50B each year. One can enumerate the impact of these two diseases in society, with more than $60B in medical costs, thousands of lives deeply affected or lost, and productivity and quality of life significantly hampered by dealing with allergy and asthma.

Common “natural” allergens include tree pollen, grasses, weeds, soils (such as mulch) as well as dust mites, pet dander and other lively irritants that can cause classic allergic reactions such as sneezing, sniffling, headaches, achiness and a rash of other symptoms.

What causes allergies and asthma?

Allergic reactions occur because the body produces a specific antibody, called IgE in a natural process designed to bind foreign substances introduced into the body. The IgE attaches itself to form of blood cell called mast cells that happen to be commonly found n the airways and gastrointestinal tract. The IgE attaching to the mast cells causes a string of chemicals to be released, including histamine, which causes most of the reactions in allergy and asthmas attacks.

How are allergies and asthma connected?

These same symptoms can be associated with asthma because the same form of chemicals (antibodies) are released from within the body to combat the supposed “invader”

It is important to recognize that for many people, the conditions known as allergies and asthma are essentially linked. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation reports that 25 million Americans (8% of adults and 9% of children) suffer from asthma and among these people more than 60% are allergic-asthma, meaning they have both conditions, making their lives both more difficult and risky.

Get informed on prevention and treatment

It simply makes sense to be informed on how to manage both allergies and asthma, especially now that the connection between the two conditions is so well recognized.

That means the first response should always be taking preventative measures to reduce the risks of allergens leading to the exaggerated immune response that trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Fortunately there are many preventative steps one can take to “de-allergize” your personal environment. Here are a few ways to think about managing your risks of allergies and asthma.

Air purification

Using air purifiers is an important first step to help people control both asthma and allergies. Air conditioning and furnace filters can remove harmful allergens from the air. Controlling humidity can prevent molds from growing indoors. Managing and sweeping pet dander is vital to keep those allergens at bay. Keeping indoor plants to a minimum can prevent invisible molds from entering the atmosphere. Using a vacuum with sufficient filtration and UV ultraviolet light installed can cut down allergens and other airborne pathogens that can trigger allergies or asthma. Allergy masks can be vital for people who are susceptible to asthma and allergy attacks from airborne pathogens.

Asthma control devices

Asthma control devices are front-line prevention and treatment tools for people with asthma. Most patients keep devices like these readily available to regularly treat asthma symptoms and engage in preventative care. Nebulizers deliver asthma medicine in safe, effect ways. There are even pediatric nebulizers specially designed for children to take the anxiety and difficulty out of asthma treatment. 

Combined, these measures help you clean and control your environment to prevent allergies and asthma from occurring.

Waking up to allergy-free bedding

Allergy-free bedding eliminates risk of dust mites and pet dander in beds, sheets, covers, duvets and comforters. There is even an allergy free feather bed treated with Hyperclean technology so that you can enjoy the benefits and comfort of a really soft bed without risk of bringing on an allergic or asthmatic reaction. Otherwise these skin and lung irritants can trigger allergy and asthma attacks.

Hypoallergenic water treatment

Bath and body products are another line of defense against allergies such as chemical sensitivities, especially to chlorine in public water. Hypoallergenic bath and shower products reduce skin irritation by removing up to 99% of chlorine and other chemicals that can harm your skin and set off allergic reactions.

UV Sanitizers rid your environment of germs and allergens

Having clean air and a healthy living environment is key for allergy and asthma sufferers, and getting rid of molds and germs that can cause allergic responses is a great first step to better living. Using a handheld UV Sanitizer eliminates 99.9% of germs and allergens, even killing dust mites on the spot.

It all adds up if you think about it. Prevention is the better part of a cure if you suffer from either allergies or asthma, but especially if you are at risk for both. Taking control of your environment can be the key to a happier life.