As you all know, I’d been trying to help Mom with her lymphoma the past number of months. I’m very sad to report that she passed in February. I have been way behind the past few months, dealing with Mom’s things and helping Dad, but hopefully, I will be back to my posts soon. I appreciate your patience and understanding. In the meantime, we have another great guest post by Michael Ravitsky of FactoryPure.com. I encourage you to check out the website – they have all sorts of air conditioners, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, filters, etc. Most of us don’t realize just how much is in the air that we’re breathing, especially in our home. It’s very important to breathe the cleanest air possible! If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you want to make sure to have the proper machine and filter; they’re not all the same. Read below to understand the similarities and differences between allergies and asthma.
Chances are that you suffer from at least one of these conditions or you know someone who does. Allergies and asthma each affect millions of Americans, causing symptoms that range from being uncomfortable to downright dangerous. With all of the news coverage, medicine commercials, and word-of-mouth, people generally know quite little about these conditions. This short article will provide a simple summary and comparison between the two.
The first thing you should understand is the inflammatory response. This is your immune system’s autonomic reaction to pathogens – harmful viruses, bacteria, fungal spores, or other irritants that enter the body. The inflammatory response consists of internal swelling and the release of chemicals that stimulate white blood cells and other antibodies to fight whatever it is that your body sees as unwelcome.
When you are allergic to something, your body sees a specific substance as a pathogen. For example, although pet dander, dust, mold, and pollen are relatively harmless in small doses of exposure, they can cause big problems for those who are allergic to them. An allergy is a hypersensitivity to a certain particle; the substance induces the inflammatory response and irritation within the body. This can lead to coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and rashes.
Although there is no medication or procedure that will eliminate an allergy, there are many medicines that can alleviate allergy symptoms.
Whereas allergies are a sensitivity to certain substances, asthma is a more generalized lung condition characterized by bronchial inflammation due to sensitivity to foreign particulates. This can include all of the archetypal allergens as aforementioned, as well as general air pollution, cigarette smoke, odor particles, and fumes.
The symptoms of asthma attacks include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and general difficulty in drawing a full breath. These issues occur as a result of the tightening of muscles that line the airways, which constricts the width of the channel through which air may flow. This tightening is an overreaction to airborne substances. Thus, asthma patients have a looming oversensitivity to airborne irritants and must be careful to both regulate the air they breathe and have available certain medicines that dilate the bronchial airways in case of an attack.
As with allergies, there is no cure for asthma. However, there are medicines that can relax the airways during an episode of constriction, making breathing easier. Furthermore, the frequency and severity of symptoms often subside over the years via proper treatment. Besides medication, people who suffer from allergies or asthma may wish to simply avoid the triggers by moving away from certain areas or by running an air purifier; see our best air purifiers for allergies and asthma for more information.
Additional treatment options include regular HEPA vacuuming, getting rid of rugs and carpeting from the home, and using hypoallergenic household products, such as bed sheets and pillows. Another must is to reduce the number of objects in a home that trap allergens, such as stuffed animals, sofa pillows, artificial plants, and cushioned furniture.