National estimates show that the percentage of people living with asthma is steadily growing, with around 8% of Americans affected, compared to around 7% at the turn of the century. Medication and inhalers are usually prescribed for attacks, though there are additional steps that can be taken at home to reduce symptoms. In this post, we discuss three recently discovered ways that can make asthma less of a burden.
Why is Asthma so Challenging for Many Families?
Asthma can pose a significant challenge for various reasons. On the one hand, most Americans enjoy coverage for serious diseases such as asthma. On the other hand, those with no or partial coverage can find it hard to afford asthma medication, or to see a primary care doctor or specialist. The protective effects if medication builds up over a period of time, so it is important to be constant with medication, and to be reviewed regularly by one’s asthma doctor or nurse.
Pets Can Help Prevent Asthma in Children
Recent studies have shown that we can also take many steps to reduce the likelihood or severity of asthma. One way is to have a pet. Research carried out by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has found that children exposed to high indoor levels of pet allergens have a lower risk of developing asthma by the time they turn seven. By contrast, exposure to tobacco smoke, maternal stress, and depression during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life, are linked to an increased risk of developing asthma in childhood.
The Beneficial Effect of Vitamin D
Another study, carried out at the Queen Mary University of London, has found that taking oral Vitamin D supplements alongside prescribed asthma medication, can halve the risk of having an asthma attack. The study complements several others which have found that Vitamin D can boost the immunity and bone health.
To obtain the benefits of Vitamin D, try to enjoy at least a few minutes a day under the sun and talk to your doctor about the desirability of supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression, dementia, and a compromised immunity; unfortunately, a majority of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. One study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that up to three quarters of teens and adults in the U.S. need to absorb more Vitamin D.
Living in a Verdant Area
People living in polluted urban zones are much less likely to require hospitalization for asthma if they live in a tree-lined neighborhood, according to a recent study published in the journal, Environment International. The study is important because it observed 650,000 asthma attacks over a 15-year period, comparing the rates of hospitalizations of people who live in different areas.
If you or your children are asthmatic, then you may be on medication to help reduce the onset of symptoms on a long-term basis and to deal with immediate asthma episodes. To complement the benefits of medication, talk to your doctor about natural therapies and lifestyle changes that can boost your health in many ways beyond the reduction of asthma symptoms.
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