Monday, 4 May 2015

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Springtime can be exciting for all sorts of reasons but for allergy and asthma sufferers sometimes it only means the misery begins.  About 75% of asthma patients have an allergy.  What can be done? Make sure you are aware of your triggers and try to be proactive in your approach.    

Some tips include starting your medication about two weeks before your symptoms start if you suffer from seasonal allergies.  This can help mimimize the eventual symptoms.  Check the Air Quality Index and stay inside when pollen counts are at their highest. Try to avoid opening your windows and doors at home.  Drying the laundry inside will help keep your clothes pollen free.   Make sure you keep that inhaler handy especially when travelling.  If you are doing spring cleaning take note that you can meet the majority of your cleaning needs with products that are recommended as safe for people with asthma to use, such as salt, sodium bicarbonate (i.e.baking soda), washing soda, borax, vinegar and washing powder.  Another tip is having a shower before bed when you have been outside.  When you come in you are covered in unseen pollens and allergens.  Taking a shower means the allergens are no longer on your skin for you to breathe in for the next 8 hours when sleeping.  Wear wrap-around sunglasses when outside, this will keep pollen out of your eyes.     

The Asthma Society of Canada is a great place to start for more information. It includes an Allergies and Asthma help line.  Want to read about how to garden with allergies?  Check out this brand new title from your local library: The Allergy-fighting garden : stop asthma and allergies with smart landscaping or listen to  Living a healthy life with chronic conditions  in audio cd format for long-term management.  It’s been a really long winter so everybody should be able to enjoy Spring!

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services

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