Summer is here and especially in the UK this year there seems to be an increase in pollen and airborne allergies this summer. The sun is certainly appearing this year but so are the sneezes, itchy eyes, runny noses and also with this comes breathing difficulties.
If you feel short of breathe, cough more than usual or have a tight sensation in your chest this is usually a sign of allergy asthma.
If you are experiencing any symptoms visit your local GP to get diagnosed to receive the correct treatment.
Some allergy sufferers may struggle to breathe and need supplemental oxygen to help maintain a normal daily routine and life abilities such as walking outside or climbing the stairs at home.
If you are suffering this summer more than usual then book an appointment at your local surgery who can best recommend and enjoy summer whilst it is here. Lighter evenings and warmer weather encourages more walking, better diets and mentally being outside is proven it really helps with wellness.
If you do require any medical oxygen to travel abroad then use the contact form on this blog for further details.
Recent studies have shown that fish oil and fish oil supplements provide nutritional protection against some of the most dreaded diseases of aging. Its major power is its ability to stop inflammation which is a key problem in many diseases and most age-related illnesses.
It is well known that a diet rich in omega-3s helps to reduce inflammation but now it has been realised how it happens. While studying acute inflammation in animals, scientists noticed the production of small molecules released in response to inflammation, especially in the presence of high levels of omega-3 fats. “These molecules had a dual set of actions. First, they sent out a ‘stop signal,’ quickly putting a stop to runaway inflammation. Next, they triggered the active resolution of inflammation.”
If you have a healthy supply of omega-3s in your body then it will help your body to produce these molecules to stop and repair inflammation. This pathway involving these pro-resolution molecules works well with acute inflammation but with chronic inflammation there is a reduced level of pro-resolution molecules which allows the inflammation to keep running at a low active level.
Studies have shown that people with diseases that involve chronic inflammation have reduced levels of pro-resolution molecules. Other studies have revealed that these molecules are sharply reduced with age. “In fact, it is this deficiency that is now recognized as one of the chief reasons that we increasingly suffer from chronic inflammation as we grow older.”
By restoring levels of pro-resolution molecules to normal levels many inflammatory conditions can be resolved and healing can take place. The best way to do this is to ensure you have a healthy supply of omega-3 by ensuring you have fish oil in your diet or take fish oil supplements.
Low-grade inflammation and low levels of these molecules has been linked to excessive body fat, insulin resistance and hypertension. Also boosting levels of these pro-resolution molecules would be especially important to people with cardiovascular disease because they have been found to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, block clot-promoting platelet activation, prevent heart arrhythmias, prevent vascular inflammation and improve vascular function, and protect the heart muscle following a heart attack. “That immense spectrum of action has led some researchers to describe omega-3s as a ‘poly-pill,’ capable of attacking multiple targets of cardiovascular health at once.”
Lung diseases such as asthma and COPD are well known to involve out-of-control inflammation and recent studies show that asthma sufferers have reduced levels of pro-resolution molecules. Animal studies show that after treatment with omega-3 the asthma attacks were less severe. After a decade it was shown that after fish oil supplementation in pregnant women or the patient there was a 3 fold reduction in allergies and eczema, 63% reduction in children developing asthma, many athletes had a 5-fold improvement in pulmonary function and even non-athletes had vastly improved pulmonary function and exercise-induced asthma became resolved in many. COPD patients experienced significant improvements in their breathing ability, had increased oxygen saturation and found they could walk a lot further.
Neuro-inflammation is a major contributor to chronic neuro-degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies have shown that by increasing pro-resolution molecules derived from fish oil can stop this neuro-inflammation and reduce the cognitive decline in these conditions as well as helping to improve memory and dementia statuses in these patients.
Therefore just by ensuring you are taking in enough fish oil can have a major impact upon your health and can help improve many conditions and diseases that are linked to inflammation.
After the dreary winter months most of us are happy to see the early signs of spring; warmer weather, gentle breezes and flowers blooming however for oxygen, asthma and sleep therapy users these signs indicate the start of allergy season and suffering.
Allergies can be debilitating and can force sufferers to hide indoors to avoid flare-ups, can reduce the benefits and effectiveness of treatment and lower their quality of life.
Allergies affect your respiratory system through congestion and narrowing of airways and when you are already suffering from respiratory problems and are already requiring oxygen therapy, this additional problem can dramatically affect and worsen your condition.
With a bit of planning and awareness, you can minimize symptoms and live life to the fullest all year round.
KNOW YOUR PERSONAL ALLERGY SEASON
The term “allergy season” refers to certain months, in the spring and autumn when hay fever and airborne pollens are most prevalent out of doors, but your own “allergy season” will depend on where you live and what you’re allergic to as different plants release pollens at different times of year and indoor allergies can occur all year round.
KNOW WHAT CAUSES YOUR ALLERGIES
In order to predict when you’ll get allergies you need to know what is causing them. Allergies can be caused by a variety of indoor and outdoor pollutants.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
By recognizing the symptoms of allergies you can take action quickly when they hit. Stuffy or runny nose, ear congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, fatigue, excess mucus, sore throats, wheezing or coughing, and shortness of breath. More serious reactions such as rashes and swelling can also occur.
Indoor allergens, like dust and pet dander hide in bookshelves, air conditioning vents, window ledges, behind couches and under chairs. A good spring clean at the beginning of EVERY season can be a great way to make your home feel “new again” and it’s a great way to minimize indoor allergens. For added protection wear a dust mask when you clean to keep exposure to a minimum; and only use mild soaps and detergents as required.
TOO MUCH FRESH AIR CAN BE HARMFUL
Enjoying fresh air and the great outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures; but sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. Check the pollen count in your area and if it is high where you live try to stay indoors during the morning, when pollen counts are usually the highest, and on windy days, when dust and pollen are blown about. Keeping windows closed at night, and using air conditioning instead, can also help keep pollens and moulds from drifting into your home; and air conditioning can also clean and dry the air.
KEEP YOURSELF EXTRA CLEAN
Shower and wash your hair daily; every night if possible, to help clean off any allergens that have gathered on your body during the day. Don’t mow lawns or rake leaves as this can stir up pollens and dust; and instead of hanging clothing outside to dry, dry it inside to keep it away from airborne pollens and moulds.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SLEEP, ASTHMA & OXYGEN EQUIPMENT
Dust, pollen, moulds and allergens don’t react well inside your lungs and sinuses and they’re no good for sleep, oxygen and asthma therapy equipment either:
Many oxygen concentrators have filters that need to be changed or replaced on a regular basis. Air inlet filters are often external to the machine and should be washed and thoroughly dried on a regular basis. Internal filters usually only need to be replaced every few years. In addition oxygen cannulas and tubing should be replaced regularly to ensure that moulds and bacteria don’t build up.
USE AN APP ON YOUR PHONE
There are now free apps available to download onto your phone that can help you monitor allergic events, you can keep a diary and it can alert you to when the seasons are due to start. It also will keep track of lots of medical data so that you can then show to your doctor to discuss any possible requirements to alter medication or oxygen flow rates or equipment.
TAKE A VACATION
This may be the ultimate vacation excuse so why not take a vacation during the height of your allergy season. Go to the beach or any clean, pollen-free area and enjoy an allergen free vacation. The relief from the additional suffering and the fact that you’re having a holiday will be blissful and beneficial to your health and well-being.
Remember that NHS oxygen providers don’t supply oxygen to travel abroad, but its easy to organise any oxygen requirements you might have if you need to travel or fly abroad, just visit our website www.oxygenworldwide.co.uk.
References: http://www.directhomemedical.com and http://www.efanet.org