My son came home three weeks ago and handed me a memorial service pamphlet regarding his classmate (age 9) who suddenly, yet tragically, passed away. She had an asthma attack.
I had been tossing the idea of writing this blog back and forth in my mind, contemplating the importance of wording and timing (there’s never a good time to spread awareness of a scary issue that attacks our loved ones) This is a very sensitive issue because not only does it affect millions of children & adults worldwide but also their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 25 million Americans have asthma. It’s the most common chronic condition among American children. About 1 in every 10 children have asthma.
Speaking From Experience
It hits home with my family since my oldest son once was diagnosed with asthma several years ago. He hasn’t had to use his nebulizer for a couple of years now but I still have a passion for spreading awareness on the issue. Although my son has not had it as severe as others (hospitalization, inhaler 24/7, etc) I don’t want to sugar coat the coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath my son has endured in past times. Extensive activity has left my son laid up in bed pale, with a fever, coughing and wheezing. Steroids from his nebulizer being pumped into him just to open up airways. It’s very tiring and scary for a parent.
This is a very debilitating illness on the rise encompassing many different types and spanning across all ages. It seems like all my friends’ children or someone they know either have allergies, skin conditions, cancer, respiratory problems including asthma, etc. One of my friends’ kids knew the classmate that had passed away and it caused concern with them not because they were friends with her but because my friends’ kid has asthma and didn’t want her child to start wondering if they would be next.
Triggers of Asthma
There’s many speculations to what triggers asthma (listed below), with no specific cause. Asthma occurs when your airways become swollen. The muscles around the airways tighten due to something triggering the symptoms thus becoming inflamed. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness. With this being said there is no alleged cure according to what I have been told and have read about.
Allergic asthma – dust mites, mold, pollen, outdoor air pollution and animal dander; smoking; exercise; cold, dry air; indoor chemicals within sprays, cleaning products, laundry detergents, dishwashing detergent when it permeates throughout your home from running a load of dishes; other triggers such as Sulfites which are chemicals found in wine, beer, shrimp, dried fruit and processed potatoes; some medications, such as aspirin or beta blockers, perfumes, etc.
Dust Mites, Animal Dander, Rodents, Cockroaches
Dust mites are tiny bugs you cannot see that live in cloth and carpet. Pillows, mattresses, bedding, and rugs all attract dust and dust mites that can trigger asthma symptoms in individuals.
It is suggested to have your house frequently dusted and vacuumed using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, encase your mattress and pillows in special dustproof covers, wash the sheets and blankets each week in hot water, keep stuffed animals and toys off the bed, wash stuffed animals and toys weekly in hot water, reduce room humidity to between 30 percent and 50 percent by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
Dander (the flakes of skin), dried saliva, or urine that comes from animals with fur or feathers. Our animals are just like family to us so giving up your beloved pet is the harder option but here’s what is suggested if you decide to keep your pet.
Bathing your dog or cat weekly may cut down on its dander, ask someone who doesn’t have asthma to change your cat’s litter box, don’t allow pets in your bedroom, keep pets outside if possible, vacuum often, ideally using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, add HEPA filters to central air conditioning and heating. They may help to remove dander from the air. (courtesy of http://www.asthma.com/)
I use Solumel to prevent dander, dust mites and excess dust in my house. It is very simple, safe and more cost-effective and has worked magically for my whole family especially my oldest son. I spray Solumel on my carpets and then vacuum which helps pick up twice as much dirt and hair from the dogs. I spray it on all my surfaces especially the beds, the couch and all stuffed animals which takes care of dust mites and dander.
Also I was recently informed if you lightly soak Peppermint Oil on cotton balls and place them within the corners of your house or places of entry (under sinks by pipes like in my house) to keep rodents and cockroaches away. These are alleged asthma triggers.
Moisture causes mold, so getting rid of excess water in your house or workplace may help get rid of mold.
Fix leaky faucets, pipes, and other sources of water, clean mold off surfaces with a cleaner that will kill mold, replace or wash moldy shower curtains, open a window or turn on the exhaust fan when you shower, reduce room humidity to between 30 percent and 50 percent by using a dehumidifier. (courtesy of http://www.asthma.com/)
I use Solumel and Tub n Tile which takes care of all mold and cleans at the same time. I spray Solumel throughout the my house and in my air conditioners/vents to prevent mold or keep my air filtering system clean throughout my home.
Illnesses, Cold-Air, Exercise
When my son would have a flare up and be coughing and wheezing I would add Solumel and Melaleuca Oil (Tee Tree Oil) in a humidifier in his room while he slept or out in my living room while he played.
Perfumes, Smoke, Sprays, Chemicals
If possible, do not use a wood-burning stove, kerosene heater, or fireplace.
Try to stay away from strong odors and sprays, such as perfume, talcum powder, hair spray, and paints. (courtesy of http://www.asthma.com/)
In my household we use all sprays, perfumes, cleaning and household products that are plant derived, natural, organic and toxin free. Safe for the whole family and animals and that’s been the most impactful change I’ve made for my son’s asthma. I suggest to try to steer away from all items that have chemicals/irritants within them.
Furthermore, the following are 9 Different Essential Oils that can be used to help aid asthma (courtesy of http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Essential-Oils-for-Asthma.html).
1) Peppermint – Applying 2 drops of peppermint, 1 drop of lemon, 8 drops of lavender and 20 drops of carrier oil on your chest twice a day to prevent asthma attacks. The antihistamines in peppermint help against the histamine in dust mites and pollen.
2. Lavender – Inhale a combination of lavender and eucalyptus or peppermint relieving mild asthma attacks. You can also steam several drops of Lavender within water while covering your head with a towel and inhaling. Lavender is a sedative and has anti-inflammatory characteristics that are effective in managing asthma.
3. Roman Chamomile and Bergamot – By rubbing a mixture of a few drops of Bergamot and roman chamomile oils on your chest and back you can relieve muscle contractions that narrow bronchial passages.
4. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil) – Add a few drops of tea tree oil on a damp, warm towel, breathe through the warm towel until cool. Repeat the process until you feel relieved. Tea tree oil is an effective expectorant that removes mucous from your system and relieves respiratory conditions such as coughing and bronchitis.
5. Eucalyptus – add a few drops of the oil to hot water, then breathe the steam from this combination to expand your congested airways and relax lung spasms.
6. Frankincense – Diffuse Frankincense or rub the oil on your chest.
7. Oregano – Diffusing oregano in a diffuser with water or combining 25 drops of oil with 5 oz of water in an atomizer bottle to make a mist and then inhale the vapor you.
8. Clove – clove is said to be the most effective essential oil for asthma. You can use a vaporizer or oil diffuser to diffuse clove oil in the air for about 20 minutes. Rubbing clove oil directly to your skin may cause irritation so make sure you dilute with a carrier oil but it’s excellent as a chest rub.
9. Thyme Oil – Combine it with Bergamot oil and using the mixture as a chest rub or add in hot water and breathe through the steam to prevent coughing and wheezing.
Please help me spread awareness to your loved ones or maybe you know someone who could use this information to use a more natural way to help aid with their asthma. Pass this information along and be an advocate for spreading asthma awareness.