Monday, September 29, 2014

What Takes Your Breath Away?

For most of us, a beautiful sunset, the ocean crashing waves upon the shore and a perfect summer wedding lead us to hold our breath. Excitement and adventure are moments that take our breath away. However, for a large number of people, their breath is cut short by a common, difficult respiratory illness - asthma.

By definition, asthma is a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. Although usually connected to allergic reactions and other forms of hypersensitivity, did you know that there are other odd things that can trigger an asthma attack? If you or someone you care about suffers from asthma, it is important to be aware of triggers so you can help prevent an attack.


Research has shown that there is a dramatic increase in asthma related attacks that cause people to turn up at the emergency room in hospitals in the wake of a thunderstorm. Doctors are still unsure of the specific reasoning behind this, but studies have revealed that this could be due to the increase of pollen that is released in the air during a storm.


When you're stressed, you tend to feel a tightening in your chest. Anxiety causes shortness of breath and unfortunately for people that have asthma this could turn into a full fledged attack if they don't step back and try to relax. Stress can even cause non-asthmatics to develop asthma like symptoms.

Food Additives/Preservatives.

Some food colouring and flavouring agents have been found to trigger asthma attacks. Although there has not been any final research to reveal a certain connection, the argument stands that some people who have asthma are unable to properly digest certain food such as those high in nitrates.


Extreme waves of emotion such as intense laughter or uncontrollable weeping also tend to prompt asthma attacks in people due to the change in breathing patterns. Some people might not be aware until it has become a full on asthma attack, mistaking it for a simple shortness of breath due to the strength of emotion they have experienced.

GERD/Acid Reflux.

Acid Reflux/GERD can cause horrid pain and burning up your throat especially when you lie down. Acid backs up and causes a reaction in your airways - be wary as it can be tricky to determine whether you are experiencing an attack or suffering through the symptoms of reflux.

Are you asthmatic, or know someone who is? Share your personal triggers and help others prevent an attack in the future. 

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