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Allergies and Asthma

Allergies and asthma are common ailments in large, industrial cities. Due to continual pollutants in the air, respiratory diseases are common for many residents in such areas. In cities like Philadelphia, Seattle, and Manhattan, asthma and allergy prevalence are very high when compared to the natural average. The large amount of pollen, pollutants, poor air quality, and poverty rate all contribute to the prevalence of respiratory diseases. This article will go into depth on what causes asthma and allergies, and how to limit discomfort from the two afflictions.

Allergies: When the human immune system responds to a harmless substance, such as pollen or dust, it often reacts in a defensive nature. People with allergies have immune systems that recognize certain harmless substances as invasive bodies, and attempts to clear them from the system.  Sneezing, coughing, and mucus are normal ways for the body to rid foreign substances.

Asthma- Asthma is a respiratory condition that is exacerbated by seasonal allergies. People with asthma have airways that are vulnerable and sensitive to certain allergens. When exposed to these particles, the body overreacts, causing the muscles around airways to tighten. Simultaneously, thick mucus begins to fill the passages, making it extremely difficult to breathe.

Allergens that are typical in big cities, such as Philadelphia are:

  • Animal Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Pollution
  • Smoke
  • Mold
  • Pollen

If you have allergies or asthma, there are certain ways to decrease chances of asthma and allergy attacks. Below are some suggestions to limit discomfort:

  • Make sure that linens, sheets, and pillowcases are allergen proof and have zippered, hypoallergenic covers.
  • Wash bedding frequently with hot water.
  • Try to limit the amount of carpeted surface in your home, as the material can accumulate a great deal of dust and pet dander if not frequently vacuumed.
  • Dust surface frequently.  Many surfaces that go unused tend to have a large amount of dust build up.  Dressers, shelves, and fans are some of the more notorious dust collectors in a home that can increase allergy symptoms.
  • If your child is suffering, try to wash their toys and stuffed animals to get rid of particles that may be on their surface.
  • Regularly change air filters in HVAC systems. If your home filter is dirty, it will be pushing poor air quality into your home.
  • Lastly, if you know what specifically triggers your allergies, try to avoid contact.  For example, if cat and dog danger triggers your attacks, stay clear of apartments that have animals.
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