The air we breathe is full of microscopic particles of dust, pollens, water and pollution from factories and motor vehicles. The amount and type of particles varies between different places (houses, offices, schools, workplaces, countryside and cities) and at different seasons of the year.
The difficulty when you have asthma is some people are allergic to many of these microscopic particles. For example:
House Dust mites Cigarette smoke Pollen Pets e.g. cats Weather Change
There is also other matter in the air that although not an allergy can make your asthma symptoms worse by irritating the airways (irritants). This includes tobacco smoke, wood fire smoke, perfumes, paint, chemicals and gases (e.g. unflued gas heating). Inhaled allergens and irritants are referred to as triggers and cause the airways of the person with asthma to narrow and become inflamed making it harder to breathe. Some people have sneezing, blocked nose, itchy eyes and throat (hay-fever, sinusitis, and rhinitis) or develop skin rashes (eczema or urticaria).
How to find out what you are allergic to!
Take note of when and where you are when your asthma symptoms become worse and how severe they are:
- House dust mite allergic people tend to have asthma and/or rhinitis all year round.
- Pollen allergic people have problems during spring and summer. Symptoms occur depending on what type of pollen they are allergic to. Grass pollens occur in spring and early summer, trees and certain weeds (like plantain) may occur in late summer or early autumn. But this may vary.
- Pet and mould allergies can usually be identified when sensitive people come in direct contact with these allergens.
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