WHAT WE’RE READING THIS WEEK: Spring is here, but so is allergy season

allergy

Don’t fear allergies this spring

dandelion-1187504-638x477Spring is finally here. As this weekend is expected to have warm temperatures and sunny conditions across most parts of Alberta, it’s the perfect time to go outside and enjoy the outdoors.

However, it’s also the start of the season for allergies and asthma triggers.

As the American Lung Association points out, pollen is perhaps the most obvious springtime and allergy offender, and up here in Alberta, you can also count winter mould.

You can avoid being forced to do a Netflix marathon during a sunny weekend by following these steps:

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The American Lung Association also suggests doing yard work and gardening in the evening when pollen counts are usually at its lowest. Keep in mind, fertilizers and freshly cut grass can worsen asthma symptoms. It suggests if you do those outdoor chores consider wearing a partial mask — available at most hardware stores — to avoid breathing in those tiny particles.

Is asthma over-diagnosed?

CBC, HEADLINE: Asthma diagnosis ‘trivialized,’ fuels overdiagnosis, doctors say; Published April 15, 2016.

asthma-inhaler-1419833-639x424Here’s another reason why it is so important to support medical research funding when it comes to lung illnesses like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

As mentioned in last week’s “What We’re Reading This Week” (WWETW) post, British researchers and medical professionals are debating whether or not inhalers are being over-prescribed. Some medical researchers on one side of the conversation say inhalers have become somewhat of “a fashion accessory.”

Now that debate has reached Canada. Dr. Shawn Aaron, a respirologist from Ottawa Hospital, says more than 30 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with asthma don’t in fact have it.

His comments are based on his own research published in 2010. His research involved studies on roughly 500 adults.

However, inhalers — as mentioned in the previous WWETW post — have been credited for saving the lives for millions of people worldwide since is was first created 60 years ago.
With more funding for medical research, health professionals may be able to solve this dilemma soon.

Check out a joint position statement released by the Canadian Thoracic Society and the Canadian Paediatric Society last year on the diagnosis and management of asthma in preschoolers.

—JC—

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