Happy and healthy are the two things that all parents want their child to be – after all, this is the cornerstone of being a child. Unfortunately, this is not the case 100% of the time for some. It is reported that over 521,000 people in New Zealand take medication for asthma, with an estimated 1 in 7 children and 1 in 9 adults having the chronic respiratory disease. Asthma is also one of the most common causes of hospital admissions in children in New Zealand.
What is asthma?
Sufferers of asthma have sensitive airways in the lungs. These airways can tighten, swell or partially close, and produce air-blocking mucus from certain triggers. A person with asthma can find it hard to breathe in and even harder to breathe out.
Symptoms of asthma can be:
- Wheezing (when breathing the person may ‘whistle’ in and out)
- Feeling short or breath and a tight feeling in the chest
Although sufferers can medicate the symptoms of asthma, it may be surprising to learn that there is no cure. Managing asthma, however, can be simple and easy for the whole family, and it all starts with a bit of research. Children coming to terms with the biomechanics of asthma may not be able to recognise these symptoms, therefore learning about the condition as a family can help everyone put small steps in place to control it. One way to do this is to recognise triggers; keep a notebook or diary, record them, and find ways to avoid attacks.
It’s also important to recognise other conditions that asthmatic people can have and their catalysts, as these can determine asthma flare ups. Many children with asthma also suffer from eczema and hayfever, which can worsen with the presence of dust mites.
Although we can’t usually see dust mites, they are one of the most common indoor allergens. Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dust and moisture in the air; they are present year-round and can trigger asthma, hayfever and eczema. Symptoms often worsen during or immediately after vacuuming, sweeping and dusting. The process of cleaning can stir up dust particles and dust mite faeces, making them easier to inhale, meaning people and children can often suffer the worst in their own homes, with chemical-laden household cleaners often adding to the problem.
Traditional household cleaners, atomisers, sprays and aerosols may help to mask indoor odours, but can be extremely irritating to sensitive allergy and asthma sufferers. With an estimated up to 90% of our total time now spent inside, it’s important to use alternative, natural cleaners and reduce irritating chemicals in indoor spaces. A probiotic cleaner such as the Airbiotics All Purpose Cleaner is easy on airways and lungs, provides a powerful cleanse to the home with zero chemicals, and with the help of probiotics, effectively keeps surfaces bad-bacteria free for longer. To keep, bedding and pillows allergen free, Airbiotics StaBiotic Home Mist sprayed directly to bedding, soft furnishings and even soft toys can help lessen asthma triggers such as dust mite faeces.
I speak from personal experience with asthma. Three years ago when my partner’s son was at preschool, one in four children, including him, used inhalers; a staggering number and nearly twice the average for New Zealand children. After reviewing what we use in our home and eliminating chemical irritants, he now has far fewer asthma attacks. What do we use? Airbiotics All-Purpose Cleaner, Airbiotics Home Mist Spray and a probiotic washing liquid for clothes. It’s definitely proven to us that managing asthma can be as simple as looking after the air inside our home.
Find out more about Airbiotics and order direct from www.airbioticsnz.com.
This article was written by Neil Wootten, Airbiotics for Kidspot NZ.
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