Asthma & Allergies
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Asthma and allergies go hand in hand. An allergic response occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance such as pollen or dust as a dangerous invader. Antibodies attack the allergen in an attempt to protect your body from the substance. The chemicals released by your immune system lead to allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, etc. For some people, this same reaction also affects the lungs and airways, leading to asthma problems.
Most sufferers of asthma and allergies attempt to modify their environment to help cut down on the sneezing, sniffling and wheezing. Although physicians focus primarily on cutting down on air pollutants and toxins in the home, sometimes they overlook the part that ordinary tap water and can play in making asthma and allergies worse.
Chlorine & Chemicals
Testing your drinking water might be a good idea if you or a family member has asthma and allergies. A Belgian study recently concluded that chlorine, a common chemical added to water to help kill bacteria, could be making asthma in children worse. Fumes from chlorine in pools, and even in the shower, could trigger an attack for some people with asthma and allergies. Those who suffer from asthma and allergies are often sensitive to gases that are produced when chlorine sanitizes bacteria in sweat or urine. These gases can build up in an enclosed shower, irritating the lungs of children and adults who have asthma and allergies.
Conditions caused by chlorine exposure:
- Respiratory conditions (Nose, throat, lungs, asthma, bronchitis)
- Dry or brittle hair
- Dry skin, dandruff, itching and rashes
- Eye irritations
Other chemicals in drinking water can affect people with asthma and allergies. Fluoride is added to most municipal water supplies to help fight tooth decay in children. But for some people with asthma and allergies, fluoride can compromise their health. Allergists for decades have known that documented cases exist of both adults and children with asthma and allergies who have suffered severe reactions to fluoride. In 1967, the Annals of Allergy published a study finding infants, children and one adult who had allergic skin reactions and asthma attacks after being exposed to tap water treated with fluoride. Households with members who have asthma and allergies can filter their tap water with reverse osmosis filtration to eliminate chlorine and fluoride from their water.
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