Asthma & Allergies

Asthma and allergies can come along with each other. 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, itchy eyes, skin reaction, 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 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 them 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 and conveniently drink from home instead of buying bottled water.

Drink More Water

A recent study found that dehydration could play a significant role in asthma and allergies. One researcher believes that the lack of water vapor in the lungs causes the airways to constrict and for the asthmatic's lungs to produce mucus, the two factors that cause an asthma attack. The researcher recommends that people with asthma drink at least 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day, along with a pinch of salt, and avoid caffeine. This is because salt regulates water in the body and caffeine robs the body of needed water.

What Else Can I Do?

People with asthma and allergies can control their home environment even more by filtering chlorine and fluoride out of their tap water, allowing everyone to breathe easier. This is easily done for drinking water, but what about for our showers and baths? There are shower filters in the market that will reduce the amount of chlorine, but they are only moderately effective. This is because the small amount of media in shower filters coupled with the fast flow rate of the water reduces the contact time with the media and its effectiveness. These filters also cannot remove fluoride or other chemicals from the water. Luckily, there are whole house filters that are specifically designed to remove chlorine, chloramine, and even fluoride from every faucet in the home. These filters come in 10” and 20” housings and can be used together to remove practically all chemical allergens to provide clean, spa-quality bathwater. Other simpler methods to reduce exposure to water irritants include taking shorter showers, avoiding excessively hot showers (heat increases steam inhalation and opens up the pores for great absorption), and shutting the water off while soaping your body. These techniques will help reduce your exposure to toxins if purchasing a filtration system is not an option. The good news is that there are real and effective treatment solutions for people who suffer from sensitivities to chemicals in the water. Understanding the health effects is the key, and now that you are aware of the problem you can take the proper action to reduce your allergies and asthma and improve your health. Breathe deeply and breathe well. Today is a clear new day!

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