Canadian Lung Association Blog

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Does the freeze make you wheeze?

Winter asthma tips Cold winter air can irritate anyone’s lungs. But, if you have a lung condition such as asthma, the winter air may affect you even more. Cold air can cause the airways in your lungs to tighten up, making it more difficult to breathe. Keeping your asthma under control can help to reduce your risks and help you stay active this winter. Exercise has many benefits for your lungs, your general health and for your mood. Stay active this winter Tips to help you stay active in cold air: • Wear a scarf or cold-weather mask around your

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Posted in Asthma, Uncategorized

Avoid Back-to-School Flare-ups

Help your kids avoid the September spike in asthma symptoms As summer winds down, many parents start gearing up for the school year. That usually means buying school supplies and longer pants. But for parents of children with asthma, getting ready for school should also include taking steps to protect their kids from the “September Spike” – the sharp rise in kids’ asthma symptoms that happens soon after school begins. What is to blame for the September Spike in asthma symptoms? When kids go back to school, they are suddenly at close quarters with many kids – and with the

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Posted in Asthma

Don’t let asthma put your child on the sideline

young boy sits on sideline at soccer practice

With summertime being full of activity, The Lung Association wants to ensure that the one in five children with asthma keep it under control so they can stay active. If asthma is putting your child on the sideline that is a signal their asthma is not under control. Check your child’s asthma control with these simple questions. Does the child: Have to use a reliever puffer (usually a blue puffer) more than three times a week? Have asthma symptoms more than three times a week? Ever have problems with exercise or sports because of asthma? Wake up one or more

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Surviving Summer Smog

Spending time outdoors during the hot summer months is a given, but for those who suffer from asthma and other lung diseases, air pollution can make it harder to breathe. Air pollution, a mix of particles and gases like ozone, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, can negatively affect your health and breathing. Some of the effects are minor, while others can be more severe. Short term health effects include an increase in: asthma symptoms emergency department visits lung infections Long term health effects include: Increased risk of asthma Increased risk of pneumonia Reduced lung function in children Larger cities tend

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma

Keep your lungs healthy this holiday season: how to avoid potential triggers

Keep your lungs healthy this holiday season: how to avoid potential triggers Lung health in the holidays: avoid potential triggers ‘Tis the season to be jolly…but if you have a long-term breathing disease like asthma or COPD, ‘tis the season to be on guard, too. Research shows that people with asthma and COPD are more likely to be hospitalized during the Christmas holiday period. The main reason – people pick up colds and other germs at social events, and these viruses trigger flare-ups. Scented candles and mould found on Christmas trees also trigger symptoms for some people. In addition, extra

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Q & A: Back to school with asthma

girl_schoolbus

The Canadian Lung Association interviewed Dr. Sharron Dell, from the Canadian Thoracic Society’s asthma clinical assembly on the “September Spike” in asthma symptoms. 1. What is the “September Spike” in asthma symptoms and what causes it? The “September Spike  is the rise in hospital visits for asthma that occurs consistently from year to year in September. This spike has occurred for at least the last decade in Canada and several other countries including the United Kingdom, United States amongst others. The exact cause is unknown, but scientists think it is due to a combination of factors, including viral infections, fall

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Beyond the Rain

Calgary flooding

Our warm wet weather is reeking havoc for families across Alberta. Some have lost everything, others are facing a major clean up.  But all of us must watch out for mould. Mould is a trigger for asthma and asthma-related symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. When you are exposed to mould, the smooth muscle that wraps around the airways tightens. Mould also causes inflammation and increased production of phlegm, headaches and fatigue, and allergic reactions. For those who have asthma or vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly, mould may affect them much more

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma

Born With Asthma

I was pretty much born with asthma and allergies. And back then they weren’t even “in style” like they are now. As a young child I had eczema (itchy skin), food allergies, asthma and rhinitis (congestion in the nose). Sometimes they call this the “allergic march”. You start with eczema then food allergies get added, and so on. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I had a severe life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. I put a candy in my mouth and immediately felt that typical allergy reaction anyone with numerous food allergies knows all too well. I didn’t even

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Posted in Asthma, Lung Health, Stories

Asthma Education: Bridging the Cultural Divide

Kelly-Ablog-Morrant-and-Dr-Iraj-Poureslami-THUMB

Most people with asthma say they have their disease under control, but studies suggest that less than half of asthma sufferers actually do. One of the ways we are trying to increase the number of patients able to effectively manage their asthma is by improving communications with new British Columbians. BC is home to 16 percent of all immigrants who settle in Canada – many of whom arrive with pre-existing chronic conditions including asthma and who do not have their asthma under control. “Challenges arise not only because of language barriers – though this is significant – but also because

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Breathtaking beauty helps others breathe easier

Win a glimpse of nature that will take your breath away!  Sweeping landscapes, floral studies and the majesty of our wild neighbours captured by true local artists. The Lung Association has 13 beautifully framed pieces donated by their creators to help raise money for our 2013 ArtWorks for Lung Health campaign. Three local artists have contributed their work to this campaign. Cindy Barratt of Stony Plain offered a 1 of 1 limited edition print Sunny Alberta– Roses #12 from her series exploring Alberta’s iconic wild rose. Elaine Funnell from Spruce Grove brings indoors one of the first harbingers of spring with

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Posted in Asthma, Lung Health