Tuesday, July 05, 2005


It's been un-Godly hot in Cleveland, lately, but my breathing is very much improved. I've reduced the use of the Albuterol by over half, and am no longer waking in the early hours of the morning, feeling as though I won't survive if I don't get to the nebulizer ASAP.

I've been able to be more active, in general. My new job involves being on my feet much of the day, and that has been a good thing. It's occasionally tiring on the muscles, but not to the point where I can't get out of bed - I'm just pleasantly tired, and refreshed by a good night's rest.

Yesterday, at work, I talked to two of my co-workers who, like myself, were diagnosed with asthma as adults. This is becoming more common over time.

Why are so many adults being told they have asthma? Isn't that something children get?

Well, no.

Although many people think of asthma as a childhood condition, the fact is that many people are diagnosed for the first time as adults. This is becoming so common that the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology has posted (see link) on the topic. According to information found on that site,
Asthma and other respiratory diseases are particularly common in adults over the age of 65 as lung functioning begins to decrease steadily over the age of 40.

Right now in Cleveland, the ozone content in our air has been relatively high. As a result, asthma management has become more challenging. What is ozone?
Ozone is a secondary pollutant, which is formed by the interaction of oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds with ultraviolet light. The main sources of these oxides are automobiles and petroleum-driven engines.

I've been feeling the effect of the increased ozone levels. Without realizing it, my pulmonary function had decreased significantly - in fact, I was worse than last winter, when my respiratory distress sent me to the hospital for 5 days.

It's amazingly easy to slip into trouble without realizing it. I use my peak flow meter consistently, but that's not entirely perfect. Another indication is the use of the "rescue" inhaler. I had drifted into using it every day. The peak flow measured fine, but only with use of the inhaler.

I'm still monitoring my meds with Asthma Assistant. If you are experiencing difficulty keeping track of all the meds and your peak flow over time, it may be the solution for you. It's an easy to use application, and, best of all, it's FREE!

I hear ya about ozone bringing you down. And to think, there are actually air purifiers for peoples HOMES that release unknown amounts of ozone! OZONE! Ozone is comprised of three molecules of oxygen, this third one is quite jumpy and does not want to be with the other two. In fact, it wants to jump off and bond with just about anything, including your lung tissue. Ozone, as stated by the EPA, can increase respiratory problems and block the body from absorbing the right amount of oxygen, therefore, making you more tired.
C'mon people! Study up on an air cleaner before you buy it! I found a great site at www.smokeeaters.org that has some good information on technologies of air filtration equipment and their partner site www.breathepureair.com has lots of great articles, studies and products. Needless to say i had a hay day picking out a purifier for my house. No more cooking smells the next day!! I think everyone should check out these sites and others to do research on an air purifier. My asthma has gotten a lot better since i got mine (it's small so i can move it depending upon what room i'm in) My advice is to stay away from the over commercialized oreck and ionic breeze ones (they didn't work too well).
Oh, also a tidbit of info i learned was that indoor air is about five times more polluted than outdoor air due to lack of circulation and proper filtration. And THAT is from the EPA and American Lung Association.
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