The beginning of school or a major holiday is often the time when parents discover that they not only have a child with allergies, but that the allergy is serious enough to cause death. This then is their first contact with anaphylaxis. Derived from the Greek and meaning ‘without protection’, anaphylaxis implies that the body’s natural defence systems are lowered. This can be fatal. Anaphylaxis has been known to occur in infants as young as . . .Read More
The symptomatic response to SHS, and its severity, depends not only on the child but also on the duration of exposure. Prenatal exposure due to maternal smoking has a long-term effect on the child’s respiratory health. The evidence linking asthma with maternal smoking during pregnancy is clearly established, and postnatal exposure to parental smoking is associated with . . .Read More
The quality of sleep is affected even in patients with clinically stable asthma. A study of 74 children, 40 of whom had well-controlled and stable asthma, found that in comparison to their controls, the children with asthma had poorer sleep quality. There was a significant correlation between peak flow readings and…Read More
Sleep is defined medically as a physiologic state of relative unconsciousness and inaction of the voluntary muscles, the need for which occurs periodically. Another definition describes sleep as a "natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended." Sleep is no longer considered a passive state but…Read More
For more than a decade, attempts to reduce exposure to house dust mites (HDM) have been made through patient education and research. Sensitization to HDM and exposure has been linked to asthma symptoms; moreover, HDM are a known trigger of asthma. Hence . . .Read More
With the increase in cases of asthma and allergies, manufacturers have marketed air purifiers as an aid to improved health. They come in a variety of guises: industrial or commercial, installed or portable; ozone producers, ion . . .Read More
Ozone, a triatomic molecule, consists of three oxygen atoms. Two of these form the basic oxygen molecule necessary for life, while the third acts like a free agent, combining with other substances that react with organic material to form substances that can endanger health. Ozone is a toxic gas.
Outdoor ground-level ozone, a component of smog, is the result of interaction between . . .Read More
Updated clinical practice guidelines for adult sinusitis have just been published. Since sinusitis is almost always attended by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the term rhinosinusitis is used through the document.
Rhinosinusitis is classified by duration: acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) lasts for less than four weeks, while chronic rhinosinusitis…Read More
Air quality is determined by measuring five major pollutants:
1. ground level ozone
2. particulate matter (PM)
3. carbon monoxide (CO)
4. sulfur dioxide (SO2)
5. nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
and the result, called . . .Read More
The symptoms of EIB are mimicked by other conditions and diseases. It thus becomes essential and imperative to rule out other diagnoses. For instance, obesity and vocal cord dysfunction can mimic asthma as well as EIB. Generally, EIB is associated with poorly controlled asthma, though…Read More
Exercise or physical activity provides a number of benefits to health, mobility and quality of life. In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the national guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health. They called for “moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity…Read More
Lung function varies throughout the day, being much lower at night. There may be a difference of more than 15% between the FEV 1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second) at night and during the day. While such fluctuations are normal, they . . .Read More
Asthma has been called a syndrome rather than a disease because of the multiplicity of types that share a common collection of symptoms. Both genetics and environment play important roles in the development of asthma and it has long been understood that the timing of exposure to triggers such as pollen, mold and animal dander can produce either a protective or inducive effect.
Environment determines the phenotype, while genetics determines the genotype, of a patient. In the last decade, research has focussed on the genetics of asthma and the elusive…Read More
We established The Asthma Education Clinic (AEC) to meet a country-wide need for reliable, consistent training and materials for asthma educators and health workers. Almost immediately, we ran into a problem – how could we provide these professionals with the education . . .Read More
Phthalate exposure in the home
Phthalate exposure occurs through ingestion, contact, inhalation and parenteral exposure from medical devices that contain phthalates. Since phthalates leave biomarkers in the form of metabolites in human urine, exposure to them can be measured.
In an attempt to determine the effects of daily exposure to phthalates, Bonehag and colleagues studied a cohort of 10,852 children…Read More
Phthalates and medical treatment
The most common interaction between phthalates and humans involves plastics and plasticized products. The use of phthalat¬es in medical devices (most commonly DEHP) has been known to cause toxicity. Medical devices include intravenous tubing, endotracheal tubes, catheters, fluid and blood product bags. DEHP does not bond chemically to PVC and hence can leach into…
When historians look back at the last century, two products – plastics and transistors – will stand out as having changed how we live and which, each in their own way, have affected our well being. Phthalates (pronounced thall-ates) are a group of industrial chemical compounds with a multitude of uses. They are mainly used as…Read More