Tightness in your chest. A persistent, wheezy cough. Constant trouble catching your breath. You’ve got asthma, and it’s more than a nuisance, to say the least. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that about 25 million people in the country have it, or roughly one in every 13 people. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering how you got here in the first place. Can you develop asthma? Is it hereditary? How does it even start in the first place?
Let’s get into it!
Can You Develop Asthma, or Are You Born with it?
Despite preconceived notions that asthma is a kid’s disease, you can develop it at any age, and it’s quite common in adults. Some children will experience symptoms, which then disappear as they get older — only to come back. This is because you don’t actually “outgrow” asthma. Rather, symptoms can come and go and change over time.
Surprisingly, you can’t technically be born with asthma. However, you can have genes that’ll make you more likely to develop asthma in your younger years. More specifically, research tells us that children might be three times as likely to develop asthma if their moms have it, and 2.5 times more likely if their dads have it.
How and Why Do You Get Asthma, Then?
If you’re not born with it — and outside of a family history of it — how do you develop asthma? A number of factors can influence the likelihood. According to the American Lung Association, you might develop asthma if you:
- Had a severe respiratory infection as a child, which can sometimes lead to chronic asthma later in life.
- Have experienced an allergic condition, like eczema or hay fever.
- Are/were exposed to chemical irritants, industrial dust, fumes, vapor, or mold.
- Smoke, which irritates the airways.
- Spend a lot of time in an area with high air pollution — more specifically, if you’ve been exposed to ozone, the main component of smog. Use AirNow.gov to see what the outdoor air quality is like in your area.
- Are overweight or obese, potentially because these individuals experience more low-grade inflammation in the body.
How Can You Get Rid of Asthma?
There’s currently no cure for asthma, and you should always follow the guidance of your healthcare provider (for example, if they prescribe an inhaler or tablets). But if you’re looking to make lifestyle changes that might reduce or alleviate your symptoms, here are a few things you can try.
- Breathwork: Breathing exercises can help with your symptoms and improve your lung strength, capacity, and health. Some examples are the Papworth method, pursed lip breathing, Buteyko breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing.
- Caffeine: Consuming a healthy amount of caffeine might help with your asthma symptoms. This is because caffeine can modestly improve airway functioning for up to four hours. Most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day, but check with your healthcare provider before you pour yourself another cup of coffee.
- Stress and anxiety: Stress can trigger asthma symptoms, so finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety can help you breathe easier, literally. This might mean yoga, journaling, meditating, or any other activity that helps you return to a calmer state of mind.
- Air purification: All types of allergens are lurking in your home, threatening to make your asthma symptoms worse. These might include pet hair and dander (not to mention the germs and bacteria that pets carry inside), mold, dust, candles, carbon monoxide, smoke (whether from cigarettes, cooking, or wildfires), VOCs, and various appliances, like wood-burning stoves and gas stoves. An air purifier can help to reduce the prevalence of these triggers and allergens.
How Does an Air Purifier Help with Asthma?
In a nutshell, an air purifier works by filtering dirty air through the device to make it clean again. During this process, it can trap things like hair, dander, dust/dust mites, mold, VOCs, and smoke. So, if any of these things are triggering your asthma symptoms, an air purification system might help.
If you’ve spent any time looking for an air purifier, you might have noticed that you have a lot of options! Here are a few things you should look for in the device that you choose:
- Medical-grade HEPA 13 filter: This is the Cadillac of air filters and can trap the tiniest particles. A purifier without it can’t do nearly as good of a job.
- UV-C light: The wavelength of this light makes it able to demolish germs, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens.
- Activated carbon filter: This type of filter is especially good at capturing gases and odors.
- Replaceable filter: Replaceable is better than washable. Think about it. After your purifier has trapped all sorts of nasty particles, do you want to have to manually wash it and expose yourself to all those germs? Probably not. Plus, it’s really hard to actually get these clean, which will hamper how well your air purifier is able to work.
- Self-running: Ideally, you want a purifier that can detect when your air needs to be cleaned and when it’s already healthy and safe. That way, it practically runs itself.
The Sans air purifier is built with four layers of protection: the pre-filter, medical-grade HEPA 13 filter, activated carbon filter, and pulses of UV-C light to cap it all off. It’s whisper quiet and won’t disturb you, it’s safe around pets and kids, and it’ll notify you when it’s time to change the filter so that it can continue running optimally.
Adults in the United States spend the majority of their time indoors (about 90% of our time, to be more precise). While we don’t have nearly as much control over outdoor air pollution, we can more significantly control the air we breathe at home and the office. Protect your health and shop with Sans today.