Don’t let the holidays leave you breathlessby The Ontario Lung Association | 187 days ago | 766 page views
Topics: Health & Wellness
Did you know that 2.4 million Ontarians live with asthma or other lung conditions? During the holidays, more than the season’s hustle and bustle can make breathing difficult for these people. In fact, some of your holiday traditions may have hidden health risks.
To avoid potential triggers that could cause asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to flare up, the Ontario Lung Association recommends keeping the following tips in mind.
Real Christmas trees and other greenery and wreaths can hold excess moisture that can lead to the growth of mould, a common trigger for people with lung conditions. Ensure this excess moisture is removed so everyone can enjoy the greenery in your home.
Artificial trees and decorations that are stored all year long can also have mould and dust. Before decking the halls, make sure all decorations are thoroughly cleaned to avoid these triggers.
A wood-burning fire sets a nice ambiance, but smoke can trigger asthma attacks and contribute to indoor pollution. Burn only clean, dry wood and never burn plastics, newspaper, coloured paper, painted wood or other materials that can release dangerous contaminants into the air. Also ensure you have adequate ventilation in the home.
Cigarette smoke is also harmful and lingers long after the cigarette is out. Make sure you and your guests smoke outside – or better yet, make butting out part of your New Year’s resolution.
Even cooking can cause triggers for people with lung issues. Gas and electric stoves produce gasses and fine particles, while cooking can create odours that may trigger attacks. Be sure to always use your exhaust fan on high when cooking and keep your oven clean.
According to the Ontario Lung Association, windows should be opened – even in the winter – to ensure proper ventilation is maintained in a home. This will help prevent attacks from coming on and help people be more comfortable in the home.
The Ontario Lung Association also recommends always taking medications as prescribed and having an up-to-date action plan. You should keep your emergency inhaler with you at all times so you’re never caught by a surprise attack.
In addition to following these seasonal tips, you can show others you care about lung health by supporting the Ontario Lung Association’s Christmas Seal campaign. Festive Seals can be used to decorate the cards and packages you give to friends and family, while helping Ontarians with lung disease breathe easier. To make a donation and receive your Christmas Seals, call 1-866-333-4045 or visit www.on.lung.ca for more information.