What triggers your asthma?

What triggers your asthma?

Nov 08

WebMD recently released its list of top ten worst cities for asthma. They are Chicago, New Orleans, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Augusta, Oklahoma, Detroit, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Tennessee. If you are living in one of these cities, you are more likely to develop an asthma attack. But more than city where you live, there are other factors that could increase your risk of asthma. Here are some of them.

Poor air quality

Pollution coming from cars, factories, and other sources is among the primary asthma triggers in the country. Manufacturers have the moral obligation to keep their emissions level within legal standards. However, some companies choose to be part of the problem instead. This can be true for German automaker Volkswagen. According to the website of the Volkswagen emissions lawsuit attorneys of the Driscoll Firm, the auto maker deliberately manufactured cars equipped with software that could defeat emissions testing, making them compliant even though they really aren’t.

Allergies

Allergies to pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold can trigger asthma attack. Is your asthma attack more frequent during pollen season? Are you having asthma attacks when air is humid? Does having a pet around trigger your asthma? List all the possible causes of your asthma to know which allergens to avoid.

Strenuous physical activities

Asthma attacks can also be triggered by too much physical activity. Learn to pace yourself during your exercise. Also, warming up slowly may prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks.

Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes and being exposed to second hand smoke are among the most common asthma triggers in the country. If you have asthma and can’t quit smoking, speak with your doctor about safe ways on how to cut down your habit.

Other possible triggers

Some asthma attacks develop because of acid reflux, while some are caused by influenza virus. Breathing in certain types of fumes, being in a cold, dry air, and sinus infection may also contribute to an attack. Consult with your doctor to know what triggers your asthma and the ways on how you may prevent them.

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

Jul 05

Asbestos was once recognized for its fire resistant properties and thus widely used in a number of building and other materials. Its growing popularity was ended as asbestos exposure was linked to the development of asbestosis and even more serious mesothelioma cancer. After regulation took place, it was exposed that some professions were more at risk of asbestos exposure than others.

Military veterans are often noted as the most at risk for asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma. For a number of years, asbestos was used across all branches of the military. For Navy veterans, the risk lies in the building materials for the ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers that often included asbestos. These risks were also associated with Air Force Veterans and Marine Corp veterans exposed to hazardous aircrafts and ships. Even general Army Veterans are at risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development.

Commercial and industrial workers were also at an increased risk for asbestos exposure, according to the website of Williams Kherkher. The job sites where this was common include construction sites, oil refineries, power plants, steel mills, and chemical plants. These sites all had the risk of fire leading to the early use of asbestos to be common.

However, it is not just workers who are at risk for exposure to asbestos. With the increase of individuals taking on do-it-yourself renovations on older homes, the risk of asbestos exposure increases as well. Before the regulation of asbestos, it was widely used in the building of homes in insulation, flooring, roofing, and more. This means that when an individual cuts into or saws through these materials, asbestos dust and fibers are released into the air. Many of those who take on renovations do not take the proper safety precautions to avoid asbestos fibers and are at increased risk of inhaling them and developing mesothelioma.

It has even been found that asbestos exposure can occur second hand. When workers come home with asbestos fibers on their clothes or hair, other individuals can inhale them and experience the same risks as those directly in contact with asbestos. This exposure can lead to the fatal cancer Mesothelioma as well as other health problems.

Prozac History

Prozac History

Aug 03

Prozac (fluoxetine), also known as “bottled sunshine” to many celebrities and millions of the depressed, is a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  It was first approved as an antidepressant in December 1987 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US. The patent held by developer Eli Lilly and Company in August 2001.

The history of Prozac, which is also the background to fluoxetine which is now available under generic brands, is quite interesting and a bit disturbing. Originally documented in 1974, it was initially tested on humans as an antihypertensive, because it showed that it lowered the blood pressure in lab animals. However, it was a no-go in human testing. Eli Lilly did not give up on the drug, and tried it again as an anti-obesity drug. Again, no joy. But a strange thing happened during the human trials: five participants who exhibited mild depression reported feelings of upliftment while taking Prozac.

Quick to take advantage, Eli Lilly proposed the drug as an antidepressant for both adults and children, and Prozac became the stuff of legends. Or at least, it was promoted as such by the celebrities who swore by its positive effects, and by the time the drug was on the shelf for 3 years, it was considered a wonder drug, a problem-free quick fix. It also popularized the term SSRI to denote a class of antidepressants. Many more drugs were developed along this line as a result.

In the decades since it was approved, Prozac has become a panacea of all ills. Prescriptions for the drug increased four-fold between 1991 and 2009, and it was not restricted to treating depression. Other FDA approved uses were for the treatment of panic disorder, bulimia nervosa and obsessive compulsive disorder. Off-label uses included post traumatic stress disorders, obesity, and cataleptsy. It has even become standard to prescribe Prozac to the recently bereaved, although grief is not a pathologic condition.

That is the interesting part. The disturbing part is that no one really knows how Prozac actually works. SSRIs are thought to block the reabsorption of the feel-good chemical serotonin so that it stays longer in the brain, lifting one’s mood. But this is merely the theory, not the fact. The fact is, many scientists today contend that fluoxetine in particular does not work on patients with mild to moderate depression. Moreover, there are serious side-effects that accompany the indiscriminate use of Prozac, including birth defects, suicidality, and sexual dysfunction. Despite these ever-increasing concerns about the health effects of Prozac, it continues to be one of the most prescribed antidepressants in the market even with newer and “safer” alternatives.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma

Jun 29

People have been aware for decades that the ultrafine fibers of asbestos pose a serious danger for people who are chronically exposed to the substance. While asbestos occurs in nature, they are in amounts that are not considered dangerous to humans. However, because it was used in the manufacture of so many consumer goods in the bad old days, people have been exposed to copious amounts of asbestos. This is true of most people, but especially those who actually worked in industries that made or used asbestos.

Unfortunately, as asbestos lawyers have argued for years, the symptoms of diseases that can be causally linked to asbestos exposure take a long time to manifest. A good example is malignant mesothelioma, cancer of the mesothelium, which is the protective covering of the lungs, abdomen, heart, and other internal organs. Asbestos-related mesothelioma most commonly develops in the pleura, which is the covering of the lungs.

More than 27 million people were exposed to asbestos because of their jobs between 1940 and 1979, by which time it became apparent that asbestos was a health hazard. Between 1973 and 1984, there was a three-fold increase in the diagnosis of mesothelioma among people with occupational exposure to asbestos. In the decade between 1980 and 1990, more and more people started dying of the disease, which indicates that it could take years for the symptoms to manifest, as much as 40 years in some cases.

When diagnosed with mesothelioma, patients can expect it to change their lives, and available treatment modalities can be expensive. If there is reason to believe that the condition is due to occupational asbestos, a personal injury lawyer in the area specializing in mesothelioma or asbestos-related cases should be consulted before the statute of limitations runs out. Compensation that may be sued for medical and life care expenses may be forthcoming for successful cases.