Who thinks about or has even give a second thought about the air that is breathed in our immediate surroundings? Well I didn’t until I had my first ever asthma attack. At the age of 57 I experienced my very first asthma attack while on my job.
Explain how that can be possible after my numerous years as an avid runner in the military, swimmer, weightlifter, and cyclists. I graduated with a BS in Physical Education and still nothing prepared me for the day when my wife thought she would become a widow seeing me be resuscitated twice, contacting the red cross to alert my son who is in the military, and not including the stress caused by having to contact the rest of our family.
So here I am still recovering and having to deal with a new way of life. Yes, if you don’t know, life changes. I’m a lot better off than maybe some of you who are reading this but the fact remains, I am not the runner and avid exercise jock I had always planned to be. Now the word is, “listen to your body” and get back in gradually.
Not knowing the causes of that day has been mind-boggling, interesting, as well as puzzling to my family care physician and of course to me. I have been thoroughly educated on the triggers of asthma and some of the possible causes and knowledge that we can share with each other.
Since the time of the occurrence in Charlotte NC, it was important to understand the seasons, plants, trees, animals, and even foods that could have caused this episode. An interesting fact came about after taking the thirty some allergy shots, they didn’t know what actually triggered the attack. I was told that I was allergic to various trees to include oak and birch, and dogs.
An interesting question came up, what’s your home and working environment like? Of course, in a corporate environment you are surrounded by carpet, wall dividers, and re-circulated air and temperatures you can not control. According to The OSU Wexner Medical Center, these items are causes of occupational asthma which often begins with a cough or other asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, eye irritation, and chest tightness, that may occur during exposure to the irritant(s) at work. The cause can be allergic or non-allergic in nature.
Sometimes, occupational asthma symptoms do not appear until several hours after the exposure, even while at home after work. At the onset of the disease, symptoms may subside during weekends and vacations, but exposure to an occupational irritant can cause asthma within 24 hours. However, during later stages of occupational asthma, asthma symptoms may begin occurring during exposure to other, more common asthma triggers, such as smoke, dust, and temperature changes.
Hopefully, this information was helpful and I do encourage you to visit your family physician for preventive measures. Help others by leaving some feedback and tell us about some of your occurrences and how you are coping.