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Dr Eccles Explains
Dr Eccles Explains: What is Asthma
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. If you have asthma your airways are almost always sensitive and inflamed. When you come in to contact with something that you are allergic to, or something that irritates your airways (a trigger), your airways react by constricting due to the muscles around the walls of your airways tightening and thereby becoming narrower, making it harder to breathe. The lining of the airways becomes inflamed due to an auto-immune allergic reaction. The outcome is swelling and often the production of sticky mucus or phlegm. This combination leads to the experience of asthma symptoms. Asthma tops the list of chronic respiratory diseases found in children in Western societies today.
Dr Eccles Explains: What is Hay Fever
Hay fever is medically known as ‘seasonal allergic rhinitis’; it causes an inflammation and irritation in the delicate linings of the nasal passage, throat and eyes. Hay fever commonly appears around the age 11-12, the symptoms usually peak in the 20's and early 30's then gradually disappear. However, more and more people are beginning to experience hay fever for the first time in their 30's. Although we still use the term ‘hay fever’, in fact a fever is not a symptom of the disease, nor is it due to hay. There are two types of allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis and perennial allergic rhinitis. Seasonal rhinitis is when you only experience symptoms during the spring and summer pollen season.
Nyjon Eccles BSc PhD MBBS MRCP
Dr. Nyjon Eccles obtained his medical qualifications in 1992 from UCL Medical School in London and has been a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) since 1997. He had also graduated previously with a PhD in Pharmacology in 1992. He is primarily a general and naturopathic physician and has special interest and experience in complementary nutritional supportive treatments that promote well-being and recovery.
Dr N. Eccles on Asthma and Pollution
There is no evidence that air pollution can actually cause asthma. In fact some research in Europe shows more allergy and asthma in less polluted cities. Australia and New Zealand have the highest levels of asthma in the world despite having fairly good air quality. It is certainly true though that air pollutants can be the trigger for an asthma attack in some individuals. A study based in Birmingham showed a significant association between those living near main roads and asthma related hospital admissions of children under five. Some scientists believe that air pollutants may make the lungs more vulnerable to viruses and allergic triggers such as pollen.
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