By Hal Marcovitz
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Extra resources for Asthma
They must even be careful around gas stoves, which emit nitrous oxide, a chemical that can irritate bronchial passages. 41 Asthma Certainly, asthma patients can take steps on their own to ensure their homes are safe, but when they step outdoors they are at the mercy of their environments. Cities in which air pollution is a daily part of life are particularly hard on asthma patients. Smoggy conditions, often combined with cold temperatures or high humidity, can prompt asthma attacks because of the high content of sulfur dioxide in the air.
If the patient records a peak value between 65 and 80 percent of his or her personal best, it is likely the patient is suffering from asthma symptoms. A value below 50 percent of personal best usually indicates a severe asthmatic episode. Phil Lieberman of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine says peak flow readings serve as an important tool for doctors. In many cases, Lieberman says, patients do not tell the truth about the severity of their asthma attacks—often telling their doctors that their distress during their episodes was not very bad.
Com. Conor is a graphic designer and photographer. 31 Facts and Illustrations Facts and Illustrations What Is Asthma? 32 • Worldwide about 300 million people have been diagnosed with asthma; each year some 250,000 deaths are attributed to asthma around the globe. • Allergic reactions spark symptoms in about 70 percent of asthma patients. • About 500,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with asthma symptoms. • Forty-four percent of asthma patients who are hospitalized each year are under the age of 18.
Asthma by Hal Marcovitz