Cockroaches and Asthma

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Cockroaches and Asthma

Cockroaches and Asthma: Lessons to be learnt

Does the word “cockroach” have an impact on you like most people? We can associate cockroaches with dirty conditions and while they are a fact of life today, it is important to be aware of the latest information on the relationship between cockroaches and asthma.Dead cockroach on floor

Allergic responses can come at different stages of our lives, with some starting at birth and others as we grow older, however, individuals with asthma generally have increased allergic reactions to situations. In addition to this predisposition, allergic reactions can also come from things that we breathe in that stimulate an allergic response. Decomposed cockroaches produce excrement that also becomes airborne and breathed into the bronchial tubes. In some cases, this can cause an allergic reaction for some people who are predisposed to asthma.

Studies concerning children and allergies in their homes have shown that the highest proportion of allergy-producing substances comes from cockroaches. In addition to this, information from the study indicated that severe asthma seems to have come from exposure to high concentrations of cockroach allergens in their homes. Furthermore, children in heavily cockroach-infested homes who did not have an allergic sensitivity to cockroaches were not as likely to have severe asthma. It was the combination of both the allergic tendency and the allergen exposure that put the children at the greatest risk for troublesome asthma.

The important thing to realise is that if you happen to be a person whose immune system has allergic reactions to cockroach debris, keep your home free of cockroaches. At the same time, you can consider other potential sources of allergic reaction that may be in your home i.e. through exposure to cats, dogs or dust mites. It appears that any allergic predisposition combined with heavy allergic exposure to those specific things to which one is sensitive, fuels the fire of bronchial inflammation that we recognize as asthma.

Overall, the lesson that we can learn from this study of cockroaches is that if your asthma is difficult to control, it is important to make an effort to determine what your allergic tendencies are.

If you find that you have allergic sensitivities to things in your home or workplace, make every effort to reduce your exposure to those allergens. Although we cannot yet change our allergic tendencies, we can protect ourselves from breathing in large amounts of the substances to which we are allergic. By doing so, we can make our asthma better without resorting to medication and prescriptions.

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