Friday, 24 September 2010

Bus Perfume - killer for asthmatics

Bus perfume can kill, especially in the new buses where you can't open the windows unless you are six feet tall.

I learned this week that 9600 deaths per year in Ontario are attributed to air pollution and that an enormous amount of people now have asthma, me being one of them.

Asthma is "triggered" by certain things, like some kinds of "musky" perfume. Once, triggered, your lungs start to close up because they are swelling inside. Depending on how bad your lungs decide to swell, you can pass out and even die, if you don't reverse the swelling so you can breathe.

So, you take your puffer and after a few minutes, the bronchio-dilator makes the swelling goes down. But, just like a sprained ankle, where every jolt causes renewed pain and perhaps a second sprain, the asthasmatic now has to avoid any triggers or the asthma will flare up again. Just like a sprained ankle, It can takes months to be normal again.

So what are triggers? It can be any number of things, but generally it is "an overload" of one thing, like perfume, or smoke, or dust, or mould, or fur, or smog.

The thing that worries me is that I am suddenly, unexpectedly trapped in a stuffy express bus with someone wearing that musky perfume, for just long enough to trigger an asthma attack - and I left my puffers at home. I'll just have to cross my fingers and remember to bring them with me if I am going to be taking the bus now instead of driving to work. Perhaps that will cut down on some of the smog.

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