Keep Your Sneeze from Turning into a Wheeze

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: December 13, 2012

As the cold weather season sets in, so do the common cold, flu and asthma flare-ups in adults and children. Educate your employees on ways to be proactive in preventing a sneeze from a common cold to turning into the wheeze of an asthma flare-up.

The most common causes of asthma flare-ups are respiratory infections that cause the common cold and the influenza virus. The symptoms of the cold and flu are annoying, and they can cause major problems if you have asthma. Asthma is defined by inflammation which causes the narrowing of the airway passages and sensitivity to allergens such as animal dander, dust mites, carpet, cockroaches, trees, grasses, pollen, mold, air pollution, perfumes, tobacco smoke, cold air, as well as emotions. The lung cells produce mucus causing the airways to become swollen, then the muscles tighten around the airways causing wheezing and difficulty breathing.

There is no sure way from keeping employees from getting a cold, flu or having asthma flare-ups, but you can help them and their families by providing a few preventive health tips to avoid getting sick:

  • Get a flu shot, unless your doctor advises against it.
  • Try to avoid being too close to someone who appears sick (coughing, runny nose and sneezing).
  • Wash your hands often! Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer.
  • Ask your doctor if you need the pneumonia vaccination or booster.
  • Get rest, exercise, a balanced diet, plenty of water and use safe and approved over-the-counter remedies only.
  • Call your doctor early for asthma flare-ups or if severe breathing symptoms are present.
  • Follow your asthma action plan. If you don’t have an asthma action plan, talk to your doctor about making one.
  • Use a peak flow meter. Take readings at set time daily. If your peak flow rate drops, adjust your medication as directed by your doctor.
  • Stay home if you get sick. Avoid infecting others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Know what to do at the first signs you may be getting sick. Be proactive. Make a plan.

For more information,  please contact us.

Sources: National Asthma Education and Prevention Program; National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to a physician.

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