Asthma, like other chronic disease conditions, has increased in incidence over the last 20 years. Mainstream therapy includes the use of beta-adrenergic agonists to maintain bronchial patency, while corticosteroids are used to prevent the now well-addressed inflammatory component of asthma. Relatively new outlooks on asthma pathogenesis, such as Th2:Th1 balance theory and the hygiene hypothesis, provide exciting new opportunities from which to base new approaches to asthma therapy. Table 2 summarizes some of these approaches. Continued investigations of complementary therapies for asthma are well-recommended, because many therapies are offering promising outcomes, based on preliminary research. Addressing asthma in a preventative manner, using common supplemental interventions such as ascorbic acid, magnesium, and fish oils, as well as botanical medicines, offers significant benefits for preventing bronchial hyper-reactivity and inhibition of the damaging inflammatory response.

Recommendations for patients that are serious about battling allergies include minimizing allergen exposure and supporting the body in controlling the allergic response. The goal is simple—minimize the total burden of allergic exposure by:

Checking the pollen count (with local media)

Staying indoors when it is high, such as early evening when pollen counts peak

Sleeping with the windows closed

Driving with the vehicle car windows closed

Wearing a mask when mowing the lawn or better yet hire out thejob

Protecting the eyes with glasses=sunglasses to stop pollen from entering the eyes

Washing hair prior to bed (to rinse out allergens collected throughout the day)

Staying well hydrated—moist mucous membranes are more resistant to irritation

Testing for food allergies

Minimizing mold and mildew in the house

Using air filters=HEPA in the bedroom

Cleaning central ventilation system in the home or office

Remembering indoor=outdoor pets carry pollen and allergens on their fur

Cleaning carpets regularly with a HEPA vacuum

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