I blog here to inform. I hope you my reader have use of the information I give. Not too many know what asthma REALLY is, and what those allergic, asthmatic and sensitive people can get sick from. My hope is that if you do not know as much about asthma, that after reading my blog you are a bit better informed and care about what you use in the future.
When other people make you sick
That is a way of saying that most people take for a person who behave in a way that make the other person say “you make me sick”, the term of disgust, but this is not about that. This is about when other people makes people physically sick. Now how is that possible?
Very many persons in the world are allergic, asthmatic and sensitive against different things that others are using. To make another person sick you do not have to physically touch the person. And it is not about the mentally making someone ill either.
Lets just take a look at the daily life of just anyone.
It is socially accepted and normal amongst very many to use for example tobacco and perfume daily. They actually feel it is their human right to do so, and no one is allowed to tell them otherwise. Very many use perfume to indulge themselves, and to make them look nice to others, or even attract others. But for some people this use is a hazard to their health and possibly to their very life. And what happens when those people meet in the same room and must co-exist?
Perfume got the effect on an allergic, asthmatic and sensitive person that is repellent and off-putting. It does not have the effect that the user want. I can take an example here.
Yesterday I met a lady in the grocery shop who often travels with my bus. She is very nice and I was glad to see her. It was also an unexpected meeting since she does not live in the area. She started talking and we had a nice conversation. But in the instant I came 2,5 meters from her I could feel the stank of her perfume in far, and it was so VERY STRONG. Even if I stood 2,5 meters away it was like putting my nose right in her bottle. There were a cloud of perfume around her that reached 3 meters away. I came 1,5 meter away from her that is the normal distance to keep when socializing here, and I got ill. I felt my lungs tighten and felt it was coming that I would soon be unable to breathe. Since I got asthma I can not be around and too near people having perfume on them. I get so really sick from perfume. And I am not alone in the world to have this problem. Even if she is a nice lady to chat with, I really wanted to leave because I got ill from her use.
Another time I was exposed to perfume was in May 2011 and the evening came and I got a phone call. A friend asked if I would like to go to the restaurant? I got very glad and said Yes! I’ll pick you up in half an hour. : ) I parked outside and waited for him. When he entered the car I smiled at him and said hello, and in the same second I had an asthma attack. He forgot I have asthma and had sprayed aftershave all over him. The aftershave was so strong, the fragrance filled the whole car. I had to open all the windows same time as I was coughing badly trying to get air, and take my medicine. Did not help. The perfume stank spread in all of my car. It was cold outside and we drove with the windows open. My friend froze but I could not close the windows, because if I did I would get even more, really, really sick. I can not sit in a car with all that perfume, and it was a 15 minutes drive to the restaurant. I had to have the windows open. Only other option would have been to let him out of the car and let him walk home. At the restaurant I was sick all evening. He stank all a cross the table. I tried to medicate, it helped a bit but it never really ended. It was even possible to hear it on my talking. My breathing made my voice sound strange and raspy. After a while I needed to visit the ladies room. Took my Symbicort Turbuhaler medicine and needed to rinse my mouth. I got in to the ladies room and a wall of perfume in form of washing agents and air-freshener met me. I just took medicine and needed to rinse my mouth, and now I again got breathing problems because of the air-freshener. From the ashes in to the fire. Rinsed my mouth and then quick out again. Still sick.
It happens that I enter a store to go shopping. Such happened for example this summer. I needed new batteries for my hearing aid and entered the local farmacy to buy some, but they were sold out and I had to go to the Clock and Juwelery store to buy it. I entered the store and the lady in the store stank of perfume and I got sick. I bought my batteries, that costed about 40 NOK more than at the farmacy (robbery if you ask me) and on top of it I got sick from the staff’s perfume use. I will never enter that store again. I can not have getting sick from going shopping. There they lost a costumer. I would rather drive far to a shop that is scent free, than go shopping there.
And then you got the smoking that is a hot topic for many. Very many smokers feel they are herrassed by the anti-smokers, and then again there are us who get sick from the smoke.
An example of this is:
We stroll around. It is a sunny day and my friend suggest a coffee or a beer in the sun. Ok, I say, and think to myself that this is nice. At the same time I get worried over smokers. I look around to see if there is any clear table, a table without smokers sitting around it. Ah! There is one! We sit and order our drinks, and talks. Half way through the beer and the coffee the person(s) at the table next to me lights a cigarette. Wind drives the smoke in my direction. I feel the asthma strike my health again, just as many other times. We sit outside, the smoker is allowed to smoke there, still I get sick. It gets bad, and I have to leave.
A stroll on the docks along the canal. Some smokers walk in front of me. I have to sick- sack to avoid their fumes, still it hits my lungs. I get sick again and get breathing problems. Silently I suggest to my friend to take another road in hope of there are no smokers. We go there. It is ok for a while, so comes that smoke again. I go around it to avoid it. Worst is when they go on all sides of me. Where to escape then?
We want to enter the mall, or pass the doors to the waiting hall at the buss/train station or airport. They are either going in the mall or they are taking a bus, train, or flight. It is not allowed to smoke inside the mall and waiting hall so people stand in front of the entrance for the “last smoke”, smoking them up. The smoke is thick in front of the doors. I get scared and worried thinking I must pass that. If I want or need to get in there I have to pass it. I go through it and it takes a second or two for the smoke to hit my lungs, and then it takes a few seconds again before I feel my lungs protest and tighten, and I get trouble breathing. Sometimes i try to hold my breath to avoid the smoke because if I do not I will get sick. If there are to many standing there in front of the door I maybe can not hold my breath long enough. Then I get sick again.
Now of course this is only a few examples of what happends. I have experienced many more, and lots of people could tell you other times they got ill from others use.
You can read more and also personal true stories here:
If you want to know how many people have asthma, you need to prepare yourself for the answer! It is such a large number that you would be surprised! It has been estimated that more than twenty million people in America suffers from asthma, and Norway in the year 2011 have a total of about 4.920.400 inhabitants, out of those are approximately 1.230.100 persons with allergies, asthma and other sensitivities, and about 639.600 of those got asthma. That is roughly 7 % of the population of the US and 13 % of the Norwegian population. A report (WHO 2006) also showed that as many as 300 million people worldwide suffers from this condition. It has been estimated that by the year 2025, there will be at least one 400 million people who suffers from asthma.
I addition to those 80 million people with diagnosed moderate to severe COPD, and millions of others with mild COPD, allergic rhinitis, and other chronic respiratory diseases, which are often undiagnosed. And chronic respiratory diseases caused over 4 million deaths in 2005, including over 3 million deaths from COPD and 255,000 deaths from asthma.
Remember that you can make many people sick, but also remember that you have the power to prevent that. If you stop using fragranced products and quit smoking you help many thousands of people who get sick from the use.
Sources and read more: World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int/respiratory/gard/events/GARD_Fact_Sheet.pdf, and professor Kjell Aas http://www.astmainfo.no/502686/?itemId=846543