Friday, 4 December 2009

Yes, Anna has asthma as well

That's six out of six.


Mrs. Edwards said...

Too bad. I don't understand asthma that well. Is it something that you always have and just finally diagnose? Or is it something that you develop, triggered by allergies or illness?

Sharon said...

At least Anna's asthma looks like it will be mild, not severe.

With regard to the cause of asthma, it depends. From what the doctor has been telling us, it seems like our asthma has been triggered by a viral infection that we have all had; maybe Swine Flu or maybe the severe flu we all had our second winter in Perth (and it has gone undiagnosed until now).

But we also probably have a genetic predisposition to asthma; my father was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma as an adult, and Jeff had mild asthma as a child, that didn't persist into adulthood until it reoccurred now.

Also, since Jeff and I lived in Darwin as teenagers and adults, and the three oldest kids were born there, we were unlikely to show asthma symptoms until we moved to Perth. Apparently the humidity of the tropics is good for asthmatics, but the dry air and prevalence of flowering plants here in Perth is bad for asthmatics. Also, the suburb we moved to at the beginning of the year, where we live now, is a garden delight. Many of our neighbours are retirees with an abundance of time for gardening, and their flowers and fruiting plants are amazing to see - but not great for allergy-induced asthma. Not only that, we live next to an exposed canal-style drain that has lots of lovely plants growing in it most of the year (until the council came and bulldozed it out a few weeks back, killing all our poor frogs). And on the far side of the drain is a huge community oval, another source of lots of allergy-inducing pollen to spark asthma attacks.

So probably it was a virus that sparked our asthma off initially, but the reason it is so bad now - and we are all getting diagnosed at once, it seems - is the environmental factors that make it hazardous living here. And the fact that we have a GP who knows to ask the right type of questions, and a children's hospital with staff who know the symptoms of "viral-induced wheeze" when they see it in the emergency department.

~ Sharon