It's that time of the year when the air warms up, the humidity rises, and those with allergies suffer. The culprits are numerous but usually involve outdoors allergens. Yet, one particularly problematic pest lives inside the home and is known to cause a variety of respiratory troubles including asthma.
Researchers have known the immune system plays a role in fighting the virus and other parts of the body do change. But a detailed account of what happens at the site of battle has been for the most part a mystery. Now an international team of researchers have given us a glimpse into the war happening inside.
I hug an acquaintance, start catching up and then I start coughing. I take a sip of my wine but the mucus in my throat seems to get thicker. Cough. Cough. Wheeze. Cough. Some people are looking at me. Oh, how embarrassing. Deciding to catch my breath privately, I leave and head down the hall looking for a ladies' room while digging for my asthma puffer. Hmm, there's a distinct wheeze. It's OK. One good inhalation of this puffer is all I ever need. Uh oh. There's a problem. I can't inhale now.
It is Canada's challenge to ensure this country is attractive to those who are making the decisions on where to invest their dollars for the discovery and development of innovative new treatments. So while critics try to dismiss stronger IP as nothing more than a technique to pad the bottom line of a faceless corporation, for millions of Canadians it could be a matter of life and breath.
When it comes to urban sustainability, cities in the U.S. and Canada are employing innovative programs and policies to improve the health and well-being of residents and their local environments. But (with some notable exceptions, such as Vancouver and Calgary) no successful rapid transit infrastructure projects have been built in Canadian cities for decades.
A new study out of the University of Texas has found that mild and moderate asthma sufferers may not need daily puffs from their inhalers any more. And I for one am breathing easier after confirmation that I was on the right track with this one all along. Maybe a mother's instincts are a credible decision-making force after all. From the start, I followed my gut and said no to year-round puffer usage and yes to steroids only when asthma flares up. I guess that puts our son six years ahead of the study.