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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

2 Tips For Decreasing Your Risk Of Asthma Attacks In The Spring

by Francisco Arnold

While you may enjoy the return of warm weather when winter is over and spring is underway, you may also dread the increase in pollen and other allergens that exacerbate your asthma and lead to more attacks. If so, use the tips below to help you decrease your chances of having an attack while you are trying to enjoy the spring weather.

1.  Avoid Outdoor Activities in the Morning

Especially during the spring months, pollen from flowers, trees, and other plant life tend to permeate the air more during the morning hours. After the sun rises and the dew evaporates, the pollen is released into the air. 

If you go outside during these morning hours, you are more likely to suffer from an asthma attack. However, once the afternoon hours come around, most of the pollen and allergens in the air have had a chance to settle, which decreases the likelihood that you will breathe them into your lungs and trigger an attack.

Whenever possible, try to schedule outdoor activities in the afternoons and early evenings. If you do have to go outside in the morning, make sure you have taken your asthma medications and bring your asthma inhaler with you. 

2.  Wear a Mask While Gardening and Doing Yard Work

No matter what time of day that you go outside to do gardening or yard work, even if you do wait until the afternoon or evening, you will be kicking up a large amount of pollen and other allergens. And, especially if you are working close to the ground, you are at a higher risk of breathing in an increased number of particulates that will irritate your lungs and cause an asthma attack.

Ideally, you should have someone else do the work outside. However, if you are the only one around to mow the lawn or simply enjoy working in the garden, you can protect yourself from the allergens by wearing a mask while you are outdoors.

Even if you wear a cheap paper mask, this can help cut down on the pollen you breathe in. Just make sure the mask fits tightly around your mouth and nose, as any gaps will allow the allergens to get under the mask.

Even if you use the tips above, you may still notice an increase in your asthma attacks during the spring months. If so, consider contacting a medical office that provides asthma care services to discuss your symptoms and find out what treatments are available to help you breathe easier this spring.