I have twins that have been diagnosed with reactive airway disease; how is this different from Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome? Also, we are putting in a new furnace, so is there anything that we can do at this time to make the air that they breathe better for them?
Reactive airways disease is often confused with reactive airways dysfunction syndrome. This later condition does not apply to your children, as it is usually seen in adults and is the result of a heavy exposure to an irritant chemical that causes injury to the airways.
The diagnosis “Reactive Airways Disease” is often used by the physician before the diagnosis of asthma can be truly established. This “temporary” diagnosis is useful because, sometimes after a respiratory viral infection, the airways are irritable for several weeks and then they return to normal. You see, although persons with asthma may have worsened asthma following lower respiratory infections (usually viral in origin), normal people may have temporary irritability in their airways following lower respiratory infections and initially appear to have asthma when they, in fact, do not.
To provide the best recommendations concerning indoor environmental control, it is useful to know what your children are allergic to. Aeroallergens, such as dust mites or mold spores, can be combated by keeping the humidity to less than 45 — care with things like a humidifier on the furnace must be regarded. Dust mites can also be avoided by using zipper-tight mite-retardant pillowcases and mattress covers. Regardless, a filter on the furnace can be helpful, but remember that for the filter to work well the furnace blowers should be left on, allowing the thermostat to turn the heat off and on, depending on the desired temperature.