Asthma UK community forum

Dirty Old Town v Seaside

Hi folks

Just returned from doctors having got an appointment for a chest x-ray and spirometer test (having been diagnosed with asthma late November) at the hospital.

Doctor told me there is a high spike in adult onset asthma in the town where we live, i live a valley surrounded by hills. so all the pollution and pollen are trapped in the town. My town is not industrial just a small town in the south west of england.

It got me thinking can asthma symptoms be reduced by living by the sea, with the sea breeze and very little pollen, not sure about the cold freezing weather at winter.

Does any one get benefits when going to the coast for a holiday (either U.k or abroad).

Regards

digg.

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It's interesting this one. As a kid, I always used to get terrible asthma on holiday (Scarborough, Blackpool, Colwyn Bay all triggered me very badly). I grew up in a rural-ish area close to the Pennines, but no shortage in those days of mills & industry nearby. One year, we went to Bournemouth & I had no problem whatsoever.

A few years ago I was travelling around Northern Scotland, & by pure chance met a guy who was also from Huddersfield. He had bought a cottage in Caithness overlooking the sea, he told me to improve his asthma. Even with the haar (sea fogs), he said it had improved his symptoms no end.

So, in summary - I really don't know :D

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Hi Minushabens

When you were up and around Scotland did asthma symptoms reduce, i am thinking now of moving by the coast now away from this hotbed of pollen and pollution in my home town.

The only thing that would concern me would be the freezing winters..not really sure how i would cope, it's bad enough down in the south west when it's barely above freezing and i am wrapped up like i am going on some polar trek let alone Scotland when it drops well below freezing.

Guess if i stock up on beer and food and just hunker down everything will be o.k.

Regards

Digg.

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Beer & food are stock treatments - add whisky when you're there (I do a great line in recommending distilleries to visit) & I find myself wondering why they don't put it all on prescription.

To answer your question, it's not a total like for like comparison. The visits I mentioned were when I was a child & had very poor treatment, but all the same, it was clear that going there triggered me very badly. I still had poor treatment when we went to Bournemouth (& Cornwall on one occasion) & didn't react as badly, albeit I was a good bit older.

I have travelled extensively around Scotland, including most of the Northern & Western Isles & have never had any inkling of an issue but that's over a period when I had better treatment.

With regards to winter, it's worth noting that the average West Coast temperature compares favourably with Northern England at least & can in some cases be milder due to meteorological reasons I don't understand (something to do with Atlantic winds from the south) but places like Arran, Ayrshire, even Islay can have very mild winters. The wind tends to be a bigger issue than the cold. NE & E Scotland is a totally different issue - much more prone to biting cold coming down from Scandinavia.

If you're thinking of visiting a particular spot, even for a short visit, let me know & I'll let you know the best places to get dru...err I mean visit.

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I generally find my asthma is much better by the sea. Have gone a whole day witbout my inhaler and minimal use other days plus able to do more on holiday in Cornwall. Same in Boston (in the USA not Lincolnshire, don't think that one is by the sea). Sadly the effect seems to be much less noticeable than it was - I don't see nearly as much improvement as I used to when I go to the sea. I should say I live in London which of course.is not the cleanest environment.

I had a previous consultant who was always very interested in how environments affected me. He wss very pleased when I said I was going to be working in Uxbridge and much less so when that was a short term thing and I told him I was now working in the City of London.... He also seemed to have an in depth knowledge of the climate of different bits of the USA, I think because he kept going to conferences.

I do find the weather and climate affect me - my lungs are like a rubbish weather station that breaks down when the weather changes and helpfully lets me know the pressure is dropping and a thunderstorm is coming. Because, you know, I couldn't have worked that out otherwise and it's completely essential for me to feel like a Victorian in a corset for several hours so I can tell everyone what the weather is outside :p

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Digg

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Hi

The seaside really helps my asthma. I live in northeast scotland in the country so pollen is a v big problem for me. On holiday I always head for the coast, north west or north east Scottish seaside air seems to be best for me. 😊

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Hi Emily-G

Thank you for reply, two years i had a holiday in Fort William and the air was nice and fresh ( prior to be diagnosed with asthma) so this year i will try Oban or one of the Islands to see it it helps...just avoid all the midges.

Digg.

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I don't know if this helps but just a very quick summary of the main western islands:

Arran - go to the west of the island; the east is busier & not as clean/fresh air. Blackwaterfoot is great, Lochranza has a distillery.

Islay - amazing place; distilleries everywhere. The maltings at Port Ellen give off peat smoke which affected me a little bit. Bring me back a bottle of Ardbeg ;)

Mull - beautiful & fresh air everywhere. Tobermory can get busy but otherwise an amazing place.

Outer Hebrides (Lewis, Harris, N & S Uist, etc.) - very remote. Beautiful but only Stornoway has much going on unless it's Sunday when most things close. I'm not a great fan of the town overall but a few decent pubs - you can do the 5C pub crawl (Crown, Criterion, Caladh, Carlton & County). There's a couple of sinners pubs by the docks that open on Sunday.

Skye - spectacular & remote.

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Wow! you've been to a few awesome places i do like the idea of Skye and Mull, i am more of a country lad myself (Ohh Arr) so a quiet place with a few good pubs and food would suit me.

I will certainly be getting a few ideas off you prior to booking the trip. I have chosen Oban because from what i understand i will be able to get a ferry to a few islands from Oban.

Just waiting now for an allergy test appointment and find out just which pollen is going to cause problems.

Thank you for your help and advice.

Cheers.

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Yes there's a big terminal at Oban running to Mull (c.55 mins I think) & the Outer Hebrides (Harris, N & S Uist, & Barra I think from memory - c.6 hours each way, so you'd need an overnight stop) + Coll & Tiree I think.

You'll love it!

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I go further north as cannot bear the midgies, top north west corner has gorgeous beaches and good air.

Have a great holiday

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Hi I live in the South West too but by the sea. I do find there is less pollution here and the air is certainly very fresh. I have been on holiday to London a few times and noticed I have less energy there. It is officially one of the windiest places in the country though which is fine when it is too hot but not when it's winter!

On the whole though I think the air is definitely less polluted here which has to be a good thing. x

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Hello Hypercat 54,

Now you are making me a tad jealous, by the sea and windy. Must be awesome to sea the waves crashing in against the rocks and the smell of sea air.

Would just love to get a dog and go for long walks on the beach and just be free of all the stress and all the usual stuff that is part of life.

And the fresh fish from the sea..yum yum, packing my suitcase already.

Regards

Digg.

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Well yes it is but it's very cold in the winter especially with that east wind! As for the fish not sure how fresh this is but it is very expensive. And it swarms with grockles (tourists) and that can be a nightmare and keeps prices high.

I used to take my sisters dog down the beach and chuck the ball in the water for her to swim out to. That was great and one of the benefits of living here. x

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I have a problem with humidity. I would be better off in a desert! :-P

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I also find humidity difficult but for some reason the seaside is fine, even if it's not as good as it used to be for my lungs! I joke that I'm Goldilocks as my lungs need the weather just right.

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Maybe it is the salty air that masks the humidity? I will have to see how I am this summer. We are staying at the seaside again. Last year I had a few issues until I realised the cushions in the caravan were stuffed with down! 😒

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