Asthma is a medical disorder in which a person feels difficulty in breathing. Asthma is usually caused by allergens which cause allergy in the body. In asthma the breathing tubes of lungs get swelled up and inflamed resulting in narrowing of breathing tubes (bronchioles). The signs of asthma include difficulty in breathing, cough, sputum production (Phlegm), chest congestion. This is a guide to manage Asthma; in case of medical urgency seek professional healthcare provider’s help.
Sign and symptoms of asthma:
- Cough is a frequent sign in asthma it can be productive (with sputum) or without sputum.
- Breathing difficulty commonly associated with wheezing or whistling sounds from the lungs.
- Chest congestion, felling of heaviness in the chest.
- Breathlessness after slight work or walking.
Causes of asthma:
Asthma is an autoimmune disorder. Following are some factors that can trigger an asthma attack.
- Substances which causes allergy are called allergens like dust, pollens, and certain foods like fish or egg, animal dust.
- Cigarette or tobacco smoke, air pollution from vehicles, dust from home, perfumes or other fumes.
- Fast food or cold drinks.
- Heavy physical exertion.
- Mental stress.
Things to do:
- Deep breathing exercises e.g. Pranayama 25 times a day.
- Stop smoking completely, if you are a smoker.
- Avoid all allergens.
- Avoid dust. A housewife having asthma may be greatly helped by vacuum cleaner to clean dust. Use a mask while dusting.
- Avoid carpets on the floor, which harbor dust.
- Avoid pets if you are asthmatic.
- Avoid industrial fumes in factory workers.
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to use your emergency inhaler correctly. If a particular food triggers an attack of asthma, avoid it e.g. cold drinks, particular fruits, fish, chocolates.
- If any emotional or family problem, try to sort out, or use tranquillizer or consult psychiatrist.
- For repeated attacks, advise change of weather i.e. a holiday in dry climate, will help more than medicines.
- Avoid mosquito coils and mats.
- Use mosquito net instead or topical mosquito repelling cream.
- Avoid passive smoking.
- Asthma is one of psychosomatic illness. So mind tranquility is very important part of treatment. If a patient of asthma gets a dramatic relief in dry climate and attack otherwise, he or she should change the residence, if possible to a dry climate place.
- Take a glass of warm water early in the morning; take warm drinks like tea, coffee, soups often.
Things to avoid:
- Junk food or deep fried food like pizzas, hamburgers, chips.
- Cold foods items like ice creams, cold drinks. Sour foods like non fresh curds, raw onion. Avoid sour fruits like citrus fruits (orange, lemon), sour grapes.
- By trial and error method and keen observation, note if any particular food is causing an attack of asthma, such food must be totally avoided. Avoid heavy meals – eat in small quantity of meals and take dinner early. Avoid sleep at least for 2 hours after meals.
- Stress: Learn to manage stress as it can directly prompt the asthma attack. Try Yoga and meditation as it helps to relieve stress.