Asthma is a medical disorder in which a person feels difficulty in breathing. It is usually the result of allergens that cause allergy in the body. In asthma, the breathing tubes of the lungs get swollen and inflamed resulting in the narrowing of breathing tubes (bronchioles). The signs of asthma may include difficulty in breathing, cough, sputum production (phlegm), and chest congestion. This is a guide to managing asthma; in case of medical urgency it is recommended to seek a professional healthcare provider’s help.

Sign And Symptoms of Asthma:

  1. Cough - a frequent sign of asthma; it can be productive (with sputum) or without sputum.
  2. Breathing difficulty - commonly associated with wheezing or whistling sounds from the lungs.
  3. Chest congestion - feeling of heaviness in the chest.
  4. Breathlessness - after slight work or walking.

Causes of Asthma:

Following are some factors that can trigger an asthma attack.

  • Allergens (substances which cause allergy) like dust, pollens, and certain foods like fish or eggs, animal dust.
  • Cigarette or tobacco smoke, air pollution, dust from home, perfumes or other fumes.
  • Fast food or cold drinks.
  • Heavy physical exertion.
  • Mental stress.

Things To Do:

  • Try deep breathing exercises e.g. Pranayama a few times a day.
  • Consult a psychiatrist if you are feeling troubled by emotional issues.
  • A change of weather is advisable for frequent attacks - dry weather is better suited for asthmatics.
  • Keeping a calm and composed mind helps since asthma has a psychosomatic element. 

Things To Avoid:

  • Most allergens:
    • Avoid dust. Use a mask while dusting; using a vacuum cleaner may also help. Avoid carpets on the floor, which harbour dust.
    • Avoid pets if you are asthmatic.
    • Avoid food that triggers an attack of asthma e.g. cold drinks, particular fruits, fish, chocolates.
    • Avoid fumes.
    • Avoid mosquito coils and mats.
  • Stop smoking completely, if you are a smoker.
  • Junk food /deep-fried food like pizzas, hamburgers, chips.
  • Cold food like ice creams and cold drinks. 
  • Sour food like non-fresh curds, raw onion and sour fruits [citrus fruits (orange, lemon), sour grapes].
  • Stress: Managing stress is important as it can directly prompt an asthma attack. Yoga and meditation may help to relieve stress.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.