It is an episodic chronic respiratory disorder in which there is airflow obstruction causing difficulty in breathing. It is a very common disorder affecting children more than adults For some, the condition is mild with infrequent episodes & for others it is a serious medical emergency-An episode may pass away quickly and may be short lasting or at times lasts longer & requires immediate medical help.


Hereditary & familial tendency or history of allergy, which may be skin allergy also predisposes to asthma in the offsprings. Allergy mostly inhaled is the most common cause of asthma. Allergens can be: Environment - smoke, dust & pollution and petrol fumes. Pollen and molds from grass, flowers and trees. Strong perfumes Paints & varnishes Tobacco smoke Animal dander House dust mite Chemical fumes Food, which can cause allergy are: Sour food Citrus fruits Cold food & drinks Artificially colored & flavored foods Fish Beer, wine Vinegar Grapes Canned vegetables Infection of the lung, which can be bacterial, viral predisposes to asthma. Emotional stress is a known trigger factor for an asthmatic attack. Over strenuous exercise and inhalation of cold air and climatic changes are also trigger factors as are certain drugs like NS Aids(pain killers) if specific allergy to such drugs.


Initially there is a feeling of restlessness with a painless tightness in the chest There may be cough, sometimes with phlegm and a wheezing or whistling sound when breathing Mild to moderate shortness of breath and shortness and rapid breathing follow with a feeling of Anxiety, sweating and Inability to lie down on the back. Usually the sufferer finds comfort in sitting bent forwards and near the windows.


Try to recognize the trigger factors that bring on your attack, so that you can avoid them In families with history of allergy (asthma, eczema), avoid artificial milk, eggs, cocoa, juices & wheat preparations till completion of 6 months. In such circumstances you can only breast feed till 6 months. Vegetarians need not give non veg diet. Do breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months to strengthen the immune system and avoid contact with allergens such as in cow's milk Avoid foods & drinks that are known to cause a problem such as vinegar, lemon juice, grapes, instant tea, corn syrup, fruit toppings, cold food & drink, canned vegetables, beer and wine Avoid smoke, pollution, dust as far as possible. There are three steps to be taken when dealing with an allergy. Firstly, identify the cause or allergen Secondly, avoid it. Thirdly, if avoidance is impossible, treat the symptoms. Keep a diary and try to trace a pattern or relation between your allergic reaction and the allergen. E.g. Sneezing while doing housework could mean you are allergic to house dust. Take steps to deal with stress, anxiety and tension as these can influence the frequency and severity of symptoms Good nutrition, balanced diet, adequate rest and relaxation will be beneficial. Yoga can help you by breathing exercises


Choosing fresh unprocessed food. Checking food labels for additives Taking extra care like wearing gloves while using detergents and cleaners Clean your house, or vacuum frequently to get rid of dust mites, animal hair, etc. Avoid carpets,and tapestry furniture at home Keep away from pet animals Avoid going into rooms that are being painted or just painted Do not use strong perfumes Vitamin B complex and magnesium supplements may help you When traveling in polluted environment roll up car windows and use air conditioning, See a doctor regularly, to be monitored and seek help in case if a severe attack Ask your doctor regarding emergency medication to help you till you reach him