Manage your Asthma
What is asthma?
Asthma is a common, chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. A person with asthma suffers from a long-lasting or recurrent condition of laboured breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.
Stress, physical and mental abuse, diet, exposure to toxins, pathogens, radiation, chemicals found in personal care products and household cleaners, and family history.
Signs & symptoms
Recurrent episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and coughing are common symptoms. Sputum may be produced by coughing but is often hard to bring up. The symptoms are usually worse at night and in the early morning or in response to exercise or cold air.
How is asthma diagnosed?
The diagnosis is typically based on the pattern of symptoms and response to therapy, over a period of time. Asthma may be the diagnosis if there is a history of recurrent wheezing, coughing, or difficulty in breathing. Symptoms occur or worsen due to prolonged exercise, viral infections, allergens, or air pollution.
TIPS TO PREVENT ASTHMA ATTACKS
• Wash all bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and bed covers in hot water once a week to get rid of dust.
• If you have asthma, stop smoking and avoid areas where people smoke.
• Do not allow pets in the bedroom or on the furniture - pet dander is a common asthma trigger.
• Remove carpets and stuffed toys from the bedroom. If the carpet cannot be removed and washed regularly, vacuum at least twice a week.
• Take control of seasonal allergies; stay inside as much as possible when pollen counts are high.
• Keep the air-conditioner filters free of dust.
• Avoid using perfumes, cleaning sprays, or air fresheners, as the mist from the sprays poses a serious risk of bronchial asthma.
• Reduce stress by resorting to mild, calming breathing exercises, as intense emotions & worry often worsen the symptoms. Do light exercises like walking, pranayama, and yoga.
• Avoid activities involving long periods of exertion - soccer, distance running, basketball & field hockey.
• Avoid eating foods to which you are allergic; common foods that trigger allergies are fish & yeast.
• Restrict or avoid fruits with high sugar content like bananas and apples.
• Avoid fried foods and foods that are hard to digest.
• Drink plenty of water, as it eases digestion and reduces mucus formation.
• Make ginger a part of the diet. It reduces the chance of allergic infections.
• Make sure people around you are aware of your asthma. Inform family members, friends, co-workers & teachers how to react in case an attack occurs.
• Keep quick-relief asthma medicines readily available, such as an inhaler.
• Be prepared! Know the location of the nearest hospital from your home, office & child's school.