Asthma is a health condition where the airways get narrow due to swelling and there is also formation of excess mucus. This result in breathing difficulties and can also result in cough.
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and some common symptoms include
Shortness of breath
Sleeping problem due to short breathing
Coughing and mucus
A whistle like sound while breathing out
Frequent cough and breathing problem especially with cough and cold and flu
Tightness around chest area
When to Consult Doctor
Increasing Frequents and longer duration of asthma symptoms, no relief and frequent reoccurrence
No relief from existing problems
Frequency of inhaler use increased
Regular shortness of breath
Asthma Situation and Condition
Some individuals get mild to serious asthma attacks during certain activity and situations.Some of these common situations include
Attacks during Workout: some people get asthma attacks during moderate to heavy workouts and especially if it is in winter and dry weather.
At Workplace: People working in closed indoors, high dust area, chemical units, kitchens and storage may get asthma attacks.
Allergy Triggered: At times certain allergens like pets, fur, some perfumes, smell, food, pollens and certain insects can trigger asthma attack.
Common Causes of Asthma
Allergens like dust, pollen, insect, allergic food items and smell etc
Respiratory infections, cough and cold, flu
Moderate or high physical activity
Cold and dry environment, cold air
Some medicines for pain, beta blockers, aspirin etc
Dried fruits, shrimps, certain vegetables, packed food, canned food and certain preservatives used in food
Wines, beer and in some cases alcoholic drinks
Quick worsening of condition i.e breathlessness and short breathing
No improvement of condition even after taking inhaler for asthma relief
Frequent episodes of asthma attack
Breathing problem with little physical activity
Medicine and Treatment
Asthma needs care and it includes a range of care from lifestyle, medicines, medical tests and emotional support to patient by family and friends.
Asthma medicine intervention is short term for quick relief and also long term to control inflammation and other condition that can trigger asthma attack. It also varies as per symptoms, age and other health related conditions of patients.
Specialist doctors can help with medicines.
Quick Relief Inhalers are helpful for immediate relief in case of an attack
Patients need to stay connected and keep your doctor updated and get medical tests done as per advice. It is important to take prescribed medicines and also get check-ups as per prescription.
In the initial stages of treatment mostly patients need to visit doctor every 2-6 weeks depending on condition and then at intervals, as advised by the physician.
But if the cause of Asthma trigger is identified, it must be avoided at any circumstances.
Keep a record of your attacks
Keep watch at the symptoms that are particular to you
Know your triggers
Keep your quick relief inhaler handy
Keep your doctor’s number saved in the priority or quick call list of your phone
Do keep the emergency medical admission number of a good superspeciality hospital in your mobile
Home Based Care
Hygiene and Cleanliness
Keep your surrounding clean
Try to be in a dust free environment
It is good to use air purifier machine at home
Keep the air-conditioner machine clean
Food and Nutrition
Avoid foods that trigger allergy and asthma condition
Include spices and regular food items like honey, lemon, ginger, garlic, onions, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg in your diet
Try to have warm food. Drinking warm milk, warm tea, hot soup etc is also beneficial
Avoid food items that is difficult to digest or make you uncomfortable and result in indigestion
Avoid cough and cold. Dry yourself well after bath and workout. Avoid cold beverages and fridge cold food.
Keep your immunity high with a good balanced diet, shedding excess body weight and doing suitable workout that you are comfortable
Fitness and Workout
Breathing exercises (pranayama) benefits the lungs, heart and the body in general. They also impact the mind, thoughts and help us to manage stress. A calm mind and managing stress is beneficial to avoid asthma. Certain asanas and postures help to keep the body fit and strong and can help to combat asthma conditions.
Other exercises, cardio, stretching and postures to an activity level as advised by doctor and appropriate fitness experts.