Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift. –Amit Ray

Alphy Johnson

8/26/20232 min read

Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift. –Amit Ray

Asthma is treatable and well can be controlled. –Cathy Freeman

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes difficulty in breathing, chest pain, cough, and wheezing. It affects the lungs, and the airways of the lungs causing chronic inflammation. It can be life-threatening if it’s not treated. Normally, muscles around the airways are relaxed but during an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten, the lining of the airways swell up or the body creates more mucus which clogs the airways. When the airways get tighter, a sound called wheezing is made.

According to WHO, there are about 2 crore asthma patients globally of which every 10 patients are from India. Bengaluru is considered the asthma capital of India. According to one of the surveys conducted, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Kanpur, and New Delhi rank in asthma attacks. Very hot temperatures with high humidity and very cold temperatures can worsen asthma. Mild temperatures and low humidity are better for asthma. According to the Global Asthma Network (GAN) study, 82% of patients with early symptoms and 70% of patients with severe asthma remain undiagnosed in India. You can have an asthma attack if you come in contact with irritants which are termed as triggers.

Causes of Asthma:

· Allergies

· Environmental pollution

· Genetics

· Respiratory infections

· Air pollution, dust, damp places, pests, pets, tobacco smoke, and strong chemicals or smells, exercise, occupational irritants also may be a reason for this disease.

Early warning signs of an asthma attack may include frequent cough, especially at night, shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing during or after exercise, fatigue, moodiness, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and headache. The severity of an asthma attack can escalate quickly so it is important that these symptoms are treated immediately.

There is no permanent cure for asthma but with good medical care lungs would become stronger with time.

Types of Asthma

Allergic asthma: allergens include molds, pollens, and pet dander

Non-allergic asthma: exercise, stress, illness, and weather.

Cough-variant asthma: a type of asthma where a dry cough is your only symptom. Cold air, weather changes, and exercise are the causes of this type of asthma.

Who can get asthma? Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or who are exposed to tobacco smoke are likely to develop asthma. Studies have revealed that asthma affects Black people more frequently than other races.

Monitor asthma symptoms: A peak flow meter can be used to check how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. With this, you can understand whether you are getting better or worse.

Remedies for Asthma:

· Rescue inhaler

· If your rescue inhaler does not help, the emergency department should be approached in case of anxiety or panic, bluish lips or fingernails, chest pain, cough, difficulty in walking/ talking, sweating, or quick breathing.

Asthma triggers at night due to the following reasons:

· Sleep posture: lying on your back or face down or side except left side

· Blankets, sheets, and pillows may have dust mites, mold, or pet hair

· Medication side effects

· Hot or cold air

· Lung function lessens at night

· Poorly controlled asthma during daytime.

Recommendations for asthma control

· Regular cleaning of your bedroom

· Using a dust-proof pillow and allergen-proof bed covers

· Utilizing an air purifier

· Utilizing a humidifier

· Using kitchen chimney

· Washing your bedding regularly

· Keeping your bedroom pet-free

· Closing your bedroom windows

. Practicing yoga

People with asthma are advised to carry an inhaler containing rescue medicine with them at all times. –Peter Kogler