Everything you want to know about Asthma

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Asthma is a long-term or recurrent chronic lung condition that affects the airways. The inside walls of the airways are inflamed and the inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive and vulnerable to an allergic reaction. During an asthma attack, the airways become more inflamed and narrow as the muscles around them constrict. As a result, the flow of air gets partially or completely blocked.

There are several genetic and environmental factors that can trigger asthma. These triggering factors include the following:

 Allergens such as animal dander, pollens, dust mites, etc.

 Certain food items

 Viral infections such as cold and influenza

 Exercise

 Smoking

 Environmental pollutants such as chemicals, cigarette smoke, etc.

 Family history of allergies

Asthma can develop at a very young age, and its symptoms appear even earlier than that. It can range from mild to severe. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of asthma at an early stage to prevent the chances of an asthma attack or an asthma flare-up.

Some of its symptoms are as follows:

 Wheezing

 Chronic cough

 Chest tightness

 Sweating

 Rapid pulse

These symptoms can become severe if the asthmatic is suffering from a respiratory infection such as cold or flu. Asthma imposes serious implications on an asthmatic’s health. It is important to take certain preventive measures to avoid any grave situation.

Some of these preventive measures are as follows:

 Smoking is one of the major risk factors for worsening asthma. Try to avoid smoking and second-hand smoke, too.

 If allergic to dust mites, clean your home regularly.

 If allergic to pollens, try to stay at home during high-pollen season.

 Strictly follow the exercise routine as prescribed by the doctor. Do not overexert yourself.

Asthma is incurable. However, with regular treatment it can be easily controlled. There is no reason why asthma should stop an asthmatic from living a normal and healthy life. It only requires long-term care and sincerity to follow an asthma control plan. This process can be stressful, but asthmatics should strive to reduce stress as much as possible and learn to face the challenges and frustrations of asthma in a positive way.

It is always advisable to join interactive asthma sessions especially designed for the betterment of asthmatics. The best way to live a positive life is to share your experience. Also, it is important to adopt a lung-healthy diet and lifestyle, eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables low in fat and sugar, and take plenty of rest.

On the World Asthma Day, let’s make a habit to treat asthma as a condition and not as a disease. For more information on asthma and other chronic lung conditions, contact Dr Prashant, a leading pulmonologist in South Delhi.