By Dr. Arunesh Kumar, Pulmonology
Asthma is an inflammatory disease, which affects the airways of your lungs (respiratory tract that pumps oxygen into the lungs). It is long term in nature. It is characterized by shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. It occurs a few times a day or a few times a week depending on the person it affects. Sometimes it worsens during the night.
What triggers Asthma?
- Airborne particles such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen and cockroach waste.
- Infections in the respiratory system such as common cold.
- Cold air can also trigger asthma.
- Physical or outdoor activities which make you pant such as running, skipping, jogging and jumping can cause shortness of breath, thus triggering asthma.
- Pollutants and irritants in air such as smoke.
- Some medications can also trigger asthma.
- Stress and nervous attacks (panic attacks) also trigger asthma.
How to manage asthma better by changing your lifestyle:
- Try to avoid keeping animals in your houses such as dogs, cats and rabbits. Many times animal fur, waste, urine and saliva contains particles which can cause allergic reactions and make you cough uncontrollably. This, in turn, triggers asthma attacks. If you have pets try keeping them away from your bedroom.
- Dust mites also cause allergies which trigger asthma. So wash your carpets, rugs, bed-linen and pillowcases in hot water.
- Bugs and insects such as cockroaches are not only unhygienic but can also trigger asthma. Cockroach droppings near your bed, kitchen and food are dangerous and you should call an exterminator to get rid of these bugs.
- Sometimes, the heavy fragrance also aggravates your respiratory tract and triggers shortness of breath. Avoid using heavy perfumes, deodorants and room fresheners.
- Pollution also triggers asthma. Dust particles come out from the vehicles and mix with the air. If this air is inhaled, it might trigger uncontrollable asthma. So try to cover your mouth with a cloth when you step out of your house.
Asthma can be very severe and can bring many hurdles in your day to day activities. Changing your lifestyle and certain habits can reduce asthma to a great extent.