WHAT IS IT?
It is an inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. Due to this chronic inflammation of the airways, there is airway obstruction which causes frequent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. The severity of the disease varies from person to person. However, it gets worse at night and after exercise.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Night cough
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness /Pain in chest
- Frequent Respiratory infections
WHAT ARE THE TRIGGERING FACTORS?
- Medicines like NSAIDS (pain killers) and beta blockers
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT?
When in acute asthmatic attack, try to stay calm and sit upright. Try to get away from the triggering agent if possible and take long deep breaths. These attacks can take your life so seek medical help without fail.
HOW TO TREAT IT?
Asthma is a chronic disease that does not have any cure. However, medications such as corticosteroids and short acting beta 2 agonists like salbutamol help in relieving the acute attack while long acting beta 2 agonists and antileukotriene agents are given for long term control.
The most important change required is avoiding the triggering factors. For that, it is very essential to first know them. It may be the high pollution levels, freshly cut grass, pollens, dust mites in house dust, molds, secretions of pet animals, cockroaches, respiratory infections, change in weather etc. These triggers might vary from person to person. Next, one needs to do regular breathing exercises to keep the muscles relaxed. Watch your weight and diet as extra kgs on our body worsens the symptoms of asthma. Regular physical activity and exercises also help in the long run.