Bronchial asthma is a disease which causes recurrent disability in the sufferer. With every change of climate and exposure to dust or potential allergens, the affected person gets bouts of cough and breathlessness.
Cough may be dry or associated with expectoration.
No age or gender is exempt from asthma. Attacks usually occur after rains or in cold weather. A severe attack leaves the person debilitated, unable to walk or even speak and he/she feels exhausted afterwards.
Majority of times, severe attacks occur after midnight, due to surge of adrenaline in the body at that hour. This surge of adrenaline occurs due to biological rhythm of the body.
In spite of much advancement in medical technology in many fields, there is no permanent cure for bronchial asthma because it occurs due to an inherent tendency in the body.
People inherit this tendency from their forefathers and parents, whereas the air tubes of the lungs close after exposure to certain substances to which the body is sensitive. Closure of the air tubes results in difficulty in breathing, secretions get trapped inside these tubes leading to cough.
The medicines which are used for treatment simply lead to opening of the closed air tubes and help in bringing out the secretions. But they do not provide complete cure. Therefore it is prudent for the sufferer to prevent the attacks as far as possible.
As attacks of asthma occur after exposure to potential allergens (allergy producing substances), it is important to identify the allergens and avoid them.
Certain substances used as cosmetics tend to produce allergy in susceptible individuals. Mostly these are perfumes, scented soaps and creams and lotions. If a person experiences any discomfort after use of any of these, he/should avoid it.
There are some food items also which produce allergy and precipitate attack of asthma. It is commonly the protein containing foods like eggs, meat, milk and milk products, e.t.c. which produce allergy.
To identify a food substance causing asthma attack, one can alter his food menu daily. If a person removes one likely asthma producing substance from his food for 3 or 4 days and then reintroduces it, he can very well judge the offending substance and avoid it.
Processed and canned foods often produce attacks of asthma due to allergy to the chemicals present in the food items. These chemicals are used as preservatives, emulsifiers, flavoring agents or additives in the food items. Therefore for an asthmatic individual, it is always better to eat freshly cooked fare instead of processed fast and canned foods.
There are innumerable allergens present in the environment. These are dust, fungal spores, pollens, droppings of insects and mites.
One does not have much control over these allergens, but exposure to them can be avoided or minimized. Keeping one’s living quarters and surroundings very clean minimizes the amount of dust and other asthma producing allergens in the atmosphere.
Apart from this, keeping the nose covered while doing some work involving exposure to dust is also beneficial to prevent attacks of asthma. This includes working in fields or mines, cleaning of house, long distance travelling, e.t.c.
Drinking much water, particularly hot water 2 or 3 times everyday also helps in reducing the number and frequency of attacks of bronchial asthma. Similarly avoiding exposure to cold is also very useful to prevent asthma, because exposure to cold weather is also one of the precipitating factors for inducing attacks of asthma.
Certain Yoga exercises when done regularly are very useful for patients suffering from asthma. These exercises improve the ventillatory capacity of the lungs and over time reduce the suffering from asthma.
If in spite of these precautions, one gets attack of asthma, it is advisable to take 2 puffs of the bronchodilator drug from the inhaler pump to get immediate relief.
By adopting all the above measures, one can remain free from attacks of asthma and lead a healthy life.