Managing Asthma

May 4th, 2021

Archive for the ‘ Asthma ’ Category

Managing Asthma

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Is it the air conditioner, or air pollution, or any particular food that has flared up your asthma? Concerned about your asthma symptoms? India is home to 1.5 to 2 crore asthma patients, and at least one in every 10 asthma patient globally lives in India. Considered the most common chronic disease among children, asthma is prevalent in all countries. Research suggests that 90 percent of childhood asthma and 50 percent of adult asthma is caused due to a reaction to environmental allergens like dust, pollen, insects, and domesticated animals. Let us learn how to manage this respiratory condition better and live a healthy life.

Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways. This is a long-term condition affecting the airways that involves inflammation and narrowing inside the lungs, which restricts air supply. Here are a few common symptoms:

  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing
  • Increased mucus production

An asthma attack occurs when the symptoms become severe. Attacks can begin suddenly and range from mild to being severe. In some cases, swelling in the airways can prevent oxygen from reaching the lungs, this can be life-threatening and needs emergency care.

Common Asthma triggers

Asthma can occur in many different ways and for many different reasons, but the triggers are often the same. They include airborne pollutants, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, foods with added flavour, mold, pests and cigarette smoke.

Asthma Management

With good asthma management, you can lead a normal, active life. Timely adherence to medication as prescribed by your doctor is essential to manage asthma well. The main aims of asthma treatment are to: 

  • Keep symptoms under control
  • Prevent flare-ups
  • Keep lungs as healthy as possible
  • Fewer days off work or school
  • Fewer hospital visits

Playing an active role in managing your asthma treatment will help you maintain better long-term asthma control, prevent asthma attacks and avoid long-term problems. Effective asthma treatment necessitates keeping track of your symptoms, performing tests to determine your lung function and meeting your doctor on a regular basis to change your treatment based on your symptoms.

Myths and Facts

Some common myths about asthma which people believe even today include:

Myth: Asthma medications are habit-forming and dangerous.
Fact: Asthma medications are safe and essential for asthma management. They keep the disease under control, allowing patients to lead a normal active life. The chronic nature of asthma requires a specific routine of long-term medication use.

Myth: People with asthma should not exercise.
Facts: People with asthma are encouraged to lead an active lifestyle including participation in fitness activities. Consult your doctor to know more about the recommended exercises for you.

Myth: Dietary supplements can help ease asthma symptoms.
Fact: There is no proof that specific nutrients help treat asthma. A variety of herbs and supplements have been studied, but none have been found to improve the lung function of asthma patients.

Myth: You can outgrow asthma
Fact: Asthma may improve with age, but it’s a lifelong condition. Asthma symptoms may change over time and become intermittent or disappear, however you do not outgrow asthma.

Tips to prevent asthma attacks

These are some of the steps to help control and prevent an asthma attack:

1. Stay away from allergens which may increase inflammation as much as possible.

2. Take all precautions to prevent cold or flu as these can cause breathing difficulties and make asthma symptoms worse.

3. Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

4. Avoid certain asthma triggers which include- cold air, air pollution, smoke, or fragrances.

Asthma care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Asthma symptoms and severity are always changing and differ from person to person. Meet specialists at our Pulmonary Medicine Department for a detailed asthma management action plan that helps avoid asthma attacks and minimize the disruptions caused by asthma. Apart from reviewing your health regularly, our doctor also helps provide advice for emergency care and ensures that you are well informed about how to use the inhalers correctly. The Department is also equipped with a state-of-the-art Pulmonary Function Testing Lab for comprehensive lung function testing. For further information please visit the below website link: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/pulmonarymedicine/asthma.html

World Asthma Day

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

5th May 2020 is observed as World Asthma Day. Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs, it is called chronic respiratory disease. For some people, asthma is a minor ailment. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Asthma can’t be cured, however, its symptoms can be controlled. Asthma tends to change over time, hence it is essential to work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

How is Asthma classified?

Depending on the severity of the disease and how it affects your daily life asthma is classified into:

  • Mild intermittent asthma – Mild symptoms less than twice a week. Night-time symptoms less than twice a month. Few asthma attacks.
  • Mild persistent asthma – Symptoms three to six times a week. Night-time symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.
  • Moderate persistent asthma – Symptoms three to six times a week. Night-time symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.
  • Severe persistent asthma – You have ongoing symptoms both day and night. They’re so frequent that you have to limit your activities.

Symptoms of Asthma

Not all people with asthma have the same symptoms, however, the most common symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath, chest tightness.
  • Wheezing.
  • Coughing during the night.
  • Chronic cough.
  • A cold that lasts for more than 10 days.

Anyone can get asthma at any age. Sometimes it starts in infancy, other times it starts later in childhood. Although some children seem to “outgrow” asthma, the disease never really goes away, there is just a time when you are not having any breathing problems. Asthma can also start at any time during adulthood, including the senior years. Some people develop asthma after a work-related exposure.

Asthma Causes and Triggers

When you have asthma, your airways react to many different things in the environment called asthma triggers. Contact with these triggers cause asthma symptoms to start or worsen and may lead to an asthma attack. Common asthma triggers include:

  • Infections like sinusitis, colds, and flu.
  • Tobacco smoke.
  • Cold air or changes to the weather.
  • Allergens such as pollens, mould, pet dander, and dust mites.
  • Irritants like strong odours from perfumes or cleaning solutions.
  • Air pollution.
  • Strong emotions such as anxiety, or stress.
  • Certain medications.

What is an Asthma Attack?

An  asthma attack is a sudden worsening of symptoms. With an asthma attack, your airways tighten, swell up, or fill with mucus. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night.
  • Wheezing.
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure.

Asthma patients are advised to work closely with their doctor to manage asthma and keep it under control. You must carry the prescribed emergency medicine, the quick-relief inhaler at all times with you. Here are a few tips to manage an asthma attack:

  • Stay calm, and try to relax.
  • Tell someone that you are having asthma symptoms.
  • Take the quick-relief medication or your inhaler as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If the quick-relief medicine hasn’t helped in 5-10 minutes, seek emergency help.

Asthma and COVID-19

People with moderate to severe asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.  COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease. Looking at these risk factors it is important for asthmatics to manage their asthma triggers and take their long-term medicine as prescribed to prevent asthma attacks during these times.

Here are a few Do’s for Asthmatics:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands at regular intervals with soap and water.
  • Continue with your asthma medicines.
  • Manage your asthma triggers and avoid them.
  • Keep your inhalers handy at all times.
  • Wash your inhalation devices regularly to keep them hygienic and clean.

 Here are a few Don’ts for Asthmatics:

  • Do not share your inhaler with anyone else.
  • Do not go for non-urgent, and unnecessary doctor visits.
  • Do not resort to advance exercise regime. Try and do light exercises at home if required.

Are you or a family member suffering from asthma? Do you need expert advice to manage this disease better? Consult experts at our Department of Pulmonary Medicine. Please find below link for more details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/pulmonarymedicine/asthma.html

Asthma and city life

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Asthma is a disease that makes it difficult for your lungs to get air.
Shortness of breath, cough and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma. Your chest feels tight and your throat goes dry, you gasp for breath and are unable to get enough air to the lungs.

Why is asthma worst in cities?

The urban air pollution as well as certain chemicals released in the environment make the residents of bigger cities more prone to asthma. Here are a few urban factors that cause asthma:

  • Automobile exhaust.
  • Tobacco smoke.
  • Restaurant food odours.
  • Cockroaches and rats.

Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulphur, and hydrocarbons all contribute to inner-city pollution and make asthma harder to manage for kids and adults.

Asthma and urban cities:

Here are some tips from the experts on better living with asthma in the city:

  • If you have allergies to cockroaches or rodents, get pest control done in your house.
  • If you have allergies to dust mites, make sure to have protective covers on all mattresses, box springs, and pillows. Removing carpets from bedrooms also makes a big difference,.
  • Use HEPA filters on all your vents and vacuum cleaners, and run a HEPA-filtered air purifier in the bedroom.
  • Protect the air inside your home. Don’t allow anyone to smoke, control humidity with a dehumidifier, and use your air conditioning as much as possible.
  • Make sure your home is clean and clutter free, keep food and garbage in tightly sealed bags and containers.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice completely for asthma. It will include information about your medicine, advice for avoiding asthma triggers, and what to do if you have an asthma attack.
Know more about Asthma

Here is how you can live healthy even with Asthma:

  • Know your triggers and avoid them. Triggers like allergens and irritants can make  your asthma symptoms worse by irritating your airways.  The best way to control your asthma is to know what your asthma triggers are and how to avoid them.
  • Take your asthma medication as prescribed by your doctor
    Many people think they can skip their asthma preventer (controller) medications when they don’t feel any symptoms – that’s not true. Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, even when you don’t feel symptoms. You have to manage your asthma every day, not just on days when you feel symptoms.
  • Your health-care provider can show you how to use your inhaler properly so that  your medicine reaches the airways.
  • If you smoke and have asthma, you should quit smoking. this can significantly reduce the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Smoking can also reduce the effectiveness of asthma medication.
  • Keep fit by exercising. Exercise helps by strengthening your breathing muscles, boosting your immune system and helping to keep a healthy body weight. The key to exercising safely is to make sure your asthma is under control before you start.
Asthma and India:

One in every 10 asthma patients in the world is in India. 90 per cent of childhood asthma and 50 per cent of adult asthma is caused due to environmental allergens. Considered the most common chronic disease among children, Asthma is prevalent in all countries, whether they are developed or underdeveloped. Dust, cockroaches and pollens are the biggest causes of allergic asthma, according to analysis of reports of five years, collected by a diagnostic centre in India.

Sadly, India is choking with asthma. The sales of anti-asthma medicines in India has gone up by 43% over the past four years. It is time that people start taking conscious actions to breathe healthy. People affected by air pollution must wear an N95 mask. We must also encourage the use of car pool and public transport to reduce traffic and thus reduce air pollution.

Consult our Pulmonary Department for details on Asthma. Please find below link:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/pulmonarymedicine/asthma.html