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Monsoon is a season when people with asthma can suffer flare-ups. Allergic asthma, defined as a condition wherein the lung airways tighten when triggered by an allergen, becomes rampant. It can be disruptive in your everyday life, and so you must know how to prevent allergic asthma.
Allergens such as dust, mold spores and pet dander are common triggers. When you inhale an allergen, it causes your airways to constrict, resulting in allergic asthma. Both children and adults can suffer from this kind of asthma. Apart from this, some people also develop asthma symptoms in response to certain foods or exercises.
According to the World Health Organization, 235 million people worldwide were diagnosed with asthma in 2016. Of this, 15–20 million were Indian citizens. Rising air pollution has been considered a strong driving force behind these numbers.
Dr Suruchi Mandrekar, a consultant physician from Manipal Hospital, tells Health Shots, “Asthma is a long-term disease that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.”
* Shortness of breath
* Tightness in chest
* Pain in the chest
Can asthma be cured?
According to the expert, there is no permanent cure for asthma, but appropriate treatment can prevent asthma attacks and can help you have a better quality of life.
In order to prevent an asthma attack, it is important you first recognise what sparks it. Certain asthma triggers can set off a cascade of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or difficulty in breathing. So, it’s important you identify the triggers. That way, you can take steps to avoid an asthma attack.
How to identify the triggers?
* If you don’t already know what’s causing your asthma attacks, start keeping track of your asthma symptoms in a diary.
* Monitor for several weeks and remember to include all the environmental and emotional factors that are associated with your asthma.
* When you experience an asthma attack, return to your diary to see which (combination of) factors might have contributed to it. Some common asthma triggers are not always obvious.
* Once you’ve identified your asthma triggers, it will be easier to look into ways you can avoid them. The most common asthma triggers include air pollution, allergies, the flu virus, and smoke.
Developing an asthma action plan with your doctor can help you control your asthma attacks. The plan should document important information, such as your medications, how to handle asthma attacks, and how to control your asthma symptoms in the long run. Most plans separate asthma symptoms into three coloured zones – green, yellow and red, to help you monitor the severity of your symptoms.
* Red zone: If you have severe asthma symptoms, you are in the red zone of your asthma action plan. Any shortness of breath when moving, speaking, or resting is a symptom of red zone asthma.
* Yellow zone: The presence of the yellow zone could indicate an asthma attack or the need to take more treatment. When symptoms occur, they may be minor to moderate, prevent you from participating in your regular activities, or interfere with your sleep. Some symptoms include wheezing and coughing.
* Green zone: Green is a safe zone to be in. You can go about your daily business without experiencing any symptoms.
Asthma is an ongoing condition that requires regular monitoring and treatment. Taking control of your treatment can make you feel more in control of your condition, and life in general.
Make an effort to avoid your allergens once you’ve identified them in order to allergy-proof your environment. If you have a dust allergy, avoid staying in a dusty area or wear a mask during that time. Knowing what you’re allergic to will help you choose the setting that will best protect you from asthma attacks and symptoms.
Asthma is a long-term condition that necessitates continual monitoring and care but that doesn’t mean you have to live in that fear for the lifetime. You just have to take appropriate to prevent allergic asthma or just asthma.
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