The typical symptoms being shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness of chest, when all of these appear, we know it is the distressing condition of asthma. Its here we realize the importance of normal breathing, a thing we all take for granted all the time. The asthma attacks are dreaded and a silent threat lurks all the time on the sufferer, with every breath he or she takes.
Asthma is a chronic disease that inflames and narrows your airways in the lungs and makes breathing an extremely difficult task for the sufferer. The airways remain inflamed in this condition and the muscles around the airways always remain tightened when a trigger flares up the asthma and you suffer from a full fledged asthma attack. Even to witness a severe attack makes your own breath alter; such is the excruciating situation for the sufferer.
Why is Asthma becoming more common in recent years?
Every year people being diagnosed with asthma are just growing leaps and bounds and it is now turning into an epidemic. Many studies have revealed that its frequency has increased with more and more people being affected by it and, most importantly it’s being reported in large numbers.
• A common answer to this problem could be the worsening of the air quality and the decline in the environmental conditions.
• The modern houses being very tight for the existence means that the circulation of fresh air in the house is far more less. The stimuli that promote the development of asthma, from dust and mites to molds and dander to second hand cigarette smoke, all are found in great concentrations in tightly sealed homes.
• While there is another theory behind the rising allergy and asthma diagnosis rates and a surprising one indeed, this also makes a lot of sense. The living conditions in much of the world might be too clean and the children are not being exposed to the kind of germs that the body is able to combat, in order to build up the immune system for tougher things. The immune system when suddenly exposed to the irritants reacts in a drastic way causing lungs to get inflamed and making breathing a difficult task. This leading theory being studied and researched is known as ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’.
• It is also indicated that the significantly increased use of certain medications contribute to the increase in asthma. The early or too much use of antibiotics bring about a change in the bacterial flora and hence impacts and develops allergic diseases like asthma.
• The alarming rate of Vitamin D deficiency being reported is also a reason for the rising cases of asthma. Vitamin D is extremely essential for lung and immune system development. Children, adults with the advent of modern gadgets spend more and more time indoor, subsequently there is very less exposure to sunlight and there is deficiency of Vitamin D production in the body.
So can asthma attacks be prevented?
While this excruciating condition is not curable, but it certainly can be prevented through self care in order to prevent this condition from getting worse. Self care is an integral part of our lives and it involves taking responsibility for your own health, what you eat everyday to stay fit, maintain good physical and mental health, prevent illnesses or accidents and care more for minor ailments as this is all that matters to avoid this painful condition of asthma.
• One of the most important step in keeping asthma at bay is your partnership with your doctor or health care provider and an approach with includes medications with simply smart lifestyle steps to follow.
• Taking regular medications according to your asthma action plan as directed by the doctor can really help in keeping the situation under control.
• Another important point to remember incase of asthma is, you must know and identify things that trigger your condition and to avoid them in order to prevent an asthma flare up.
• Wash the bedding weekly and dust it regularly if you fear dust mites.
• No matter how much of an animal lover or a pet lover you are, keep a safe distance from your dear pets. Sorry! Its hard but got to do it for your good health.
• Mold problems could be fixed by eliminating all kind of standing water in the planters and similar objects.
Prevent Asthma attacks at work, how?
• The cleaning substance may have triggered your last asthma flare up in the office, you never know, find out and keep away if so is the case.
• You must know the nearest hospital to your office in case there is a sudden asthma attack.
• Try to keep stress level in control; it is known to make your already distressing situation worse.
• Avoid smoking areas, smoke and the odor of tobacco can trigger these attacks, so avoid smoking and also visiting the smoking area to prevent an asthma trigger from flaring up.
• If you have exercises induced asthma then avoid too much activity in cold and hot conditions.
• If you have seasonal allergies that trigger asthma symptoms then stay indoors during the peak pollen days and keep your inhaler handy all the time.
Are there natural remedies that can prevent asthma too?
Yes, nature has a cure for almost anything it embraces and asthma is not left far behind when it comes to treating this painful condition of the airways.
Yoga, an age old practice can leave asthma extremely disempowering. It improves the free flow of air in lungs and encourages fresh air to enter the air sacs; by continuous practice of yoga you can even keep your medications at bay in some time.
The regular use of herb like ginger is well known to bring down airway inflammation and it also inhibits airway contraction. One inch of ginger when grated and boiled in water, steeped for about five minutes and consumed regularly can prove to be beneficial in asthma.
Garlic also is known for its decongestant qualities, especially during the early stages of asthma. Boil two to three cloves of garlic in milk and have it regularly. See the difference these natural remedies can bring about in improving your condition.
Yes, your coffee too can prove to be beneficial in controlling asthma attacks. A cup of hot coffee relaxes and clears the airways to help you breathe easily; the stronger the coffee the better is the results.
Eucalyptus oil is an effective treatment for asthma symptoms too because of its decongestant properties. Many studies have shown the important role played by the chemical eucalyptol which helps in breaking down the mucus. Just by sprinkling a few drops on a paper towel and keeping it on your head, will help your airways relax. You can also put a few drops of it in boiling water and take steam. Try to take deep breaths if possible.
Mustard oil does not only make your food healthy, but can prove to be very beneficial in case of an asthma attack. Massaging mustard oil on the chest can help clear the respiratory passages and restore normal breathing. Heat some mustard oil with camphor and gently rub it on the chest and upper back. Do this exercise several times a day until the symptoms subsides.
The nutritional properties of figs promote respiratory health and help in draining out the phlegm and helps in alleviating breathing difficulties. Soak the figs in water overnight, eat the fig and drink the water too. Home remedies affect your system gradually, slowly and the best part is that they are natural so please don’t get impatient for immediate results.
Turmeric, my favorite and tried and tested herb will assist you in providing quick relief from asthma along with its symptoms. This herb has been known for curing plethora of maladies including asthma and the best part is that it does all this without causing any side effects.
Turmeric with all its anti-inflammatory properties can help in clearing out the troubling mucus in the lungs and soothe the irritation and the blockage of the airways, therefore making breathing easy.
• It contains anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties that aid in killing the infection and reduce the spasms of asthma as well as the frequency of the attacks.
• This also enhances the functioning of the liver and prevent blockage of the airways.
• Curcumin, the bioactive enzyme found in turmeric is extremely effective in treating bronchial asthma and provides you relief from windpipe inflammation of the airway.
• Turmeric helps in dilating the blood vessels that allow better air flow, restores normal breathing pattern, thins the blood and soothes your body which might have gone through trauma.
• Rich in minerals and fiber, it gives a thumping boost to your immunity.
The more we speak about this magic herb the more we unfold its magic, so all I can suggest is to sprinkle its goodness in your food and have it in your milk to ensure you are using it to corner asthma.