Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people around the world. "It is a condition in which the airways narrow, making it difficult to breathe. This narrowing can occur due to inflammation, excess mucus production, and the tightening of the muscles that surround the airways," says Dr Nikhil Modi, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.  He adds that asthma can be triggered by a variety of factors, including environmental allergens, viral infections, exercise, stress, and even weather changes. Understanding these triggers can help individuals with asthma manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Let's find out.

World Asthma Day: Various Triggers Of Asthma

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The first Tuesday of May is observed as World Asthma Day and in 2023, it's being observed on May 2. Dr Nikhil Modi outlines the different triggers of asthma and how to handle them:

1. Environmental Allergens

One of the most common triggers of asthma is environmental allergens. These can include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. When an individual with asthma is exposed to these allergens, their immune system overreacts and produces inflammation in the airways, making it difficult to breathe.

To minimize exposure to environmental allergens, individuals with asthma can take several steps. One of the most important is to keep the home clean and free of dust and mold. This can be done by regularly vacuuming, washing bedding in hot water, and using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the air.

Also Read: World Asthma Day 2023: 3 Yoga Asanas And Meditation Practices To Manage Asthma-Related Stress

2. Viral Infections

Another common trigger of asthma is viral infections. When a person with asthma contracts a cold or the flu, their airways can become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. To reduce the risk of viral infections, individuals with asthma should take precautions such as washing their hands regularly, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and getting vaccinated against the flu.

3. Exercise

Exercise is another trigger of asthma, especially in individuals with exercise-induced asthma. This type of asthma is characterized by wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath during or after physical activity. To manage exercise-induced asthma, individuals can take a short-acting bronchodilator medication before exercise and warm up slowly to prevent sudden changes in breathing patterns.

4. Stress

Stress can also trigger asthma symptoms. When an individual is under stress, their body releases hormones that can cause inflammation in the airways. To manage stress-related asthma, individuals can practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditation.

5. Weather Change

Weather changes can also lead to an asthma attack. When the weather changes, the air pressure can affect breathing, leading to asthma symptoms.  To manage weather-related asthma, individuals can monitor the weather and take their medication as prescribed.

"In conclusion, to manage asthma symptoms, individuals should take steps to minimize exposure to triggers and follow their prescribed medication regimen. With proper management, individuals with asthma can live full and active lives, shares Dr Modi.

 

 

 

 

 

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