Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, which is associated with airway hyperreactivity. It causes inflammation and irritation in the airways, causing symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, which leads to difficulty in breathing. Classic symptoms of asthma include cough, wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness. These symptoms occur in combination but can also occur in isolation. These symptoms are usually observed at night or early in the morning. Asthma affects all age groups and is the third of all chronic diseases.
In an exclusive conversation with Zee English, Dr Kumar Dudhane, Consultant-Pulmonologist, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi talks about the important tips that asthma patients should keep in mind to keep the inflammatory disorder at bay.
Table of Contents
triggers for asthma
In susceptible hosts, several factors are consistently recognized as triggers for asthma. Some important ones are as follows:
– Allergens like pollen, dust, house dust mite, dog dander, cat dander, cockroach droppings etc.
– respiratory viral and bacterial infections
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
– occupational exposure to certain chemicals or fumes
– Medications like NSAIDS and aspirin
It is important to identify and manage trigger points. This will help prevent asthma attacks and improve quality of life and overall lung health.
risk factors for asthma
There are many factors that increase the chances of developing asthma. So, everyone needs to understand these risk factors and take necessary steps to keep the disease away from their lives. Anyone with a history of asthma in blood relatives such as parents or siblings is at a higher risk of developing the disease. Having other allergic conditions like rhinitis, atopic dermatitis can aggravate the condition. Active or passive smoking, obesity, or exposure to occupational triggers like chemicals, fumes, dust, etc. can be other factors that can increase the risk of developing asthma.
Asthma complications include
Some signs and symptoms of asthma can interfere with sleep, work, and day-to-day activities, affecting quality of life. It may also lead to permanent narrowing of the airways or may require frequent hospitalizations with acute exacerbations. Long-term use of systemic steroids can also cause side effects in case of severe asthma. Fungal sensitization of the airways in chronic uncontrolled asthma, or recurrent respiratory tract infections, are also some of the complications seen in patients with asthma.
Do’s and Don’ts to Manage Daily Life and Complications in Asthma Patients
– Follow your asthma plan recommended by your doctor
– Follow proper inhalation technique when using inhalers
– Gargle vigorously after each use of an inhaler containing a corticosteroid
Get influenza and pneumococcal vaccines
– Identify and avoid your asthma triggers
– Identify and treat your asthma exacerbation early
what not to do
– Do not change or stop medicines without consulting your doctor
Do not follow the wrong technique for using inhalers
Avoid medicines that trigger your asthma
– don’t smoke
Lastly, we need to understand that asthma cannot be cured, but we can control its symptoms and trigger points by taking necessary preventive measures. It’s also important to work with your doctor to track signs and symptoms and adjust treatment only according to expert guidance.