A basic guide to managing asthma

A basic guide to managing asthma

Asthma is a breathing condition that affects people worldwide. It causes one’s airways to become narrow due to swelling and inflammation, making it difficult to breathe. This can also lead to an extra production of mucus, further decreasing airflow through the airways. Although the condition is chronic, some experience it as a minor inconvenience. This article discusses the causes, symptoms, treatment, and many other factors related to asthma.

Types of asthma

There are various types of asthma. These include:

  • Seasonal asthma
    This type of asthma is a response to the allergens present in the surroundings. It occurs due to a particular season or at a specific time of the year.
  • Occupational asthma
    This type of asthma is caused by a particular trigger factor or allergen present in specific workplaces. Individuals who work in bakeries, pet stores, hospitals, farms, car manufacturing, hairdressing salons, indoor pools, woodwork, and other such places are more prone to developing occupational asthma.
  • Childhood asthma
    Asthma is a common condition that affects children more than adults. A study conducted in 2017 showed that children between 5 and 14 are more prone to the disease.

Signs and symptoms of asthma
Asthma presents itself with a wide range of signs and symptoms. These symptoms can vary from person to person. Some individuals have frequent attacks, while others have them only in certain situations. A few common signs and symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath after little to no physical activity
  • Wheezing during exhaling
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Excessive coughing
  • Coughing and wheezing that escalates due to other respiratory viruses, such as a cold

Some experts say that a clear relationship exists between asthma and allergies. In fact, there is substantial research to prove this claim.

What are the causes of asthma?

Unfortunately, doctors and experts do not know what causes asthma. Over the years, research has helped narrow down the potential causes and risk factors that contribute to asthma development. They include:

  • Pregnancy
    Studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy can cause the fetus to develop asthma later in life.
  • Allergies
    Allergies are usually caused by sensitivity to certain substances and can lead to inflammation in the airways. However, not all those who have allergies have asthma.
  • Smoking
    Another possible cause of asthma is smoking tobacco. We all know that tobacco can be harmful to health. But, it is also one of the potential reasons for asthma. It can also increase the risk of other lung conditions.
  • Environmental factors
    Air pollution can lead to asthma in both children and adults. These triggers can be both indoors and outdoors. Allergens such as mold, animal hair, and even dust are indoor triggers. Outdoor triggers include pollen, air pollution, and ground-level ozone.

Treating asthma
Asthma has no cure, but some medications and treatments help keep the signs and symptoms at bay. There are two basic kinds of treatment – medication and bronchial thermoplasty. Medication tackles different symptoms. Long-term asthma control medication helps keep the symptoms at bay. Besides, many quick-relief drugs provide instant relief during an emergency asthma attack. Bronchial thermoplasty is used to tackle severe asthma that does not improve with medication.

Home remedies to manage asthma

To a certain extent, asthma can be managed at home. One can use various home remedies and diet changes to control the condition. Some methods are as follows:

  • Intake a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies
  • Have more herbs, such as ginger and garlic
  • Mix honey with hot beverages or herbal tea
  • Practice yoga and meditation
  • Take steam baths