- World Asthma Day is meant to raise awareness about asthma
- Sneezing, cough and wheezing are common symptoms of asthma
- Environmental pollution can increase risks of asthma
World Asthma Day 2019 is observed on May 7. Asthma is referred to a chronic disease of airways - which transport air to and from the lungs. The condition can never be fully cured, but can be controlled by living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding asthma triggers. In case of asthma, inside walls of airways or bronchial tubes become inflamed or swollen. This inflammation or swelling makes airways sensitive to irritations and makes them vulnerable to allergies and environmental triggers. Common symptoms of asthma include coughing, breathlessness, tightness in the chest and wheezing.
Causes of asthma
Allergies: Allergies are one of the top causes of asthma. Common allergens include dust mites, fungi, cockroaches and animal proteins.
Smoking: If you are a regular smoker, then you are at risk of asthma, wheezing and respiratory infections and even death from asthma. Children of parents who smoke are at higher risk of developing asthma. Smoking worsens asthma symptoms like coughing and breathlessness and also increases risk of infections.
Also read: Guidelines To Prevent Asthma Attacks
Environmental factors: Indoor and outdoor air pollution can be more harmful for asthma patients. Heavy air pollution can result in higher recurrence of asthma symptoms. Humidity can cause breathing difficulties for people living in high pollution areas. Cold air can congest airways and cause extra secretion of mucus.
Diagnosis of asthma is done by conducting three tests: observations during a physical exam, breathing test results and your medical history. Doctor also checks if there's history of allergies and infections.
How to manage asthma effectively?
Avoiding triggers and living a healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to deal with asthma. Certain conditions can interfere asthma management. These include sleep apnea, chronic stress, acid reflux, sinus infections and a runny nose.
Asthma may also be difficult to manage in children who develop the condition before 5 years of age. At this age, asthma diagnosis is also difficult.
This World Asthma Day, let's pledge to avoid asthma triggers and stay in environments that are healthy. Everyone should individually make efforts to making the environment pollution-free, both indoors and outdoors. Quit smoking, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to keep asthma at bay.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.