Global asthma rates are on the rise with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease. Estimates suggest that 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. What’s even worse is that almost 10 percent of this number comes from India. As per the Asthma Society of India, at present 25% of Indian population suffers from allergy and 5% of them are suffering from asthma.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the the air passages of the lungs which inflames and narrows them. It is a common disease among children.
Common symptoms of asthma include –
- Coughing, especially at night
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain, shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
- Signs of a cold or allergies
- Trouble sleeping
While it is not exactly clear what causes asthma, researchers believe that it is caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Asthma can’t be prevented, but you can lessen the possibility of an asthma attack by taking several steps on your own besides taking medications.
Here are some few tips for keeping asthma at bay:
- Avoiding triggers and allergens – common allergens that cause allergic asthma are smoke, dust mites, pollens, molds, pet dander, rodents.
- Wear a face mask if your asthma is worsened by cold or dry air.
- Try to discover which forms of exercise are best for people with asthma. Regular exercise can strengthen your lungs and heart, which helps relieve asthma symptoms.
- Maintain a healthy weight as being overweight can increase your risk of symptoms as well as other health problems.
- Learn how to manage stress to reduce your asthma symptoms.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh and unprocessed foods. Since some people with asthma have food allergies that can trigger asthma attacks, it is best to consult with your doctor or dietician.
- Get regular checkups for your asthma.
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day takes place on the first Tuesday of May.