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Breathing Difficulties: Asthma or Air Pollution?

Breathing Difficulties: Asthma or Air Pollution?

Is the dipping air quality with the thick layer of haze and dust making it difficult to breathe? While compromising on overall health, hazardous air quality can aggravate asthma attacks. Environmental changes including air pollution not only trigger asthmatic symptoms but also increases new asthma cases. 

What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways of the lungs. It causes difficulty in breathing that makes it difficult to carry out physical activities and even makes it impossible at times. Here are a few asthmatic symptoms one might experience:

  • Severe coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Itchiness
  • Irritability

In most cases, living with a chronic condition like asthma can flare-up the symptoms from time to time if one encounters triggers like allergens, weather changes and viral infections. An asthma attack causes sudden worsening of symptoms including severe wheezing, severe coughing, rapid breathing, sweating and anxiety that requires immediate medical attention. 

What preventive measures can be adopted to prevent asthma attacks?
While there is no cure for asthma, proper treatment and lifestyle choices can help in controlling asthma and preventing asthma attacks. Read on to know about a few preventive measures you can take to keep a tab on asthmatic attacks. 

Identify the asthma triggers
The first step to preventing an asthma attack is to be aware of what triggers it. A few common triggers include- air pollution, allergens, cold or flu virus, fragrances, sinusitis, smoke and cold. Along with this, some people also experience asthma attacks after a workout, because of molds as well as humid weather. If you experience asthma symptoms including wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing, it’s time to consult a doctor and determine what triggers your asthma attacks. 

Keep your surroundings allergen-free 
If you have allergy-induced asthma, make sure to steer clear of allergens. Frequent exposure to allergens increases the inflammation of the airways making the person more susceptible to asthma attacks. Be sure to minimize the triggers by washing and changing your bedsheets and pillow covers often. Along with it, you can also opt for an air purifier if you are experiencing difficulty in breathing because of the increased air pollution. 

Steer clear of all sources of smoke 
Inhaling smoke can trigger asthma attacks. Make sure that you limit your exposure to smoke, be it through tobacco, incense sticks, candles or fireworks. Along with it, avoid smoking zones in public areas and wear a breathable mask when stepping out to avoid sources of smoke from blocking the airways. 

If you are experiencing frequent asthma attacks, it’s time to consult a doctor for proper medical treatment. Timely and regular medication eases the inflammation of the airways and helps in preventing severe asthma symptoms. 

By: Navreet Kaur | on 2020-11-25

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