Asthma is a chronic disease, which affects the airways in your lungs. If you are dealing with the condition then your airways swell up and the respiratory muscles get tightened up. This causes difficulty in breathing, coughing, and chest tightness. In long-standing cases, patients start using their accessory muscles of breathing which results in fatigue of those muscles.
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Factors That Trigger Asthma During Winters
Allergy- This is called allergic asthma
Occupational- This is due to the fumes, gas, and dust from the workplace.
Genetical- It can be inherited from parents.
What are the Common Causes of Asthma?
Different environmental factors such as air pollution, allergens, dust, molds, etc causes exacerbation of asthma.
Various indoor factors like cleaning products, naphthalene balls, pesticides, etc exacerbate asthma in children and adults.
people with a family history of asthma is highly susceptible to asthma.
Certain medications can trigger asthma. Obese people are more prone to asthma. Bacterial and viral infections can worsen the disease.
Occupational Induced Asthma
Various occupations involving wood dust, latex, soldering, chemical workers, people working in a tobacco factory, timber workers, and so on can trigger asthma.
What are the Symptoms of Asthma?
- Chest tightness
- Use of wrong or accessory muscles during breathing
- Difficulty in sleeping and coughing during sleep
- Weakness during exercise
- Coughing after exercise
- Mood swings
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10 Tips for Asthma During Winters:
Winters are considered as difficult The airways are lined with a thin layer of fluid. The airways are lined with a thin layer of fluid. Time for the asthmatics as they have to exercise utmost caution during these cold months. The cold air is often dry and devoid of moisture, and that further worsens the symptoms.
The airways of a person are covered with a thin layer of fluid. While breathing in dry air, this fluid evaporates and the airways dry up. That can be a trigger for asthma patients as dry airways swell up, and that results in irritation. Cold air causes airways to produce histamines, which can lead to an allergic attack. Cold air also produces mucous in large amounts which are thick and sticky and lead to conditions like cold and cough.
Let’s explore some simple tips to take care of asthma and its symptoms during winters –
Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of exacerbation of asthma. Health conditions such as the common cold, flu are easily contracted during winters which can trigger asthma. Wash hands properly before eating anything. Put masks on while going outside. This can filter the irritants that cause an asthmatic attack. Try not to come in contact with ill people. Avoid crowded places. Always drape your nose and mouth with a scarf while going out.
Avoid Sitting Near Fireplace
Burning woods in fireplaces or bonfires may trigger your asthma. The smoke produced from firewood is a major cause of asthma during winters. The ashes produced can irritate the airways and trigger asthma. Avoid burning candles or gas stoves in the house.
Before starting any heaters clean the filters properly or replace the old filters. This may otherwise produce irritants that can trigger asthma. Clean the house regularly through a vacuum cleaner. Wash plastic objects frequently as they might trigger asthma. Avoid room fresheners. Avoid house painting during winters to prevent paint fumes from triggering asthma.
Keep shoes and doormats out of the house. Try to use the suction brush or vacuum cleaner to clean mats or carpets so that dust does not spread everywhere. Grow some indoor plants such as bamboo plants, Aloe Vera, spider plants, and Tulsi.
In extremely cold weather it is advisable to avoid outdoor exercise and perform indoor exercises. While you exercise, the demand for oxygen increases. Always breathe in slowly through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, even when the demand for oxygen in the body increases. Always carry puffs with you during the exercise.
You can also go for deep breathing exercises. The breathing pattern remains the same. Breath deeply through the nose and exhale through your mouth. There are certain exercises for strengthening the respiratory muscles. You can choose some spirometry exercises such as blowing the balloon. Remember that while inhaling the air, hold for a few seconds, and then release it.
Take Medications Before Going Out
Don’t forget to carry your medications and a puff before going outside. Take steam twice a day. It will help to clear the mucous and the airways. You can also add few drops of eucalyptus oil to the steam.
Know Your Triggers
you should have comprehensive knowledge of your triggers so that you can avoid them. You can use mite-proof covers on the mattress and pillows. Go for natural cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar, salt, etc. as polluted air can trigger asthma. Before going out check the air quality index (AQI) by downloading various applications that provide reports on the air quality.
There are some foods that may aggravate asthma. These include
- Citrus foods- oranges, lemon
- Dairy food especially when they are cold – cold milk, cold yogurt, cheese
- Junk food can weaken the immune system which can make you prone to cough and cold
- Chemical preservatives like sodium sulfite
If you are dealing with the condition then you should be more cautious of asthma during winters. You should follow all above mention precautions that can help you to trigger your condition.
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