World Asthma Day is celebrated on the first Tuesday of May to raise awareness about asthma and its management. The entire month of May is dedicated to Asthma by GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) to encourage care and support for asthma patients worldwide. According to the estimates furnished by the World Health Organization, India is home to 15-20 million* asthmatics. Rapidly deteriorating air quality and an increase in unhealthy habits like smoking are some of the major reasons why asthma is becoming endemic. Although asthma has no cure per se, it can be managed effectively by following certain precautions. Here are some of the important Do’s and Don’ts that will help keep your asthma in check:
- Carry your inhaler at all times and consume your medications regularly.
- Learn to identify the early signs of an asthma attack. Symptoms like shortness of breath and cough to prevent are common early signs of an asthma attack. Identifying these early on will help you manage your asthma attack better.
- Visit your doctor immediately after an asthma attack even if it has subsided. This is the best way to avoid further complications.
- Keep your surroundings clean and dust-free as much as possible. Dust is one of the major causes of asthma attacks. Keep your house clean and dust-free by vacuuming your carpets and upholstery regularly.
- Try to stay away from flowers as pollen grains can also trigger asthma attacks.
- Avoid exerting yourself too much while excursing. Over-exertion leads to narrowing of air passages, making it difficult to breathe. This, in turn, can trigger an asthma attack.
- Avoid direct contact with cats, dogs and other furry animals. Animal fur, saliva and small hair particles can also trigger an asthma attack.
- Don’t use over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and certain beta-blockers as it may trigger asthma attacks. Also, make it a point to consult your doctor before buying over-the-counter medicines.
- Don’t breathe from your mouth as the air is not adequately filtered or warmed before it reaches your lungs. Hence, when you breathe through the mouth, your chances of suffering from an asthma attack increases.
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