Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.
It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also appear for the first time in adults.
There’s currently no cure for asthma, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn’t have a significant impact on your life.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Causes, Types & Symptoms
Occupational asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while on the job.
Irritants in high doses that induce occupational asthma include hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide or ammonia, which is found in the petroleum or chemical industries.
If you are exposed to any of these substances at high concentrations, you may begin wheezing and experiencing other asthma symptoms immediately after exposure.
Often, asthma symptoms are worse during days or nights you work, improve when you have time off and start again when you go back to work.
You may have been healthy and this is the first time you’ve had asthma symptoms, or you may have had asthma as a child and it has returned. If you already have asthma, it may be worsened by being exposed to certain substances at work. Workers who already have asthma or some other respiratory disorder may also experience an increase in their symptoms during exposure to these irritants. The medical term for pre-existing asthma worsened by workplace conditions is “work-exacerbated asthma.”
People with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop occupational asthma, particularly to some substances such as flour, animals and latex. Allergies play a role in many cases of occupational asthma. This type of asthma generally develops only after months or years of exposure to a work-related substance.
Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma. Many of the symptoms of allergic and non-allergic asthma are the same. However, allergic asthma is triggered by inhaling allergens.
An allergen is a typically harmless substance such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen or mold. If you are allergic to a substance, this allergen triggers a response starting in the immune system. Through a complex reaction, these allergens then cause the passages in the airways of the lungs to become inflamed and swollen. This results in coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms.
Childhood asthma impacts millions of children and their families. In fact, the majority of children who develop asthma do so before the age of five.
There is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place you will be able to manage your condition, and your quality of life will improve.
An allergist / immunologist is the best qualified physician in diagnosing and treating asthma. With the help of your allergist, you can take control of your condition and participate in normal activities.
How Long Does Asthma Last?
Asthma is a long-term condition for many people – particularly if it first develops in adulthood.
In children, it sometimes disappears or improves during the teenage years, although it can return later in life.
The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment and most people will have normal and active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have persistent problems.
Air conditioning reduces the amount of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that finds its way indoors. Air conditioning also lowers indoor humidity and can reduce your exposure to dust mites. If you don’t have air conditioning, try to keep your windows closed during pollen season.
The caffeine in regular coffee can help control asthma attacks because it acts as a bronchodilator. Hot coffee helps relax and clear the airways to help you to breathe easier. The stronger the coffee, the better the result.
But try not to drink more than three cups of black coffee in a day. If you do not like coffee, you can opt for a cup of hot black tea. Do not use caffeine as a regular treatment though.
Clean your home at least once a week. If you’re likely to stir up dust, wear a mask or have someone else do the cleaning.
Cover your nose and mouth if it’s cold out. If your asthma is worsened by cold or dry air, wearing a face mask can help.
Pure eucalyptus oil is an effective treatment for asthma symptoms because of its decongestant properties. Research indicates that it has a chemical called eucalyptol which can help break up mucus.
The nutritional properties of figs promote respiratory health and help drain phlegm and alleviate breathing difficulties.
Get Regular Exercise
Having asthma doesn’t mean you have to be less active. Treatment can prevent asthma attacks and control symptoms during activity.
Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lungs, which helps relieve asthma symptoms. If you exercise in cold temperatures, wear a face mask to warm the air you breathe.
Ginger is a well-known natural treatment for various ailments including asthma. Researchers have found that it can help reduce airway inflammation and inhibit airway contraction.
Honey is one of the oldest natural cures for asthma. The alcohol and ethereal oils in honey help reduce asthma symptoms.
People with asthma often have low levels of vitamin C. Lemons are rich in this vitamins and antioxidants that can help reduce asthma symptoms.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts you at higher risk of other health problems.
Maintain Optimal Humidity
If you live in a damp climate, talk to your doctor about using a dehumidifier.
When having an asthma attack, massaging with mustard oil can help clear the respiratory passages and restore normal breathing.
Onions have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce constriction of the airways when suffering from asthma. Also, the sulfur content in onions helps decrease inflammation in the lungs.
Simply eat raw onions to clear your air passage ways for better breathing. If you cannot bear the taste of raw onions, try eating cooked onions.
Prevent Mold Spores
Clean damp areas in the bath, kitchen and around the house to keep mold spores from developing. Get rid of moldy leaves or damp firewood in the yard.
Reduce Pet Dander
If you’re allergic to dander, avoid pets with fur or feathers. Having pets regularly bathed or groomed also may reduce the amount of dander in your surroundings.