Seasonal changes seem exciting to all of us. Whether we are heading towards spring or witnessing a shift towards autumn, weather modification changes our mood and energy. No matter what weather you prefer over others, seasonal modifications not only bring a change in our behaviour or mood but also affect our health.
If you are allergic to pollen, rather than enjoying the pleasant breeze on a spring evening you will be preferring staying indoors. Just like spring, winters aren’t equally enjoyable for everyone especially for the people suffering from asthma.
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What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic illness that affects your lungs and airways. Asthma results in inflammation and tightening of respiratory muscles leading to difficulty in breathing, chest congestion and cough. While there are many factors responsible for the onset of asthma, genetics and environmental allergens remain the most important.
My cousin who was suffering from frequent wheezing along with difficulty breathing was taken to a lungs specialist in Peshawar. After performing several tests and diagnostic procedures, doctors diagnosed him with asthma and it was shocking. Seeing him suffering, we know that winters were pretty difficult for him.
How to make asthma manageable?
Not only this, his overall wellbeing was affected by a greater magnitude. His physician at Mohmand Medical Complex in Peshawar told a few tips to follow to make asthma manageable especially in winter. If you are also wondering what these asthma tips were, read further.
1- Good hygiene practices
One of the best ways to manage asthma is by ensuring good hygienic practices. Bacteria and viruses are the leading causes of asthma exacerbation. To ensure good hygiene here a few things you can try, including;
- Washing your hands often especially before eating.
- Wearing a mask that could filter air entering your airways.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf while you are at outdoor places.
2- Avoid fireplace smoke
Another common trigger of asthma could be present right in your fireplace. You might prefer sitting near one to feel comfortable and cosy but the smoke could be damaging your lungs. The smoke particles act as an asthma trigger and can irritate your airways. Thus, it is recommended to avoid sitting near fireplace smoke and invest in an efficient temperature system.
3- Cleaning your sinuses frequently
Chronic sinus problems are linked with the onset of asthma that could be problematic. Being one of the major asthma triggers, it is necessary to keep sinus infections at bay to prevent a severe asthma attack. Other than getting flu shots, clean sinuses might help prevent your asthma attacks.
4- High fluid intake
Intake of fluids can also help to relieve asthma severity and symptoms. Fluids, particularly warm fluids including broths, tea and water can loosen mucus making it easier to be expelled out.
5- Monitor your indoor activities
Not all your asthma triggers need to be present outdoors, your indoor activities also play a key role in making your asthma worse. Your indoor precautions can save you from a lot of trouble in future. These include;
- Regular cleaning of the house to remove dust.
- Avoiding air freshener sprays and house paints.
- Proper cleaning of heater filter.
- Have indoor plants to boost your breathing.
- Cleaning of doormats and their proper placement outside the house.
6- Know your allergens
Asthma is generally triggered by many allergens which one should avoid in particular. As an asthma sufferer, one should be aware of what could trigger asthma. From your bedding to the home cleaning products, everything contains chemicals that could be your asthma trigger. Moreover, to avoid air-borne allergens check the air quality index before going outdoors.
7- Your diet can play the role
Your diet can play a key role in triggering and suppressing your asthma attacks. Common asthma triggering foods include dairy, citrus foods, junk and chemical preservatives. Preventing these and adding vitamin-rich foods, jaggery, magnesium might be helpful to stop asthma onset.
Asthma is a chronic condition that could make a person’s life miserable. For asthma patients, winters are quite troubling and can add to the existing difficulty. However, minor lifestyle changes and looking after the signs and symptoms could make the disease manageable.