World Asthma Day is celebrated every year on May 5 by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) in an attempt to raise awareness about this condition and improve asthma care throughout the world. This year’s theme is ‘you can control your asthma’.
An asthma attack is characterized as shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing sound and coughing. The high risk factors that contribute to asthma include foods and other allergy causing triggers such as dander, mites, insects and pollen.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.7 million Americans have asthma out of which 6.8 million are children. Though the disease is developed during childhood, the symptoms can be controlled with medication, change in diet and lifestyle. One can also try Asian alternative therapies such as acupressure and acupuncture to control the symptoms of asthma.
What Happens During Asthma?
Asthma is a disease that inflames the lungs causing the airways to narrow down. Airways are important as they carry air to the lungs. During an asthma attack, the lungs become sensitive and get inflamed when they come in contact with allergic substances. This reaction causes the breathing problems.
Reducing The Risk of An Asthma Attack
While we can cut the risk of an asthma attack right from birth to adulthood, if it is in your genes, you cannot escape it. However, there are ways by which you can prevent it.
Breastfeeding: Several studies point out that children who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing asthma. When a baby is exposed to microbes in the mother’s milk, its immune system develops well. Cow milk and soy proteins, on the other hand, may cause allergic reactions.
Fruits & Veggies: Vitamins and minerals in these keep the immune system strong and increase the body’s resistance to disease. Look for creative ways to make your child eat more fruits and veggies. Here are 5 Ways To Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet.
Pets At Home: Avoid pets at home; exposure to pets will trigger allergies caused by cat and dog fur.
Exercise: Regular cardiovascular exercise not only helps to stay healthy and maintain a good body weight, it also increases the lung capacity. Don’t overdo it as it can induce asthma.