Conditions that Influence Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory condition resulting from the allergic reaction of the system to one or more allergens. It is quite a common problem affecting a large number of people in our country age being no bar.
Although the actual cause of asthma is not known, studies have shown that several conditions can influence the outbreak of asthma. These factors include hereditary, development and growth of a persons lungs and immune system, infections, allergies and his response to the environment.
It is difficult to conclude as to what influences asthma. We can generally say that the following conditions to a large condition make asthma symptoms worse –
A. At all ages, asthma is greatly influenced by health-related behaviour. For example, smoking can trigger and complicate asthma, and also increases the risk that a person will have co-morbid conditions.
B. Exercise is another behaviour that has an impact on asthma, especially exercise induced asthma. This may be caused when one is exercising and breathing air that is cooler and drier than the air in the lungs. However, exercise is important for everyone and should not be avoided. Using a pre-treatment medication 10-15 minutes before exercise allows exercise without experiencing asthma symptoms.
C. Vaccination against influenza, pneumococcal infection or hyposensitization is another influencing factor of asthma.
D. Weather – Certain types of weather cause problems in certain people with asthma. Some weather situations that may make asthma symptoms worse include – extremely hot or cold temperatures, windy conditions, sudden changes in the humidity and pressure
E. Hormonal changes – Some women have increased symptoms of asthma at a particular time during their menstrual cycle, such as pre-menstruation, or during pregnancy. This is because of a change in the hormonal level that is occurring at that time.
F. Gastroesophageal reflux – occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach flow back up into the oesophagus, stimulating a reaction that may cause asthma to worsen. Symptoms of heartburn and breathing difficulty at night indicate gastroesophageal reflux.
G. Diet – Asthma symptoms can be reduced by cutting out on damp-forming foods especially dairy products which create a lot of mucus. Oranges also to worsen phlegm on the chest. Take care not to eat too much cold food or sweet foods which in turn deplete the energy in the lungs. Go for a nourishing diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
H. Emotions and stress A fight with your spouse, a loss in the family, or even a family reunion can immediately asthma symptoms. Emotions do not cause asthma, but can make asthma worse. Strong feelings can lead to changes in breathing patterns. Its best to understand the emotions and express them, rather than holding them back.
I. Posture – Asthma is sometimes caused or worsened by poor posture, especially during childhood. Children can be stooping over books or watching television for long periods. In such situations they may not breathe properly because they are putting undue pressure on their chests. Encouraging activity can help encourage proper breathing.
J. Pollutants – in the air aggravate an asthma attack. Household paints, smoke, dust and other products which contain strong chemicals can give off noxious fumes which can trigger attacks.House dust mites are also said to be one of the most common causes of asthma attacks.
K. Allergens – Common allergens include animal dander, saliva and urine from feathered or furry animals, dust mites, fungi, pollen.
L. Age along with the level of nutrition – Poor nutrition can affect respiratory muscle strength, immune function and therefore asthma. Malnutrition is a common problem among old people. Compliance with medication advice is more difficult in older people. Adherence to asthma treatment decreases with age and co-morbidity. Older people have difficulty using inhaler devices – a difficulty that may be worsened due to joint pain, reduced visual accuracy as well as psychosocial factors. Older people also delay seeking treatment for asthma, may be because of age-related reduced awareness of symptoms.
M. Hereditary If you are allergic to a particular substance, the cause may be your mother, father, sister, grandfather or for that matter anybody in your family. Genes are a causative agent of asthma.
N. Strong odours and sprays try to stay away from strong odours and sprays such as perfumes, talcum powder, paints, kerosene, hair spray.
O. Excessive intake of salt Although there is no concrete link between salt intake and asthma, but s ome research has found that on increasing the amount of salt in the diet, the breathing tubes became more sensitive to the chemical histamine which trigger the tubes to constrict in asthma.
Asthma is a condition of the respiratory system which is easily controllable. Being diagnosed with asthma does not mean that you stop living a healthy and normal life.