Asthma is a non-communicable lifelong condition characterized by occasional narrowing and swelling of the airways through which air enters and leaves our lungs.
The cause of asthma is not quite clear but heredity is thought to play a major role in who gets the disease. If your parent or sibling has it then your risk of having it is high.
Other risk factors include overweight, cigarette smoking, persistent occupational exposure to some chemicals (those working in places where certain chemicals are used or manufactured such as paint companies, hairdressing saloons are at risk), Persistent exposure to airborne allergens (things that the body can react to such as pollen, mold, cockroaches, dust), persistent exposure to cooking smoke when using wood or charcoal.
Asthma is not a communicable disease; it cannot spread from one person to another
1. By use of drugs.
Drugs are available for the reduction of frequency of asthmatic attacks but they have their own side effects. Some of them are taken daily, others, just before some physical activities. However all these drugs are prescription drugs and should only be taken on the recommendation by your doctor.
Airconditioning of the home prevents pollen, dust and other possible allergens from entering the house. It also helps to regulate humidity of the house, dampness leads to mold formation; a known allergen.
3. Avoiding identified allergens
In the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, certain triggers of asthmatic attack may be identified in the person concerned. That is a big plus, frequency of attacks can be reduced to a minimum by avoiding the identified allergens.
Food fumes and some food preservatives are known triggers of asthmatic attack; asthmatics should avoid the kitchen especially when food is being fried.
4. Avoid pets
Pet dander consists of skin flecks shed by animals such as dogs, cats, birds, and any animal that has fur or feather just like you have dandruff in human beings. Dander is known to remain attached to household items and clothes for a very long time and is considered to be responsible for a sizeable percentage of attacks. Asthmatics should avoid pets.
5. Use of mask
When going outdoor; attack could be prevented by use of mask to prevent inhaling dust, cold air, pollen, smog and any other possible allergens.
6. Minimise dust in the house
In developing countries dust is everywhere, regular de-dusting of the house will help reduce the frequency of attacks. Dust proof covers should be used for pillows and mattresses, leather chairs are advisable. No rugs should be used in the house, washable floor is advised (tiled or wooden floors). Avoid dust gathering door mats, wash curtains frequently as they gather dust.
7. Avoid damp houses
Dampness encourages mold formation; mold is a known allergen. Asthmatics should avoid living in damp environment, in houses that are poorly constructed leading to wet walls.
Also Read Questions and Answers on Asthma.
8. Change in Lifestyle
Smoke whether from cigarette or any other source can trigger asthmatic attack. If you are a smoker, stop smoking; if you are not a smoker, avoid smoking areas.