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Asthma: The Relief

Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness defined primarily by airway obstruction, which response spontaneously and with treatment.

Inflammation, as a result of over-reactive airways, is the main culprit of the said obstruction.

During an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and swollen, which makes the respiratory tract extraordinarily sensitive to irritants.

The airway becomes constricted because of the cumulative effects of the swollen passages and increases mucus production.

What Happens During An Asthma Attack?

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An asthma attack begins with an exposure to a trigger. When this happens, the smooth muscles surrounding the air passages start to swell and constrict.

Inflammation in the respiratory tract worsens, causing the further narrowing of the air passages. Oxygen levels in the blood and tissues drop.

When suffering from Asthma person should sit with an elbow in the knees, and may even prefer sitting than lying down.

Types Of Asthma

There are different types of Asthma depending on the triggers and age of onset.

1. Child-Onset

This type of Asthma starts during childhood days. It happens when a child is exposed to common allergies, and become sensitized to these.

Genetics plays a huge role in this.

Among the most common cause of asthma in children are less exercise, infections, allergy, drugs, weather, chemicals, pets, and emotions.

2. Adult-Onset

This refers to Asthma that develops when a person is already more than 20 years of age. It is more common among women.

This Asthma is triggered by exposure to certain allergic materials or by the presence of other allergies.

It is less common as compared to Child-onset.

3. Exercise-Induced

Coughing, wheezing or feeling out of breath during or after exercise is an indication of exercise-induced asthma.

However, if the coughing and breathing difficulties are worse than usual or not in proportion with the intensity of exercise, then it could be Asthma.

This type of asthma occurs commonly in people living in cold regions.

4. Cough-Induced

This is one of the most difficult types of asthma to diagnose. The symptoms overlap with those of cough.

It takes a lot more time to diagnose this type of asthma.

5. Occupational Asthma

It is triggered by exposure to chemicals, and substance in the workplace is classified as occupational asthma. Common triggers include gases, vapors, dust, smoke, and chemicals.

This type often manifests when a person starts a new job and ends when leaving that particular job.

Risk Factors

Several factors are involved in increasing the risk of developing asthma conditions:

  • Presence of Allergic Conditions: Atopy is the major risk factor of asthma. However, in developing countries, not all patients with the history of atopy become asthmatic. The impact of environmental factors is also one of the reasons.
  • Genetic: The severity of asthma is genetically determined
  • Diet: Deficiency in Vitamin D may trigger asthma. Foods containing benzoates and sulphite, foods containing yeast, some dairy products, and nuts may also trigger asthma. Try to have high protein foods.
  • Smoking: Smoking asthmatics have more severe conditions and are hospitalized more frequently.
  • Obesity: It is an independent risk factor of Asthma, particularly in women.

Causes Of Asthma

Asthma symptoms are triggered after exposure to allergies and other triggers.

  • Allergens activate inflammatory cells in the body, which results in a cascade of steps leading to bronchoconstriction.
  • Smoke, such as from tobacco and burning leaves and wood.
  • Increased level of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone are associated with asthma attacks.
  • Stress induces an asthma attack.
  • The respiratory virus is associated with the development of asthma in infancy.
  • Several patients have claimed that they experienced an asthma attack after consuming a certain type of food. So a proper healthy diet is required for asthma patients.
  • Exercise is a common trigger of asthma in children, as it indirectly activates inflammatory cells.
  • Cold air is also a cause of an asthma attack.
  • Some women have severe asthma attack before their menses. So hormonal factor can also be a cause for an asthma attack.


Asthma patients typically present with wheezing and coughing. Symptoms generally range from mild respiratory difficulties to severe respiratory distress.

During an Asthma attack, symptoms include:

  • Pain or tightness felt over the chest area
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in sleeping because of cough, or shortness of breath
  • Night cough, since asthma is worse at night
  • Exposure to dry and cold air

Asthma symptoms can worsen rapidly, over the course of a few minutes to hours. It is important to provide treatment and relief measure as soon as asthma starts.

Diagnosis Of Asthma

The following tests are usually requested, an individual presents with the symptoms of asthma:

  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Spirometry tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood Gas analysis
  • Other hematologic tests

Useful Tips For Asthmatics Under Medication

  • Record prescriptions and medicines, and save all information about them
  • Check the label of medicines before taking them
  • Check the expiry date of each medicine
  • Do not share your prescription to other patients
  • Inform your physician once symptoms occur after taking in medicine.

Natural Remedies Of Asthma

Following are the natural remedies of asthma, which serve as good as medicinal treatments.

1. Figs

They are full of nutrients that help in promoting better respiratory health. These nutrients help in draining mucus and in improving breathing.

2. Coffee

Caffeine helps in controlling symptoms during an asthma attack. The warmth of coffee works in relaxing and clearing the respiratory tract.

Stronger coffee tends to provide better results.

3. Honey

This is one of the oldest natural treatments for asthma. The ingredients present in honey helps in reducing symptoms.

Some people experience relief just by inhaling honey.

4. Lemon

Most people suffering from asthma have low Vitamin C levels in the body.

Increasing Vitamin C intake, as well as antioxidant intake, helps in decreasing the severity of asthma symptoms.

Other sources high in Vitamin C are strawberry, blueberry, and papaya.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These are among the healthiest fats that should be included in the diet. They have a good intake to treat asthma symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally obtained from cold-water fishes like salmon.

6. Magnesium

It is known to promote relaxation of the smooth muscles within the airways. It can be taken naturally from certain foods like green leafy vegetables.

Herbs To Relieve Asthma Symptoms

Herbs are just as effective as asthma medication and certain foods in relieving and treating symptoms.

1. Ginger

This is one of the most popular, commonly used natural remedies for a wide range of illness. Ginger can also help in the treatment of asthma.

2. Garlic

Garlic can treat several ailments, including asthma. It is one of the herbs with a very long history of medicinal use.

3. Onions

They are rich in compounds that act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. These compounds reduce the constriction within the airways that occur during an asthma attack.

4. Mustard Oil

It can help in reducing the symptoms during an asthma attack. It clears the airways and helps in restoring the normal respiration pattern.

5. Turmeric

It is a top anti-inflammatory food that can help in alleviating asthma symptoms.

Turmeric is also available in supplement form, such as capsules.

How to Prevent Asthma?

Prevention is the key to successful asthma management. By identifying the triggers and avoiding them, it is definitely possible to live a symptom-free life.

  • Air conditioners can help in preventing pollen and dust from getting inside the home.
  • Do not smoke. Also, avoid areas frequented by smokers to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid huddling in front of a wood-burning stove
  • If asthma is triggered by cold, dry air try to cover the mouth and nose.
  • Use dustproof covers on mattresses, pillows.
  • Humidifiers may be necessary inside the home when living in dry climates
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • A healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid foods that contain chemicals
  • Include antioxidants in your daily routine
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables
  • Keep your house clean
  • Monitor lung function regularly


The condition may often prevent sufferers from living a full life because of the precautions they have to take.

But, with a proper management plan and with the right preventive measures, as well as a healthy diet plan, you can enjoy your life to the fullest.

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