, Asthma and Urban Life: How You Can Cope, Care24

Asthma and Urban Life: How You Can Cope

Care24 Administrator Asthma

Some types of asthma may arise out of allergies such as an allergy to animal hair or fur, dust especially while cleaning around the house, cold foods or certain types of food.

Irrespective of the cause or kind of asthma you have, there are certain things one must be aware of, especially when living in cities and urban living conditions.

Smoke

Urban living conditions are host to all kinds of smoke smoke emitting from vehicles, festival smoke owing to firecrackers and certain lamps, second hand smoke or smoke inhaled as a result of passive smoking, smoke caused due to burning of leaves and garbage openly. The causes are many and for someone with asthma, though it may not always be possible to avoid the smoke on the highways, it is advisable to do so whenever possible. It’s assumed that you’re a non smoker if you’re dealing with asthma but if you aren’t one, take all the help you can in order to quit right away.

Small things like turning on the exhaust fan, pulling down the windows when there are street processions passing by that may emit smoke, moving to smoke free zones, wearing a mask or covering the nose and mouth while dusting around the house are a few habits that help.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency can be one of the triggers of asthma and spending time in the sun is the easiest way to ensure that required vitamin D levels are met. Something as simple as a walk in the morning can help achieve this. Besides exposure to the sun, this also provides the body with minimal exercise. It is recommended that you walk on a plain versus a slope, as the latter may cause breathing to get heavier. Walking may follow a pattern consisting of a warm-up phase, an aerobic phase and a cool down phase. While the warm-up phase and the cool down phase need to maintain the same duration, the aerobic phase could be longer. So if you’re walking for say, 30 minutes, the warm-up phase can be five minutes where you walk with a continual slow phase, the aerobic phase can last for 20 minutes where you increase the pace a little bit and maintain it for those 20 minutes, while the cool down phase again needs to observe a duration of five minutes where you slow down, maintain a consistent pace for those five minutes and then finally rest.

Yoga & Breathing Therapy

Learning to regulate your breath can have a profound effect on your mind and body. There are many ways to achieve this – yoga postures and breathing techniques such as pranayam can help you observe your breath such that your body learns to regulate it to prevent attacks. This will also significantly boost your confidence levels. Meditation is something that you need to inculcate into your lifestyle right away. Sitting with yourself (preferably erect with eyes closed), doing nothing for as little as five minutes every day can make all the difference. This will also ensure that your stress levels are in control.

Food

It is important that you learn to recognize your triggers and when it comes to food, while there are certain types of food that all asthma patients should avoid in order to prevent attacks, there may be some which are specific to you that you need to recognize. For example, cold foods and fried / oily foods are some things that are best avoided when you’re dealing with a respiratory condition. And for some people, consuming certain fruits like guavas or bananas can trigger an attack.

It’s also observed that lower cholesterol levels in the body help control asthma.

Medication

Though most doctors strongly recommend drugs to help cope with asthma, some researchers advise steering clear from them. Natural therapy such as Ayurveda and homeopathy has been known to cure people completely from asthma. If lifestyle modifications don’t work, it is advisable that one opts for natural therapies than completely moving to drugs.

There are also natural home remedies, herbs and plants that help with asthma. Tulsi leaves, honey, ginger is some of many.

Inhalers or pumps also are commonly known to help cope with asthma attacks and are a great support till you learn to manage the condition on your own.

Most of all, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing weak about having to deal with asthma. It’s also important to relax and be patient with yourself. There’s nothing a calm mind and a relaxed body cannot do eating right, exercising, doing things that make you happy or to sum it up, loving, taking care of and being compassionate with yourself should get you there.