The voice of thunder declares the arrival of monsoon and those resplendent rainbows. With a sigh of relief from the scorching heat, we welcome this change and enjoy the freshness brought by the silvery raindrops. However, this silver lining brings its own cloud for those who suffer from Asthma. Being wheezy is not easy, especially when it is showering.
Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways get clogged or swollen, become narrower and get restricted airflow due to the production of excess mucus. This causes trouble in breathing, tightness in chest, wheezing, coughing, etc. The causes of asthma may be changes in weather, our genetics, allergens like dust & pollen, excessive exercise, emotional unrest.
Asthma cases in India have already been on the rise and the sale of anti-asthma medicines has gone up by 43% over the past years. (Hindustan Times Report, 2nd May 2017)
How monsoon triggers asthma?
- Shifts in the weather conditions from dry-hot to rainy can cause the pollens in the environment to grow in small particles & high in concentration. These tiny fragments can be easily drawn in when we breathe.
- Showers increase the amount of humidity, giving rise to various infections.
- The encroachment of moulds and fungus at various places during monsoon can cause their spores to reach the lungs through inhalation.
The outcome? Allergic reaction in the lungs which further triggers asthma symptoms. Around 95% of asthma patients also suffer from allergies and hence this situation is inevitable.
Safety measures to be taken during monsoon
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! With over 20 million people suffering from asthma in India, preventing the attack altogether is an astute approach to trick this malady. This is how we go about it:
- Make your home allergen-free
Set right the atmospheric conditions of your dwelling place by cleaning the moulds, getting rid of dust mites, using de-humidifiers and air conditioners. Let there be cross-ventilation and enough sunlight.
- Avoid getting wet, keep yourself warm
It is better to enjoy the weather through the window as getting in the rain increases the susceptibility to various infections.
- Stay protected from dust & pollutants
When outdoors cannot be avoided, wear a dust mask to protect from suspended air contaminants.
- Stay away from instigators
Furry pets, living plants & carpets collecting pollens and dust, deodorants & perfumes, air fresheners, paint, varnish, cigarette smoke, etc are all triggers which should be avoided.
- Preventive medications and inhalers
The prescribed medicines or inhalers must be regularly taken as they play a major role in managing asthma. Keep a note of the frequency of attacks and consult your doctor for the best strategy during monsoon.
Take care and live life to the fullest.