Asthma is affecting a lot of people today due to changes in our environment.  It is an ailment in the lungs that can be mild or severe. There are many ways to control and prevent asthma involving parts of a person’s lifestyle.

So, if you search around the net, asthma is described as  [1]“a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.”

The thing that is happening inside someone who’s having an attack is that the airways are getting swollen or inflamed that the space for the air to flow is getting smaller and smaller making it harder for the air to reach the lungs.

Basically it’s like this. Imagine a pump tube for a balloon. Without anything pressing on the pump tube air flows in without difficulty. But when you press the tube or put something heavy on it the air will have a harder time going inside the balloon. This causes the difficulty in breathing for people who have asthma. It feels like someone is squeezing the air passage and is placing two sets of giant dictionaries over the lungs.

First symptoms for me are coughing and runny nose. My father’s family has a history of asthma but mine only surfaced when I was 16. I was told to avoid a lot of food (that usually triggers asthma attacks) and to drink antihistamines with steroids before. However, I rejected the option of using nebulizers. I had the inclination that if I got one I would become dependent over it.

Yet, the sad thing about getting asthma is that it’s for long term. People say that older people who obtains asthma will have to carry it with them for life. Unlike with young children where there are cases that they were able to outgrow them because they still had the time and opportunity to develop and strengthen their lungs.

So what I do is try to avoid food allergens (but I do take a bite from time to time), look at the weather reports (because sudden changes in weather contributes in attacks), buy hypoallergenic and natural stuffs, and always have a stash of antihistamine (now without steroids) in all of my bags.

If you are coughing for more than a week, until night time, and it’s not getting better with any form of cough medication or is recurring I suggest that you visit an EENT or an Allergologist.

[1] What is Asthma? (2008) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institute of Health

[2] Asthma – Wikipedia