Changing Weather and Increasing Health Problems
The change of weather
During the change of weather you are likely to suffer or face the symptoms of the condition which will make you cough, shortness of breath, or the anxiety that can accompany asthma attacks. And the worst part is you do not understand the reason of your problems or cannot differentiate in between common enough condition, symptoms of asthma or other similar lung condition which is known as bronchial asthma which is even more complicated. However, one should not get confused in differentiating in between bronchitis and asthma which in most cases creates misunderstanding due to improper language use. Here is an example "bronchial asthma" is a superfluous term since the bronchi are never missing in asthma.
According to medical experts bronchitis is an inflammation of the large airways caused by number of different things but in most cases begin with common infections and asthma is a long-term chronic condition. If a person is diagnosed with the symptoms of bronchitis the best he can do is avoid smoking get a shot of flu as prescribed by his doctor.
Whatever the reasons, the cases of asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) generally increase in the months of October through February every year and the problems are not limited to elderly persons but even the children suffer from these diseases. As per the experts some of the reasons are related to changing lifestyle, tension, sudden change in weather, pollution and obesity. There are more reasons to these problems apart from the personal reasons which include burning of agricultural waste on mass scale be the farmers and the dust storms which are becoming a regular feature in this part of the world recently.
Change in weather brings change in the quality of air present in the atmosphere which might increase dust particles as well increase humidity also. If we try to explain the matter in more precise language the dust particles cross the Ambient (outdoor air pollution) PM 2.5 limits, (Fine particulate matter) then begin the respiratory system related problems. I wonder how many of us care to give the dust particle related stats while looking at the weather and air pollution reports. In fact I always read the report thoroughly on internet which is available freely.
Dust, Mist and diseases
Have you noticed the mist in the atmosphere is increasing every year especially in North India which disrupts the life due to lack of visibility. In most winters the visibility reduces down. The actual cause of dust particles remaining down is due to moisture in atmosphere which does not allow dust particles to go up in the air and these dust particles trigger most of the respiratory problems. These dust particles block your respiratory system and cause you to sneeze, cough and short of breath but not necessarily cause you to suffer from bronchitis or asthma.
Asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are directly related to our respiratory system which gets intensified with the changing weather and while on the subject it should come in your notice that asthma is an allergy which affects persons, including children due to these dust particles which block the respiratory system. Whereas the diseases like bronchitis and COPD come into the progressive diseases group related to lungs which increase as the time passes. However the outdoor air pollution is such an environmental problem affecting health of everyone more in developing countries as the developed countries are somewhat free of dusty atmospheric conditions.
Asthmatic problems in changing weathers
Asthma is an allergy that creates problems mostly when weather changes during October or November but the patients come to adjust the situation by the end of December when the winters fully set. But in case of bronchitis and COPD the patients always suffer from the symptoms especially in respiration and some other parts of the body. The patients suffering from all these diseases should remain very careful from the beginning of the cold weather taking all the possible precautions. In cases of asthmatic patients the chilly winds can pull the trigger and people in initial stages might find their problems intensified during this time of the year. In case of bronchitis patients the problem could intensify to the level of acute bronchitis.
Dietary habits play an important role
Patients suffering from such diseases consider the asteroids the only solution for all their problems but they should know that diet plays a major role in their treatment. Most of us are not aware that caffeine present in Coffee is a good bronchodilator that keeps the airbags open in your lungs. Use of Vitamin C can strengthen your lungs which is available in oranges therefore drinking orange juice can help the cause of such patients. Likewise use of dry fruits, flax seeds and fish provides enough quantity of omega-3 which is very much useful in respiration related problems especially keeping the lungs clean and strong. It’s better to stay away from processed food, caned juice, Maida (fine milled, refined and bleached wheat flour) but advised to use honey and green tea. Here, I would like to discuss about –
Bronchitis- which is very much a respiration related disease but somewhat different from asthma. Asthma is controllable to some extent but bronchitis increases at a rapid rate which means that bronchitis increase with the age. Bronchitis is mostly found in elderly people and smoking is one of the major causes of this dreaded disease.
Pulmonary Artery hypertension- PH or Pulmonary Artery hypertension is a situation where it is hard to differentiate between a PH and an asthma patient but the condition of PH patient is generally more intense compared to that of an asthmatic patient since the blood carrying arteries become hard and have to work harder to bring blood to the right side of the heart. The hardened arteries get narrowed down and hard making it difficult for flow of blood which cause the right side of the heart to swallow and hard of breathing, swallowed hands and legs and difficulty in performing daily routine works. The worst part of the illness is that there is no permanent treatment of Pulmonary Artery hypertension but a regular life style with lots of control.
We all are aware that asthma is perhaps the common most respiratory disease which causes due to swallowed respiratory system that makes tough the breathing process. You will be surprised to read that the most sufferers from asthma are children but that is the fact that children in rural areas suffer from asthma due to living conditions. The main symptom of asthmatic patients is whistle like sound during taking or releasing the breath which is a symptom of asthma related allergy. Patients suffering from asthma feel irritation by a particular smell, hair of animals, feathers of birds and problem from smoke. Most of the asthmatic patients in India come from the rural areas and the main reason for the sickness is their smoking habits. The smoke coming out of various other sources including firewood, animal waste which is also used as cooking medium and burning the agricultural waste for keeping themselves warm adds to asthma related problems. Some patients might get the disease from their ancestors but the fact that this is one of those diseases which has no permanent solution but keeping it under control by living a healthy lifestyle.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases is another reason for breathlessness and when discussed on this topic we must know it that breathlessness may look similar in different diseases but the cause differ in every case. COPD is considered far more serious while compared to other related problems which are mainly related with our lungs. To make things straight let’s compare our lungs with a balloon which cannot be filled with air if it contains a hole, the same is the case of patients suffering from COPD who suffer from the damaged or punctured lungs and the result is they do not intake the oxygen or exhilarate carbon dioxide in proper ay and suffer. COPD is the cause of old TB, long time smoking habit and poor health due to insufficient food.
Patients of COPD suffer in all weathers unlike the asthma patients. We must remember that genetics play their part in COPD as family history of the disease can increases the risk up to some extent especially that in a smoker but in a very small number say about 2 to 3% and not more than that. Coughing is not considered dangerous in case of COPD but if the patients have a cough that has been persisting on despite the treatment for more than weeks or the patient has coughing problem without a known reason like cold that calls for a meeting with your doctor without further delay .
ABPA or Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, which is the most recent inclusion in the group of diseases related to respiratory or lungs problems. ABPA troubles people living in seaside or where the weather is comparatively humid. Acute bronchopulmonary dysplasia also makes people suffer from sharp pulling in of the chest especially below and between their ribs with each breath.
How to help yourself
There are different methods adapted by different specialist in different cases of treatment in all the diseases mentioned above but the patients can also help their cause by keeping certain precautions. We should understand that most outdoor source of air pollution are not in our control or can be brought under according to control as some of the reasons also certain sectors including transport, energy and waste management etc cannot be neglected being a developing nation like us, so keeping all this in our mind we should take the precautionary measures accordingly-
A- Of the easiest ways of staying safe is to check going to different atmosphere suddenly which simply means you should avoid going from very cold temperature to hot in a haste which will increase your problem immediately. Stay away from the acute cold weather conditions in the early morning and late nights and that includes your morning walks.
B- Stay away from dusty atmosphere and that includes avoiding carpets in your bedroom. You should keep as little furniture in your bedroom and living room as possible that will help you stay safe from dusty particles
C- Use mask if you must because pollution outside especially in metros is too dangerous for patients suffering from dust related problems
D- The common belief that flu or influenza were the diseases of the cold countries so we the Indians never took them seriously but that was not true and as the deaths due to these diseases took their toll and the related diseases like flu and swine flu, dengue viruses started to spread which decrease the resistance power of the patients the necessity for protection is increased and now doctors are suggesting people to take the protective injection to stay safe
If a patient finds difficulty in breathing properly, doctors advise him to go for outer help in form of respiratory add through oxygen cylinder or concentrator which helps recover the patient from lack of oxygen in his system. There is myth about outer support of oxygen that if a patient is supported by such methods he gets used to these facilities but the fact is this outer support helps him stay alive or even save him from heart failure. Once the patient comes to normalcy his dependency on outer oxygen supply reduces accordingly.
As per the medical terms a pulse oximeter is a digital medical device that helps in monitoring the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood indirectly at your home without the help of a doctor or pathologist. It’s a small unit the size of a matchbox that can also measure your heart beats. As per the standard a healthy human body’s saturation point is in between 96-99 and if it goes below 70 during critical condition in breathing that could prove fatal. The pulse oximeter comes in handy in such a situation which helps one keep a watch on his saturation.
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