Weather changes throughout the year, and if you have asthma, you know how adversely it affects. The change in environment exposes you to allergies and viruses that trigger asthma. While the allergic symptoms can get worse at specific times of the year, adequate information about asthma can help you deal with it without too much hitch. Let’s start with understanding asthma.

What happens in asthma attack

inflamed bronichial tube

In words of one asthma sufferer, “During an asthma attack, it feels like you’re drowning in air.” In medical terms, asthma is a condition in which the bronchial tubes — the passages that allow air to enter and leave lungs  get inflamed and sensitive to allergens. During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes get inflamed, narrowing the air passages and this makes it extremely difficult to breathe.

What causes asthma?

Here are a few common causes that can trigger an asthma attack:

  • Allergens: The two key categories of asthma allergens are:
    • Inhaled allergens: Common allergens that cause allergic asthma include pollens, dust mites, pet dander, cockroach’s particles, etc.
    • Food allergens: Some foods that are associated with allergic asthma symptoms are eggs, cow's milk, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts), soy, wheat, fish, and other shellfish.
  • Irritants in the environment: Irritants in the air can also bring on an asthma episode. Some of these include smog, wood fires, charcoal grills, strong fumes, vapors, or odors (such as paint, gasoline, perfumes, and scented soaps), chemicals, etc.
  • Respiratory illness: Infections such as colds, flu (influenza), sore throats, sinus infections, pneumonia, etc. are common asthma triggers in children.
  • Weather conditions: Sudden change in weather, dry or wet wind, or cold air at times may also aggravate an asthma attack.
  • Certain medicines: If you are an asthmatic, do not take any medicines without consulting your doctor. There are certain drugs and additives that are known to aggravate asthma. So be cautious!

Lifestyle modifications to deal with asthma

Incorporate these two prime lifestyle modifications to lead an active life with asthma:


food for asthma

Make these little tweaks in your eating preferences to manage asthma:

  • Eat apples, as these are packed with beneficial compounds flavonoids. In particular, khellin, which has been proven to open up airways.
  • Eat Vitamin C rich foods, such as orange, broccoli, sprouts, tomatoes as they contain potent antioxidants that ward off lung damage by fighting free radicals.
  • Sip coffee and black tea at least two cups a day. These two act like bronchodilator and have been shown to improve airflow.
  • Avoid beer, wine, hard cider because sulfite – a common ingredient in these – can trouble your breathing.
  • Avoid egg or peanuts, if you have an allergy to them as it would aggravate asthma.


an asthmatic doing cardio exercise

Try these tips to work-out comfortably:

  • Buffer your workout with at least 10 minutes of warm-up and cool-down time because sudden changes in activity can trigger breathlessness.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
  • Watch the weather. During peak allergy seasons (extreme hot or cold, or when air quality is poor) move your workout indoors.
  • Keep meds handy. Use your inhaler at the first sign of symptoms.

Last but certainly not the least, try to find out your allergy triggers and stay away from them. Also, do consult your specialist for a personalized guidance.

For any query related to asthma and other respiratory concerns consult our Internal Medicine Specialist at

About the Author

Priya Singh

Priya Singh is a professional writer and editor with 13 years of experience in writing/editing health and lifestyle content for diverse verticals such as magazine, newspaper, and digital media.

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