Changing pillow covers every week, rubbing and polishing every corner till it was spotlessly dust-free, wearing masks while travel and a host of other things were a part of homemaker Swati Bodhe’s routine for her son Aarav’s (name changed) protection against asthma attack.
Her six-year-old son who was suffering from childhood asthma was prone to asthma attacks quite often. Swati couldn’t fathom the reason till a detailed history taking by her doctor revealed that preservatives in junk food and soft drinks consumed by her son were to blame.
Asthma experts say most people depend heavily on medication and do not follow simple easy to do things and techniques to ensure protection against asthma.
“Fifty per cent of asthma attacks are triggered by dust mite allergies which are avoidable to great extent. Just keeping house dust free, ensuring no fungus on damp walls, keeping bed sheets and pillow covers in sunlight once a week to kill dust mites, good ventilation can help in protecting against asthma attacks,’’ said Dr Vijay Warad, allergist and pediatric pulmonologist. Following a healthy lifestyle by eating right foods and exercising regularly is equally important in asthma control, say doctors.
“Innumerable studies across the world have proved correlation between junk food and rising asthma. Frequent consumption of junk food leads to lowering of basic immunity levels among kids, which, in turn, makes sensitivity to various allergies sharper. Besides that junk food, soft drinks contain preservatives that can be allergents,’’ said Dr Sundeep Salvi, director, Chest Research Foundation (CRF). Besides good food, ensuring no deficiency of vital nutrients such as Vitamin D and Vitamin C can help in better asthma control.
Pediatrician Dr Barnali Bhattacharya said while asthma is genetically-linked ailment, there were a few measures one could take to ensure protection against asthma.
“It is a known fact that women, who abstain from smoking during pregnancy, do exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months give their children better chances of protection against asthma,’’