Asthma is a serious disease that is estimated to affect about 300 million people worldwide. In our country, it is seen in 5-7 of every 100 adults, 13-15 of every 100 children. Our airways start from the mouth and the nose and continue with the trachea. The trachea is divided into two main branches (bronchus) as right and left in the lungs and they divide into smaller limbs like the ascending branches of a tree. Asthma is a disease that manifests itself with airway narrowing due to non-microbial chronic inflammation, and sometimes with crises, especially with symptoms of shortness of breath. Dry cough is very common and usually it increases at nights. There is also a feeling of throbbing breathing and pressure on the chest. Sometimes it can improve spontaneously or with medication and shows seasonal changes. Some allergens, air pollution, cigarette smoke, reflux, stress, exercise, and infections can trigger the disease. Experts describe the common asthma seen in this season and how to fight it.

Do not dry laundry at home
Acıbadem University Atakent Hospital Chest Disease Specialist Pelin Uysal says that asthma attacks due to air pollution, sudden changes in humidity and temperature in the outdoors are increasing. Uysal describes what should be considered against asthma: “Asthmatics should warm all the rooms of the house in the winter if possible, do not dry laundry in the house, should not reduce the humidity of the house. They should avoid being in crowded environments, use personal protective measures (such as masks) and hygiene. Influenza vaccination is recommended in October-November. Unnecessary use of antibiotics should also be avoided.”

Wear clothes that will not cause sweating
“Thermal clothing should be preferred. If the asthmatic symptoms of cough and shortness of breath are exacerbated, the chest disease specialist should be consulted for treatment immediately. Treatments should not be interrupted. The patient should not smoke.”

Respiratory medication relieves breathing
“Most asthma medications are administered through breathing air. Two groups of drugs are given, namely controlling and breathing drugs. The medicines may be administered in a variety of devices or as steam. If severe respiratory failure is present, oxygen therapy may be added. According to the severity of the asthma disease, the physician should plan which medicine in what dose and how often it should be used. Regular and proper use of medications is the most important step of the treatment.”

In winter, children are more sensitive
Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Child Allergy Specialist Dr. Gülbin Bingöl explains the problems that asthmatic children can experience during the winter months and the precautions that can be taken: “In winter, the complaints of asthmatic patients, or the number of cases that asthma symptoms appear for the first time increase. Because virus-borne diseases such as influenza are more common especially in schools, because children infect each other. Airborne viruses can cause airway congestion, which can lead to the appearance or increase of asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.”

Do not dress children with too woolly or furry clothes
“Cold air can also trigger asthma symptoms in sensitive people, causing congestion in the bronchis. Some allergens, especially mushroom (mold) spores can remain in the air for long periods in humid and rainy weather, and can cause allergic symptoms in humans. Children who are allergic to house molds and molds outside the house are more likely to be affected. In winter, indoor areas are more exposed to indoor environment allergens. Children with house dust allergy can also have problems. Especially in winter, woolly furry goods, carpets, and clothing can cause complications in this disease.”

Attention to mold on the flower soil
“If your child is allergic, it is important that measures are taken to reduce the humidity in the house, preferably below 50 percent. It is important to be careful not to have mildew in the house, on the walls, and in the bathroom, and on the soil of the flowerpots in the house. Children with house dust allergies should not have too many items, bases, large clothes closets, loaded bookshelves, and carpets in their bedrooms. Apart from these, the drugs and doses that allergic children are using for asthma should be revised and new arrangements should be made if necessary. ”

Mother’s milk keeps away from asthma
Acıbadem Göktürk and Zekeriyaköy Medical Center Nutrition and Diet Specialist Müge Güzey, who noted that the wrong eating habits affect the frequency of asthma cases, suggests, “Breastfeeding reduces the risk of getting asthma. It has been determined that the risk of getting asthma increases in infants that received less than 2 months of breast milk.”

Omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics
“Omega-3 rich nutrition reduces asthma attacks. Fish such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna, especially in cold waters, are the richest sources of omega-3. Herbal omega-3 sources are flax seed, walnut, purslane, and chia seed. Regular use of foods containing probiotics (beneficial bacteria) such as yogurt and kefir reduces asthma attacks.”

Antioxidant vitamins
“Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E have a high potency in the protection of developing asthma and the attacks of asthma. Especially the antioxidant vitamin intake of children and the pregnant women has a protective effect. Vitamin A is present in yellow, orange and green vegetables and fruits, and in some animal-derived foods, namely milk, eggs and liver. Vitamin E sources are fruits with hard shells such as nuts and almonds, and fats of these fruits, dried legumes, grains, and green leafy vegetables. The highest sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, and berries.”

Selenium, magnesium
“Seafood, meats, and organ meats are among the rich sources of selenium. This antioxidant effect is associated with decreased inflammation in asthmatic patients. Adequate intake of magnesium with the diet helps reduce asthma attacks. Magnesium sources are bananas, cocoa, nuts, spinach, and cheese.”