High pollution levels in Indian cities are increasingly becoming the triggering factors to many respiratory diseases. Nowadays, more people are being diagnosed with chronic conditions such as asthma. Besides pollution, poor lifestyle habits, stress and deteriorating climatic conditions are contributing factors.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes the lungs’ air passages to inflame and narrow. It is a non-communicable disease and some of its symptoms include wheezing and breathlessness. People with the condition are prone to having asthma attacks during which the bronchial tubes’ lining swells up, causing the airways to narrow and thus, reducing the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Although asthma has a low fatality rate, it is necessary for people with this condition to take precautions for their well-being.
People with asthma need to be careful of their surroundings and must take the following precautions for their well-being:
Know your triggers and avoid them
It is crucial to know what triggers an asthma attack for you. Make a note of what you are doing and where you are when the symptoms start worsening. Allergies, cold air, a cold or flu virus, pet fur, air pollution, smoke, dust mites and fragrances are some common asthma triggers. If you have exercise-induced asthma, exercise in cold or dry air. Or, if you are planning a heavy workout, ensure you take steps such as using an inhaler to prevent an asthma attack.
Avoid smoke of any type
No type of smoke bodes well for an asthma patient. Restrict exposure to all sources of smoke including incense, tobacco, fireworks, fires and candles. Smoking makes asthma worse. So, if you are a smoker, quit at the earliest.
Take your prescribed medications
Long-term asthma medications help prevent symptoms and attacks. Take your asthma medications and use your inhaler regularly to keep your symptoms in check. Even if you feel fine, don’t skip your medication.
Keep yourself warm during winters
Cold weather typically worsens asthma symptoms. So, if you step out during winters, wear warm clothes to conserve body heat. Moreover, wear a mask or scarf over your nose and mouth to warm and humidify the air you breathe.
Also, avoid exercising outdoors during winters as it puts you at a higher risk of asthma seizures. Instead, exercise indoors.
Health insurance and asthma
Asthmatic treatment is expensive and can take a toll on your finances. Health insurance
, in general, offers you financial protection during medical emergencies. Here’s why health insurance for asthma
patients is necessary:
The cost of regular doctor visits, medicines and inhalers to treat this respiratory disease can add up and get too much to handle. One of the benefits of health insurance
in this situation is that it can help reduce such out-of-pocket expenses.
Covers diagnostic test expenses
The doctor may ask you to undergo various tests to measure your lungs’ functioning capacity and asthma severity. Peak flow tests, spirometry, imaging test and nitric oxide test are some such tests. These may burn a hole in your pocket, but a health insurance policy covers the cost of these tests and decreases your financial liability.
While some critical illness insurance
plans also cover chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, such plans’ coverage may depend on the specified severity of the condition. Some insurance companies offer asthma-specific policies. Choose a plan that covers hospital costs, medicines, and doctor’s charges as per your needs. Moreover, check the policy’s exclusions to avoid paying for excluded procedures.