‘Asthma’ is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways wherein the airways in the lower respiratory tract go into a spasm and they narrow down in response to a stimulus like an allergy, change of weather, air irritants, lung infection or stress. The air gets trapped in the lungs during expiration leading to a labored breathing and the narrowed bronchus will no longer be cleared effectively by coughing up the mucus formed and thus many of the bronchi become obstructed by mucus plugs. Heredity also plays an important role. The patient usually complains of coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and the patient appears to be gasping for breath. Persons who smoke a lot of cigarettes, who are under a lot of stress, who are exposed to too much of dust and pollution, those who abuse drugs and misuse their asthmatic medications tend to be the ones who succumb to serious attacks of asthma. Severe asthma persisting from childhood may cause a ‘pigeon chest’ deformity.

Stop smoking, going near any fumes or odors and avoid taking aspirin. An asthmatic patient should never consume stale food, refrigerated food or drinks and sweets. The night meals should be light since most of the attacks increase in the night. Taking water with traces of copper (i.e.taking water kept in a copper container) helps preventing occurrences of any respiratory disorders. Swim frequently to exercise and open the chest muscles.

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