Understanding wheezing and keeping it in control

Many people all over the world today suffer from respiratory problems because of the rising levels of pollution as well as greater exposure to allergens. The study of respiratory problems has developed a great deal and today there are many kinds of treatment available for the same. There are many tests and experiments designed to diagnose the extent of the disease and thus help in treatment options.


Coughs are one of the body’s best defence mechanisms and occurs when the lining of the throat, lungs, voice box or nose are irritated in any way. Coughs are usually the by-product of infections though today allergic coughs are becoming more common. These are as the name suggests caused by allergens which can be pollutants, chemical fumes, dust mites, pollen dust and even some kinds of food. Since it is something external that causes the cough, it is important to first eliminate these allergens. It is necessary to keep both the home and workplace as free of dust as possible. It is essential for people who are prone to this to eat home cooked food that is free from additives like taste and colour enhancers. Wherever possible exposure to these irritants must be minimised. It is the basic cure for this problem.


The modern world presents before us a host of allergy causing pollutants or fumes and they can result in both allergic coughs and allergic rhinitis. The latter is caused when the inner lining of the nose is irritated by allergens and immune system of the body reacts to the same. They result in a stuffy nose, red and watery eyes, swelling around the eyes. The discharge from the nose colourless and water and the symptoms occur within minutes of exposure to the allergen. This problem interferes with daily activities. In the case of the most common form also known as hay fever, it usually occurs only during the time when plants flower. The disease is usually treated with the help of anti-histamines, nasal steroids and leukotriene receptor antagonists like montelukast. People who suffer from this may later develop wheezing and asthma.


When the passages of the lung are narrowed it causes a great difficulty in breathing and is usually present in people who suffer from asthma. The narrowed air passage causes a whistling sound to be emitted during exhalation and this is called wheezing. It is a serious medical condition that needs treatment. The usual treatment for this problem is the use of bronchodilators that help in reducing the inflammation and freeing the air passage making it easier to breathe. Like asthma it can be brought on by allergens and sometimes even stress.



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