In 2007, asthma was associated with 3,447 deaths in the country, or approximately 9 per day. Unfortunately, the number of people living with this chronic lung condition continuously rises every year. One factor that affects the country’s asthma rates is the failure of some automotive companies to ensure that their vehicles meet the country’s emissions standards. Volkswagen intentionally sold vehicles equipped with special software to cheat on emissions test.

Asthma occurs when the air passages become inflamed and produce extra mucus. This makes breathing difficult, and may also result in pain and tightness of chest. Apart from these, other symptoms may include coughing, difficulty getting sleep because of coughing and shortness of breath, and wheezing, especially when exhaling. How asthma affects your life depends mainly on its severity. For some with asthma attacks that are more frequent and serious, their daily activities can be profoundly affected.

There are many possible causes of asthma. Apart from vehicle emissions and other air pollutants, here are the other risk factors that may trigger an attack:

  • Family history of asthma
  • Strenuous physical activities
  • Air that is too cold or too humid
  • Mother who smoked while pregnant
  • Some medications (aspirin, beta blockers etc.)
  • Some preservatives and additives
  • Obesity
  • Smoking (or exposure to second hand smoke)
  • Allergens, such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites and mold
  • For women, menstrual cycle

An asthma attack can interfere with your day-to-day activities. So, before it could affect your day, be sure to identify first what triggers your asthma attack. Are you having an attack during the pollen season? Can a humid air trigger an attack? Does your asthma attack after eating a certain type of food? Write down all the possible triggers. Once you know them, you’ll be able to learn how to avoid them.