Industrial fumes and raw onion can trigger asthma.
Twenty-five years old Ashok Kumar is a cheerful young man who never had a chronic illness in his life. Bathing in rains, riding scooter without woollen clothing in winter nights of December, or having scoops of ice-cream or raw onions never caused any problems to him.
Ashok now works in a kiln factory and is exposed to intense fumes at sustained levels. On one day he suffers from cold, still he goes to factor site for work. At the end of the day, he experiences a strange sense of chest tightness, which he ignores. Ashok goes to bed early that day after having a light dinner. However, his sleep gets disturbed around mid-night and he wakes up due to distress; he feels strangulated. He sweats profusely and fights for gasping air. His brother takes him immediately to a nearby family doctor who diagnoses him of bronchial asthma. Since then he has numerous dont’s in his life to follow as precautions, that his free-life pleasures have now become a matter of his memories. For past three years Ashok intermittent had symptoms of asthma; six months back he had severe asthma episode that lasted two months. His medication intake has also doubled but his symptoms are still not in control.
i) What aggravates Ashok’s asthma?
ii) How is the problem solved?
Ashok discovers one day that some days when he avoids eating raw onion, he improves symptoms of his asthma considerably. He also then requires less medications.
- Occupational asthma initiates typically after exposure to occupational health hazards, e.g., industrial fumes. Fumes make lung airways more reactive. Once triggered, asthma tendency may persist for a long time.
- Raw onion is a strong irritant that can aggravate asthma.
- Ashok’s asthma is triggered by his exposure to fumes. His asthma symptoms get aggravated further when he takes raw onion. Ashok’s asthma improves when he avoids fumes and raw onion.