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Asthma and Bangalore - chaos documented..

About Asthma and Bangalore

Previous Entry Asthma and Bangalore Jan. 20th, 2009 @ 02:37 pm Next Entry
This is my story about asthma in Bangalore.

I have had intermittent asthma since childhood, typically once or twice a year at most.
It was never too severe & I managed mostly using homeopathic medicines.

I moved to Bangalore in 1998, and then it started getting more frequent & worse. In 2000 I was advised the Asthalin rotohaler, first as an SOS & then on a regular basis. I moved to Koramangala in 2001 & the frequency increased.

Since then I had gotten used to using the rotohaler. There would be a few months when I wouldn't need it, but most nights I would need to use the rotohaler before I slept.
There would be a bad attack once a year, when I would need to be nebulized.

In all these years, I knew that I was fine when I was out of Bangalore whether it was California, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Seattle, New York or North Carolina. I only suffered from asthma when I was in Bangalore.

In late 2008, my asthma got worse.  Weekends specifically got very bad. I would need the inhaler 3-5 times a day. Going to a doc & taking a course of antibiotics would slow it for 3-4 weeks & then it was back to square 1.

In November 2008, my Father-in-law just moved in from Mumbai & he faced a similar problem. He'd never had asthma / wheezing ever in his life, but as soon as he moved in with us he had pronounced and regular wheezing.
In December he moved into his apartment in Indiranagar and has not had wheezing ever since.

This was incentive enough for me to try the same as an experiment.

In January 2009, I moved in with my father-in-law & very soon there was no wheezing and no congestion. For a complete week, I did not use the inhaler & was feeling much better.

To ascertain that my asthma was due to an allergy specific to Koramangala & not a residual strain, we decided to go back & stay in

Koramangala for a day. We picked 14th Jan for the experiment. My wife went the previous day & moved most furnishings including the sofa set & curtains into another room & got the house thoroughly cleaned. I went home late on 13th night & pretty soon the wheezing started.

I had to use the inhaler at about 4am.

We moved back on 14th morning to Indiranagar - and no wheezing. I was convinced that it had to be the flora around Koramangala that I (and my father-in-law) was allergic to. It could have also had to do with furnishings in my house, but something happened this Sunday that clinched the case for us.

We were invited for dinner in Silver Metro in the Total Mall, in Madivala on Sunday - they have a decent buffet.

Dinner went well, but I had wheezing in the night and had to use the inhaler. I informed my FIL & he said he also had to use the inhaler in the night. Both of us having to use the inhaler the same night that we were around Koramangala for ~3 hours, after a long time of no wheezing is good enough proof for me.
It is surprising that me & my FIL share the same allergy, and that my wife and everyone else who has stayed with us in our Koramangala house have no such issues.

I am glad to have ascertained that my asthma is allergic and is also specific to a location.
I am going to move out of the locality, hopefully soon. Life without asthma is a lot lot better.

If your asthma is specific to Bangalore, I would recommend try staying in other localities within Bangalore.

Current Location: Bangalore
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Date:January 21st, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
Have you moved permanently to Indira Nagar now?
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Date:January 21st, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
No sir.

Will stay in Indiranagar for a while longer, while I decide where to move to.

Too many other changes happening/expected in the next couple of months, so will probably delay the move by 2 months.

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Date:January 21st, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I've heard about many people having Ashtma in B'lore, and it has often been attributed to pollution. A friend of mine in IISc had it too - wonder if it had anything to do wit the flora.

Glad you found a solution, and wish you long-lasting relief.
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Date:January 22nd, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
Interesting. I can imagine the relief at a diagnosis (localizing the problem to a particular area).

I lived in and around Kormangala for ~15 years. It used to be Parthenium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenium) that was particularly bad for allergies in Bangalore and specially around undeveloped areas like Koramangala in the early 90's. Things became a lot better in the mid-late 90's when they methodically eradicated the shrub. Do I have a point? Possibly not :D but this came to mind when you mentioned 'flora'.
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Date:February 2nd, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)

similar problem

My wife has a similar problem. We live in BTM close to the Madivala lake and my wife has a problem whenever we stay in our apartment. Moving to Vijayanagar seems to instantly solve or mitigate this problem to a great extent. May be the lake and surrounding shrubs have something to do with it? The lake is also quite close to the Koramangala area geographically. Interestingly, the problem did not occur last year but has been greatly aggravated this year. It has been noticeably colder and I don't know if that has something to do with it either.
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