WHAT IS ASTHMA ? HOW ASTHMA AFFECTS THE YOUR HEALTH
Asthma is a condition that causes your airways to narrow and swell, as well as create excess mucus. This can make breathing difficult, resulting in coughing, whistling (wheezing) on exhalation, and shortness of breath.
Asthma is a mild annoyance for some people. For others, it can be a severe issue that prevents them from going about their everyday lives and can even lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Although asthma cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed. Because asthma symptoms might change over time, it's critical to keep track of your signs and symptoms with your doctor and adjust your therapy as needed.
Asthma symptoms differ from one person to the next. You may have rare asthma episodes, only experience symptoms at specific times of the day — such as when exercising — or experience symptoms all of the time.
The following are some of the indications and symptoms of asthma:
- Breathing problems
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Exhaling wheezing is a typical symptom of asthma in children.
- Shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing might make it difficult to sleep.
- Coughing or wheezing attacks aggravated by a respiratory virus, such as the flu or a cold
The following are signs that your asthma is likely to worsen:
- As assessed by a device that checks how well your lungs are operating, you're having more trouble breathing (peak flow meter)
- More frequent use of a quick-relief inhaler
Asthma symptoms and indicators flare up for some persons in the following situations:
- Exercise-induced asthma, which can be exacerbated by cold and dry air.
- Occupational asthma is caused by irritants in the job, such as chemical fumes, gases, or dust.
- Allergy-induced asthma is caused by inhaling allergens such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach feces, or skin and dried saliva shed by dogs (pet dander)
When should you see a doctor?
Seek medical help right away.
Asthma episodes that are severe can be fatal. Work with your doctor to figure out what to do if your symptoms increase or if you require emergency treatment. The following are symptoms of an asthma attack:
- Shortness of breath or wheezing that worsens quickly
- Even after taking a quick-relief inhaler, there was no improvement.
- When you are undertaking minimal physical exercise, you may have shortness of breath.
Consult your physician.
Consult your physician:
** If you believe you have asthma, consult your doctor. Consult your doctor if you experience persistent coughing or wheezing, or any other signs or symptoms of asthma that continue more than a few days. Early treatment of asthma can help avoid long-term lung damage and keep the condition from worsening.
** After you've been diagnosed with asthma, you'll need to keep an eye on it. If you have asthma, talk to your doctor about how to keep it under control. Long-term asthma control makes you feel better every day and can help you avoid a life-threatening asthma attack.
** If your asthma symptoms worsen, consult your doctor. If your medication doesn't appear to be helping your symptoms or if you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more frequently, consult your doctor immediately away.
** Do not take more medication than your doctor has prescribed without first visiting your doctor. Excessive usage of asthma medication can result in negative side effects and make your asthma worse.
** To go over your treatment again. Asthma is a condition that can alter over time. Consult your doctor on a frequent basis to discuss your symptoms and make any necessary treatment changes.
It's unclear why some people develop asthma and others do not, but it's most likely due to a combination of environmental and genetic variables.
Asthma is a condition that is brought on by a variety of factors -
Asthma symptoms and indications can be triggered by exposure to numerous irritants and chemicals that cause allergies (allergens). Asthma triggers vary from person to person, but they can include :
- Pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, and cockroach waste particles are examples of airborne allergens.
- Infections of the lungs, such as the common cold.
- Physical activity is important.
- Cold air.
- Pollutants and irritants in the air, such as smoke
- Beta blockers, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) as well as naproxen sodium (Aleve).
- Stress and strong emotions.
- Some foods and beverages, such as shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer, and wine, include sulfites and preservatives.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acids back up into the throat.
Factors that are at risk
A variety of factors have been linked to an increased risk of acquiring asthma. They are as follows:
- Having an asthmatic blood relative, such as a parent or sibling
- Having another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis (red, itchy skin) or hay fever (runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes).
- Being overweight is a problem.
- Being a cigarette smoker
- Secondhand smoke exposure
- Exhaust fumes or other sorts of pollution exposure
- Workplace triggers, such as chemicals used in agriculture, hairdressing, and manufacturing
- Symptoms that make it difficult to sleep, work, or do other things
- During asthma flare-ups, sick days from work or school are common.
- Bronchial tube constriction is a persistent narrowing of the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs, affecting your ability to breathe.
- Visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations due to severe asthma episodes
- Long-term usage of several asthma treatments can have negative side effects.
Proper therapy makes a significant impact in preventing both short- and long-term asthma problems.
While there is no way to prevent asthma attacks, you and your doctor can devise a step-by-step strategy for managing your illness and avoiding attacks.
- Make sure you stick to your asthma action plan. Make a thorough strategy for taking medications and managing an asthma attack with your doctor and health care team. Then make sure you stick to your plan.
Asthma is a chronic illness that necessitates continual monitoring and treatment. You may feel more in control of your life if you take charge of your treatment.
- Vaccinate yourself against influenza and pneumonia. Flu and pneumonia can provoke asthma flare-ups if you aren't up to date on your vaccines.
- Asthma triggers should be identified and avoided. Asthma episodes can be triggered by a variety of environmental allergens and irritants, ranging from pollen and mold to cold air and air pollution. Find out what triggers or aggravates your asthma and take actions to prevent them.
- Keep an eye on your breathing. You might learn to recognize symptoms of an approaching attack, such as minor coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
However, because your lung function may deteriorate before you experience any signs or symptoms, use a home peak flow meter to test and record your peak airflow on a regular basis. A peak flow meter is a device that monitors how strongly you can exhale. Your doctor can demonstrate how to track your peak flow at home.
- Detect and cure attacks as soon as possible. You're less likely to suffer a serious attack if you act promptly. You'll also need less medicine to keep your symptoms under control.
Take your medication as directed when your peak flow measures drop, signaling an impending attack. Stop any action that may have caused the attack as well. If your symptoms do not improve, follow the instructions in your action plan to seek medical treatment.
- Take your medication exactly as directed. Even if your asthma appears to be improving, don't change your meds without first consulting your doctor. It's a good idea to bring your meds to every doctor's appointment. Your doctor can check to see if you're taking your meds appropriately and at the correct dose.
- Pay special emphasis to expanding the usage of quick-relief inhalers. Your asthma isn't under control if you have to rely on your quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol. Consult your doctor before making changes to your treatment.