Many people worldwide have asthma, and the number doesn’t seem likely to reduce any time soon. What is even more frightening is that not everyone with asthma is aware of its presence in their body or how to manage it.
Although asthma is a serious condition, it is not a death sentence. With quick diagnosis and treatment, an asthmatic patient can lead a normal and healthy life. However, you need the necessary information to manage this condition. I mean necessary information, like the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this condition, all of which this article will offer.
Asthma is a respiratory disease caused by the inflammation of the breathing tubes and an increase in mucus production in these tubes leading to the tightening. It causes difficulty in breathing.
Asthma can affect humans of all ages, and though it usually starts in childhood, it is also possible to get it as an adult. Most times, it lasts until the end of one’s life. Attacks could be mild or severe. A mild attack could be treated using inhalers or performing breathing exercises, while severe cases may need a doctor’s intervention.
Symptoms of asthma
Asthma symptoms vary in patients, and can be mild during an attack, yet severe during another. However, general symptoms are listed below.
1. Prolonged Cough
Patients with asthma usually experience coughing, which could be dry or with phlegm. It occurs both during the day and at night but is more severe at night or very early in the morning.
This is a piping or whistling sound that sometimes accompanies coughing and breathing in or out.
One might also experience difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, or the need to breathe through the mouth. It could occur during exercise or other strenuous activities.
Lack of sleep could be an indication of asthma. One either finds it difficult to fall asleep or wakes up several times during the night. The incessant coughing could also keep one awake.
This is when the chest refuses to return to its original position after one breathes in. It may come with painful sensation and tightened neck and chest muscles.
6. Excessive tiredness and fainting
Asthma patients usually get tired very easily when performing exercises or lifting of heavy objects. Severe fatigue and exhaustion may lead to fainting.
Causes of asthma
Children with parents or grandparents who have asthma are more likely to get it than those with no record of it in their family. However, a child is more likely to inherit it from the mother than from the father.
Children with allergies are more prone to asthma, as one allergy usually leads to another.
Smoking during pregnancy places the child at a high risk of being asthmatic. Also, smoking around the child, especially when they are still at a very tender age, can lead to asthma development.
4. Premature birth
Babies born before they are due are at risk of having asthma. This also applies to babies that have low weight at birth.
5. Viral infections
Infections like colds, bronchiolitis, and flu can expose one to asthma.
Substances like dust, detergent, paint, and other chemicals can lead to asthma, especially when exposed to them for a long time during childhood.
There is no cure for asthma. It usually stays with the patient for life. However, some measures can be taken to manage and prevent frequent attacks.
1. Use of Inhalers
Inhalers are designed to deliver drugs directly to the lungs. This makes drugs work faster and more effectively. The preventer inhaler should be used every day to avoid the attacks or reduce the chances of them occurring. The reliever inhaler, on the other hand, is used when the attack has already occurred. It is used to soothe the patient, as the name suggests.
2. Apply caution when taking other medicines
Before taking other medicines in the event of illnesses, asthma patients are strongly advised to make sure that those drugs are suitable for people with asthma so as not to trigger attacks. This can be done by reading through instructions, or better still, asking the doctor.
3. Do not smoke
Smoking with asthma is adding fuel to an already intense fire. It is a no-go area for asthmatic patients.
4. Stay away from triggers
Dust, smoke, cold air, amongst others, are all triggers of attacks. Keep away from them.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
Eating good and balanced food on time will go a long way in reducing attacks. After all, eating well ensures living well.
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