What is Asthma?
Asthma happens when your airways narrow, swell or produce excessive mucus.
This disease makes breathing difficult and may cause a wheezing sound when breathing.
Ultimately, it can cause shortness of breath.
Although this disease cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed.
Asthma often changes over time, so you must cooperate with your doctor to trace your signs and symptoms.
Asthma Trigger Factors
Not all the things that can cause asthma are known.
However, we do know that genetic, environmental, and occupational factors have been linked to developing this disease.
An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to “triggers.”
Triggers can be very different from person to person.
When you can’t avoid your triggers, be aware of an asthma attack.
Some of the most common triggers include:
- Tobacco smoke
- Dust mites
- Outdoor air pollution
- Cockroach allergen
- Pets fur
Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them.
Sign and Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms of this disease vary from person to person.
You may have infrequent attacks, have symptoms only at certain times such as when exercising, or have symptoms all the time.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- Coughing or wheezing attacks are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
Seek Emergency Treatment
Severe attacks can be life-threatening.
Consult with your doctor to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms worsen and if you need emergency treatment.
Signs of an asthma emergency include:
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing
- No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler
- Shortness of breath when you are doing minimal physical activity
Prevention and Management
Take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor to avoid having serious conditions.
Most importantly, try to stay away from things that can trigger an attack.
Different asthma conditions will result in different medical treatments.
Some medicine can be taken through inhalation and others orally.
Asthma medicines come in two types.
They are quick-relief and long-term control.
Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms whereas long-term control medicine help to reduce the number of attacks.
However, long-term control medications do not provide quick relief when having an attack.
Asthma medicines may have some side effects, but most side effects are mild and usually go away quickly. You may ask your doctor for clarification about the side effects of your medicines.
Remember, asthma can be controlled.
Make an action plan based on your doctor’s guidance.
Take your long-term control medicine together with you even when you don’t have symptoms.