Asthma isn’t anything new, in fact, it has only grown old with us and evolved for the worse. But this isn’t the problem. The problem is how people deal with asthma challenges. No doubt, this ailment can make life challenging but with proper management and an action plan an asthma life could be no different from a normal one.
Asthma(Short of breath)
To cut a long story short, Asthma is the blockage of the airways carrying air from the nose to the mouth and finally to the lungs. Resulting in coughing wheezing, and experiencing a shortage of breath.
Take a straw for example. While drinking your favorite drink from the straw if someone presses it tightly from between, the supply of the drink will stop. And you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Similarly, while coming in contact with one of the Asthma triggers when the pollutant air or allergens are passed from your nose they act like a hurdle for the air to pass from your windpipe to the lungs. And when this air is blocked it creates mucus leading to an asthma attack.
The Asthma Attack
To know ‘what is an asthma attack?’ it’s important to know ‘what are the causes of asthma?’
Anyone can have Asthma with genetic and environmental causes. Genetically a child with asthmatic parents is more probable to have asthma than a child with a single asthmatic parent.
Environmental factors also play a large part in triggering asthma symptoms. Dirt, allergens, mites, tobacco smoke, air repellents, perfumes, petrol, oil-diffusers, chemicals, and pet fur could be the triggers of an attack. There could be various other causes as well like; obesity, hormonal disbalance, passive smoking, menopause, and emotional stress.
In an asthma attack, the patient’s muscles around the airways begin to tighten due to a trigger, leading to the narrowing and swelling of the airways. The processes are called Bronchospasm and Inflammation which produces mucus leading to coughing and irregular breathing.
Asthma Symptoms: A time to see a doctor
It’s been estimated that over 300 million humans in the world are patients of asthma and the chances of females developing this lung disease are more than males, especially after pregnancy or menopause. Alongside this, the frequency of male kids being affected is higher than female kids. Therefore, it becomes very important to learn about this life-threatening disease, especially its symptoms.
Asthma Symptoms may change over time and they vary from person to person, however, the common symptoms are:
- Difficult breathing
- Irregular Coughing & Wheezing
- Chest congestion or pain
- Sleeping hindrances due to shortage of breath
Now you know what asthma is and what are its symptoms and causes. But wouldn’t you want to know how to manage it as well? If yes, then scroll down.
How to face Asthma challenges(Managing Asthma)?
1. Acceptance of the disease
A lot of people tend to ignore the symptoms at the first sight of them. This is understandable, but, when episodes repeat one must consult a doctor. As you accept that your body is facing some difficulty only then you will be able to manage it. Ignoring the signs could only worsen your condition.
2. Consulting a GP and getting an action plan ready
Once you realize that you have asthma it becomes pivotal to consult with a suitable doctor or general practitioner. A doctor will guide you through a set of rules to adhere to keep your asthma in check which is your action plan, make sure you religiously follow it. An action plan is a must to survive this problematic disorder.
3. Avoidance of Triggers
Every person faces different challenges with asthma. Some feel anxious due to air pollution and dirt particles. While others may experience an attack due to chemicals, oil-diffusers, pet fur, dust, tobacco smoke, perfumes, or other triggers in their homes. Hence, a responsible asthma patient or a parent with an asthmatic child would keep track of the deadly triggers and make sure to avoid them.
4. A communication lag between your doctor
The biggest challenge of asthma is the communication gap with your health care providers. While the asthma community is on the run for a normal lifestyle and better health, it is only possible when you shake hands with your doctor. A doctor will guide you toward an action plan to follow and would also ensure a reduction in the rates of asthma attacks with timely follow-ups.
5. Focus on preventing triggers and not on managing them
It’s human nature to look for a cure after the damage is done rather than preventing the damage. An Asthma life calls for the right planning to avoid triggers by staying in a clean environment and avoiding rigorous tasks.
Life doesn’t stop for anyone and living with an ailment is challenging but managing it well can make your life a lot easier.
6. Using your Inhaler the right way
An inhaler is a device for treating asthma but it can be harmful when used wrongly. During an attack, one is in dire need of an inhaler, and when he isn’t well-equipped with how to use it properly the situation can be dangerous. Because the patient may or may not receive the right dosage of the bronchodilator(inhaler). The person who is already panicking at the onset of an attack may suffer more because of the wrong practice of using the inhaler, leading to a more/less intake of the medication which is worse.
7. Timely refill of the Inhalers
Just like it’s important to keep a track of the triggers to avoid an asthma attack. It’s also crucial to keep a regular dosage of the medication used to treat your asthma. An Inhaler must be refilled from time to time to avoid an untimely situation. Mostly inhalers have indicators of when the dosage is full or empty but sometimes there aren’t such indicators. So, connecting with your chemist, or keeping an extra inhaler is always beneficial.
8. Night-Time Precautions
Asthma deteriorates at night. As temperature changes, it affects your lung functions. And the way you sleep can also trigger symptoms. If you sleep on the back there are chances of coughing more. There are also some medication side effects at night. Hence, it’s better to take care of your health during this time, by switching on the nebulizers or cleaning the room again. Keeping all windows and curtains close could also help.
9. Asthma Treatment
We discussed multiple ways of asthma control but the most important is to have an intact knowledge of asthma treatment options and be able to use the right one when need be.
The very basic is using an inhaler during an asthma attack. These inhalers are long-term & short term also known as the long-acting beta agonist’ and ‘the short-acting beta agonist’, used according to the severity. They provide instant relief from a flare-up. However, these inhalers are of two types Meter-dose inhaler(Spray) and a Dry Powder Inhaler(Inhale). Depending on what the patient prefers.
It’s also advisable to have anti-inflammatory medicines like inhaled corticosteroids long-term or oral steroids for an acute attack for safety. Biological therapies by doctors for asthma treatment for severe types of asthma can be really helpful.
Asthma isn’t a new disease or ailment. It’s been prevalent for ages now and the tools to face every asthma challenge have also been found. So, it’s important to make use of them. Avoiding triggers and sticking to an action plan can prevent asthma attacks for a long period and it’s only possible when consistency in following a routine is maintained.
How can Haryana Multispeciality Hospital help?
Haryana Multispeciality Hospital offers a variety of medical services in numerous departments. Emergency cases of any kind are attended to 24/7 by proficient and a dedicated team of doctors.
Asthma too is one of their best departments where any emergency is diligently taken care of. The Asthma Emergency cases too managed smartly and delicately with all the required equipment to provide instant relief. With a house pharmacy, there is no hindrance in getting all the essentials.
Reach out to HMH for any emergency cases or treatment plans for asthma for a person of any age group. Right from the action plan to timely appointments and the right medication, everything will be offered in the best manner possible.