Asthma is no longer a new thing to hear. There are so many people who have this condition and we often see how bad it can be. If you or people you love are diagnosed with it, there are several facts and suggestions you will probably be best to know. Asthma is common now but it still needs serious care and treatment.
Medical Definition and Symptoms
Medically, asthma is a condition in which someone suffers trouble breathing. The trouble is caused by the air way getting tighter or swollen. For some people, this is just a minor condition. For other people, this can be life threatening. The symptoms can happen anytime or only on certain activities like exercise. The symptoms can be different from one to another, but it includes short breath, chest pain or tightness, wheezy exhaling, and coughing. Based on the situation it happens, asthma can be categorized into three groups including exercise induced, occupational, and allergy induced. You must go to the doctor when the short breath and wheezing gets worse and rapid, there is no significant improvement after using inhaler, and short breath in small exercise or activity.
Major Causes and Risking Factors
There is no official clarification on the exact cause, but doctors believe it is probably caused by environmental factor and genetic condition. However, there are several things that provoke asthma. It includes Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD, food with preservatives or sulfites, stress and intense emotion, several medications, air irritants and pollutants, cold air, exercise, infection on respiratory, and allergens. Besides, factors like exposure to pollutants, being overweight or smoker, allergic condition, and blood relative with asthma contribute to higher risk on it. If one of those factors or provoking condition happens to you, you should consider seeing a doctor and have yourself checked. Early diagnose will result better.
People with asthma commonly have to face several possible complications. The complications can be long term or short term. Both are uncomfortable and often annoying. Most patients experience symptoms and signs on all activities including sleeping. They also need to take several day off from school or work when it flares up. On several patients, the bronchial tubes are narrowing permanently. It influences your ability to breath and can be life threatening. Constant visit to emergency room or being hospitalized are your routine menu, not to mention the side effects of several medications to your health. Sometimes, it has real bad side effects, a brand new health problem to treat and cure other than the asthma.
Diagnosis and Tests
If you have the chance to have asthma, you should see a doctor to get checked. In the appointment, you should tell the doctor all symptoms you have been feeling and if gets worse, personal details like recent change or relative with the condition, medications you are taking, and other possible information helpful for diagnosis. Doctors will commonly recommend you to do physical exam, and several tests like spirometry to check the narrowing and peak flow to check the hardest breath you can take out. Several other tests are also possible, like methacholine test, nitric oxide test, imaging and allergy test, sputum eosinophils, and a test for induced and exercise asthma. After the test, the asthma is categorized into four different groups, severe persistent, moderate persistent, mild persistent, and mild intermittent. Each of them requires different treatment.
Drugs and Treatments
Patients can get several asthma treatments. The long term treatment includes inhaled corticosteroid, leukotrine modifier, beta agonists, combination in inhalers, and theophylline. The last medication is not used so often now due to several medical reasons. Beside the long term, patients can also have short term treatment like beta agonists, the short acting one, atrovent, and intravenous and oral corticosteroid. For allergies, the treatment commonly includes xolair and immunotherapy. Bronchial thermoplasty is also possible treatment for asthma but not very likely. Consistent action plan is highly needed to control the symptoms.
Asthma home remedies are not available except for better environment and healthy lifestyle. To provide good environment for you, you should your air conditioner to remove airborne pollen, minimize dust from your décor, get optimal humidity, clean spores from mold, groom pet regularly, clean regularly, and cover mouth and nose when it is cold for you. You need to maintain clean, fresh, and healthy environment to minimize the risk. Getting regular exercise will also make your lung and heart stronger. Just try to do it moderately without forcing your body too much, and do it in regular basis for best result. Make sure that you have ideal weight and try to control heartburn and GERD.
Beside asthma medicine prescribed by doctors, you can also try several things like caffeine, pycnogenol, choline, and black seed in moderate intake regularly. Based on several patients, these alternative medicines are helpful in controlling your symptoms. Beside those medicines, you should also try breathing exercise. Several patients even recommend yoga. It doesn’t have to be a hard exercise. Instead do it in ease but effective. This exercise is proven to be effective in reducing the total amount of prescribed medicine you should take. However, these medicine and exercise are not the replacement for the prescribed medicine and treatments. Consult to your doctor if it will fit and if it will be helpful for your asthma.
If you have asthma, you should learn to pace yourself out. Take a little break after each activity or task and make sure you are in healthy environment. If your loved ones have this, make sure that you help him in maintaining good environment, healthy lifestyle, and being consistent in seeing the doctor. The symptoms can be controlled in several ways like doing your doctor action plan, get flu or pneumonia vaccine when you need to, avoid the triggers and monitor how you breath. Make immediate action when you find yourself using the inhaler a lot more often. Get early treatment when an attack happens, and take your medicine as prescribed. Those should help you prevent the attack and control your asthma symptoms.