Characterized by a difficulty or inability to breathe that can be potentially life-threatening, asthma is a serious condition that requires proper understanding. Even though an estimated 8.3 percent of Americans have asthma, it is not understood well by most people. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asthma, knowing everything there is to know about the disorder is imperative. This guide will give you a few important facts about preventing and treating asthma.
One of the most important preventative options to remember is that you need to avoid triggers. Triggers may be deemed as any product or allergen that can cause the airway to constrict and become inflamed, leading to an allergy attack. Here are a few common triggers that can increase your risk of an asthma attack:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Air pollutants (smoke, exhaust, etc.)
- Viruses (common cold, flu, etc.)
In addition, exerting yourself physically or emotionally could increase asthma symptoms. Also, if you suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder, such as acid reflux, the stomach acids that back up into your throat cause you to have a higher chance of developing asthma.
It is important to note that avoiding these triggers at all times is impossible, so knowing the symptoms will ensure that you are prepared for early and effective asthma treatment.
Know the Symptoms
If you are exposed to various allergens or dealing with another trigger, knowing the symptoms of an asthma attack is crucial for treatment.
Wheezing is one of the first signs of an asthma attack. This wheezing can progressively get worsen, often making it difficult and uncomfortable to breathe in and out. You will also begin to cough, which will be difficult to control.
Most people who are starting to have an asthma attack will also experience a tightness and pressure in the chest. This is due to the bronchial tubes becoming inflamed and irritated, causing the lungs to expand and contract.
Because of the difficulty breathing and chest tightness, panic and anxiety attacks are also common as the asthma attack starts.
Without immediate treatment, the asthma attack can prevent you from breathing at all, potentially causing you to lose consciousness.
Act fast as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms of an asthma attack.
If you have already been diagnosed with asthma, your doctor probably prescribed a rescue inhaler. Taking a few quick puffs of the inhaler is imperative as soon as you experience the signs of an asthma attack.
The medications in the inhaler are essential for reducing the inflammation of your bronchial tubes, which reduces irritation and expansion in the airways, helping you breathe in a clearer manner.