Browsing: Asthma

What Are the Triggers of Asthma?

A significant number of people suffer from a respiratory tract condition called asthma. What is asthma? Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. This inflammation thereby causes an increase in mucus production, mucosal edema, and airway hyper-responsiveness. The cardinal signs of asthma include wheezing, or asthma breathing, difficulty in breathing, coughing, and chest tightness.

This disease can occur in any age. However, it is most common among children. Despite new developments in the treatment of asthma, the death rate keeps on rising. Most asthmatics consider it a troublesome illness that interferes with their everyday living.

Asthma can be triggered by different factors. However, the most common is exposure to allergens. Allergens are airway irritants that can be found almost everywhere. Pollens from grass, trees, and weeds are one type of allergens.

Other forms include dust, molds, roaches, and pet dander. In addition, air pollution contributes to irritating the airway. Automobile emissions are not only a significant cause, but more importantly, an aggravating factor. Both smoking and second-hand smoke affects the respiratory tract.

Inhalation of cigarette or tobacco smoke has been associated with the further progress of the disease. Additionally, strong odors from perfumes can activate asthma. Extreme heat and cold could trigger asthma too, including sudden weather changes.

However, environmental factors are not the only cause of asthma. Exercise-induced asthma is also reasonably. Surveys have shown that asthma is a common medical condition for athletes such as cyclists, mountain bikers, and runners. On the other hand, some medical conditions can lead to an exacerbation of asthma. Examples of which are existing viral respiratory infection and gastroesophageal reflux.

Psychological stress and emotional adjustment has long been suspected in causing asthma. However, recent studies show that stress itself does not cause asthma. Instead of stress causing the symptoms directly, it has been known that stress alters the inflammatory response against allergens and airway irritants. Stress makes the airway inflammatory response hyper-reactive.

The best way to prevent the recurrence of asthma is to avoid what triggers it. A person with recurrent asthma must first be tested to determine the things that trigger the symptoms. Asthmatics are instructed to stay away from the causative agents, whatever they may be, whenever possible.

Keeping the home environment clean is one of the best ways to drive allergens away. Although allergens can not be completely eliminated, they can be minimized. Since strong odors can trigger asthma, it is advisable to choose unscented detergents and cleaners for home use. Smoking cessation is also a wise step in preventing an objection asthma attack. Lastly, stress reduction techniques are genetically advised for people suffering from asthma.

Medical treatment becomes necessary when the avoidance of triggers is insufficient or impossible. Treatment for asthma depends on the severity of the condition, as well as on the frequency of the accompanying symptoms. Taking the right treatment decrees the chance of having another asthma attack. Moreover, visiting the physician regularly is always advisable for people with asthma.

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Asthma – Myths and Facts

The saddest part about asthma is not it being a chronic condition or causing life-threatening symptoms. The saddest part about asthma is it being misunderstood. That people often have misconceptions about what it really is and how they can deal with it effectively. Here are the common myths about the disease and the facts that will bust them. Remember that knowing will help a lot in overcoming the difficulties that come with the condition.

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Asthma can be cured; Children with asthma can outgrow it over time.

Fact: Asthma is a chronic condition, which means it may affect a patient forever. The symptoms may be controlled or may be inactive for a period of time but it may reoccur anytime. In children with asthma, it has been found that half of them experience less or no symptoms during their teenage years but the condition comes back to its natural strength during adulthood. There is no absolute cure for asthma. Patients, however, may have a better quality of life if they keep their condition controlled through the available therapies.

Myth: You can be infected with asthma from someone who has it.

Fact: The condition is not contagious. Playing with another children who has the disease does not cause asthma in children. What is true, though, is that asthma can be hereditary. You have a 30% chance of contracting asthma if one of your parents has it. Your chances could balloon into 70% if both your parents are suffering from the disease.

Myth: A change in environment or surroundings may help treat your asthma.

Fact: This can be both true and false. Changing into a new environment may help control your signs of asthma, but not for long. After a while, you become sensitized to the new environment and the usual strength of your symptoms come back altogether.

Myth: Patients suffering from asthma should forget about exercise.

Fact: There is something they call exercise induced asthma, which is the basis for this myth. Then again, that is still questionable whether it is right or wrong. What is for sure, though, is that exercise is not bad all around for asthma but the kind of environment you exercise in. In fact, swimming can be a good exercise to help people with asthma improve their symptoms. But doing your workouts in an environment full of allergens would definitely trigger attacks.

Myth: Asthma is purely a psychological condition. A person could fake it anytime he wants to.

Fact: Asthma is not a psychological condition. There are, however, emotional triggers that could cause attacks. Asthma attacks could not be faked. The signs of asthma are not something you can act out when you want it.

Myth: Asthma medications are addictive.

Fact: That is completely pointless. The medications available to treat the asthma symptoms are not habit-forming. They are prescribed in a way that the patient would find the best relief. Remember that people experience asthma differently. They also react to medications in a different way. That's why people with asthma need to constantly check with the doctors about the progress of his condition.

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Asthma – Figures and Statistics

People would not know how big of a problem asthma is if they do not see a clear picture of what it is all about. In this article, we will give you the facts and the figures that will make you understand the problem with asthma better. We will help you see asthma in a better light so as to see clearly how it affects some of us.

Asthma Population

Asthma is a worldwide concern. That's because it does not choose sex, race, religion, age, and nationality. Every citizen in the world has certain dangers of getting asthma. Yes, it is sometimes hereditary but discounting the fact that while of your parents have the disease, you still have a 6% chance of suffering from it.

Asthma that is passed on from the parents to their children is also quite alarming. If one of your parents has the condition, you get 30% chances; if both your parents have asthma, you get 70% chances of having asthma yourself.

In the United States of America, asthma affects 7% of the population. In the United Kingdom, asthma affects 6.5% of the population. Gathering the numbers from every country, there are 300 million people worldwide affected with the condition. Such a number is alarming, especially since the numbers rise by 50% every ten years.

Asthma may occur at any age but it is found more common in children. In some parts of the world including Australia, asthma is the number one reason of hospitalization among the young population, especially young boys. Since it is chronic and can be life-long, asthmatics do not decrease in number.

Asthma-related Deaths

If you think asthma is but a simple medical condition, think again. All over the world, asthma is considered the fourth greatest cause of death. It has been associated to over 4,000 deaths every year in the United States alone. This condition can easily be life-threatening if your signs of asthma gets from bad to worse and from worse to worst. Severe asthma attacks could lead to oxygen deficiency in your organs, which could result to death.

It is important for a patient with the condition to get asthma help immediately once the symptoms start occurring. Along with it, children with asthma should also get long-time therapies that could help them manage the symptoms so as to live as normal as possible. There should be an asthma management plan for every patient, young or old. This could help a lot in minimizing the symptoms and the frequency of their occurrence.

Although a serious problem, a lot of people take the condition lightly, thinking that it is all in the mind and that they would be able to outgrow its effects after a while. Well, both impressions are untrue. Asthma is not a psychological condition. It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways fueled by certain allergens. Children with asthma could grow with their disease. In half of the population of asthma children, signs of asthma have been found to become inactive for a while, during puberty, then resumes occurrence in adulthood. The recurrence may be mild or severe, depending solely on the patient's case.

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Dealing With an Asthma Attack

Asthma is a lifelong disease. Some experience the disappearance of symptoms completely only to find out later that the signs of asthma have recurred. There is no cure for asthma. The medications and treatment plans available are only there to help patients manage and control their condition and possibly prevent the severity and frequency of attacks.

Dealing with asthma, in general, is difficult, especially if you talk about the treatment plans. Oftentimes, asthmatics need to make a significant lifestyle change in order to control episodes of an attack.

If ever asthma makes for a debilitating disease, it is mostly due to the fact that dealing with an asthma attack is very challenging. You will hardly have enough time to think about what to do, especially if you have a sever attack. So here, we give you a quick guide about the things you must keep in mind regarding asthma attacks – what to do and what not to do, basically.

Beware of the warning signs. You must be sensitive to the early symptoms. If you experience wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and a lot of coughing most probably, you are in for an attack.

As soon as you feel the signs of asthma, take the exact prescription of medications your doctor has given you. They may not be able to prevent an attack but they will certainly help in keeping it from worsening.

Try to relax your breathing. Use pursed-lip breathing to help ease your symptoms.

Do not panic. Putting yourself on alarm will only make your condition worse. This is also true with parents who have children with asthma. Seeing your child having difficulty should inspire you to think clearly so you can ease his pain immediately. Panicking may only mess up your mind.

During an asthma attack, it is not advisable for the patient to lie down. Asthmatics are usually able to breathe easier when sitting up.

If you are prescribed with an inhaler to help alleviate your symptoms, use it properly. Do not try to overdose thinking that using asthma inhalers will give you instant relief. Remember that there are active medicine ingredients in asthma inhalers. The only difference is that they act directly on your airways where the problem isoted. They may give a faster relief than oral medications but that is not enough reason for you to overdose. You must still remember to use them properly, as prescribed by your physician.

Coughing may help you loosen the mucus that blocks the air passes. Try to cough out the mucus. That will help you breathe easier.

If things start to get worse and you feel that none of the first course of action did anything to keep your asthma attack under control, call your doctor or better yet, rush to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. Professional care is best in handling worsening situations. After doing everything that you can, following the action plan to fight the signs of asthma as prepared by your physician, and you still find your attack to be somewhat a separate episode, it is time to seek professional.

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Relief for Asthmatics

Dealing with asthma is difficult. You need to be under special care by a medical professional if you want to be able to control the severity and frequency of your attacks. It is an easy job, however, if you trust the medical world and do what you have to in cooperation with your physicist to help you lessen the burden.

Getting Rid of the Triggers

One effective treatment plan for asthmatics is getting rid of the triggers. In this case, all you need is to know what to avoid. You must work with your doctor to identify the specific allergens or the agents that you are allergic to. That is the first big step, which is also the best that will help you somehow control your asthma attacks.

You must always keep yourself informed not just about your triggers but your asthma in general. You may need to alter some of your usual routines but if that would help control your attacks, why bother complaining, right?

Knowing is of course a different thing altogether with doing. After knowing the allergens and the irritants that activate the signs of asthma in your case, you must devise a plan on how you will be able to get rid of them. Avoiding exposure is needed. If you are allergic to pets, you must remember to keep your pet outdoors. If dust mites cause your attack, you must remember to use a mite-proof bed covers. In short, you need to be able to find a way on how you can avoid exposure to the irritants or allergens that activate an asthma attack or an episode of asthma symptoms.

Quit Smoking

One common irritant for asthmatics is tobacco smoke. Constant exposure may worsen your condition and make it more difficult to control. On top of that, cigarette smoking pose serious health risks including damage to your lungs and your airways. Asthmatic adults, therefore, must refrain from smoking altogether. If you are a parent who ha children with asthma, you must keep their exposure to tobacco smoke in check by kicking the habit. Second-hand smoke has as much effect on asthmatics as first-hand smoke.

Using Medicacies Properly

There may be a number of drug prescriptions you must handle at once to help control your attacks. There is no need to worry, though. What is important is that you are able to take your asthma medicines the way that your doctor suggested. Following your doctor's instructions regarding the dosing should not give you any problem associated with side effects. Take your medicines as prescribed, not more or more often than your doctor tells you. Asthma inhalers are attractive instant relief during attacks. But you must also not use it more frequently than required. Be careful not to overdose as well as to take less than what is required. Medications as treatment for asthma can only be effective if the right dosage and the right frequency are observed. When in doubt about your dosage and your prescription ask no one other than your physician. Only he can make the necessary adjustments. He will also make sure that the benefits you get from your treatment plan is of much weight than the side effects you get from it.

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Dealing With Asthma in Children

Dealing with asthma is difficult. What more if your patient is a fragile child?

Unfortunately, childhood asthma is very common worldwide. Naturally, asthma occurs during the early stages of life and lasts up until the adult years. In some countries, asthma is the primary cause of hospitalization among children. That means the severity of attacks can be no kinder than what adult asthmatics experience.

Asthma Care

If you are a parent of an asthmatic child, you must try to learn as much as you can about the condition and how you can be of help to your child's asthma treatment plan. If you child is way too young to communicate how he feels or how the condition is affecting him, you will be his spokesperson. You will be the important facilitator that will make treatment of asthma and management possible.

You must also remember that asthma behaves differently over time. This means that your child's treatment plan may be an ever-changing field. You need to bring your child not once to see a physician. He needs to be closely monitored so the doctor can see to it that his symptoms are controlled and that, he experiences none of the severe side effects that asthma medications may possibly bring about. Often times, devising a treatment plan for asthma in children is a trial-and-error process. Before getting to the best asthma management plan, you need to try out a few different things to get the perfect fit.

Coping with the Emotional Burden

Asthma is a life-changing condition. It may affect your child in more ways than one. The heaviest may be the emotional burden that comes with the limitations imposed by the disease. Asthmatics should not be exposed to the irritants that may activate their attack. In this case, you child will probably have limited movements, which may take a toll on his temper.

Always be ready to talk to your child about his “difference” from other children and be patient in explaining why he needs to do some things and not be able to do some others. Helping your child understand all about his condition, the dangers and limitations that come with it will definitely make him feel better. You must never wait another moment to make your child feel better, especially since emotional stress may also cause an episode of an attack.

What to Do During an Emergency

One of the most stressful things that come with asthma in children is dealing with an emergency. As a parent, you must learn what to do during a situation like that to make sure that you are not putting your child's life in danger. Find all the help that you need from your child's physician as well as from numerous support groups intended to parents of children with asthma. Since you are carrying the burden along with your child, you will need a strong support system that will guide you through. With childhood asthma is very common, it is not too hard to find a parent going through the same misery as yours.

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The Common Asthma Triggers

Asthma attacks are caused by the inflammation of the airways. The airways are tubes where the air is transmitted to and from the lungs. People with asthma usually have inflamed airways, which means that the insides of the tubes become sore or swollen.

Inflammation is usually caused by an infection or as a common response by the body to injury. In other types of inflammation except with asthma, the affected area completely heals. That's why recent attacks are common with asthmatics.

The Triggers

The best way to control the symptoms of asthma is getting rid of the common triggers. If airway infection is preceded and controlled, loss of lung function may also be avoided. But how do you get rid of the triggers?

The first step towards asthma management is in knowing the common triggers. The triggers or the usual suspects that encourage an asthma attack are different with every individual. Certain agents or ingredients may activate the signs of asthma. But again, it is different with every asthma patient.

Typically, the severity of an asthma attack depends on the triggers that activate the symptoms and how the lung responds to them. There are many different kinds of triggers. Asthmatics may be sensitive to one or a number of them.

Allergens and Non-Allergens

The triggers are categorized into two: the allergens and the non-allergens. Allergens are specific agents or ingredients in which the patient is allergic to. Allergens may be something like pollen, dust mites, molds, pets, insect parts, foods, work-related agents, and additives.

Exposure to allergens may activate the signs of asthma in some people, especially those asthmatics who happen to have allergies. Researches show that about 80% of children with asthma also have allergies. There are also about 50% of asthmatic adults who also suffer from certain allergies.

Non-allergen triggers are also known as irritants. Irritants are mostly non-specific environmental risk factors that cause asthma attacks. Non-allergen triggers include viral infections in the respiratory caused by sinusitis and bronchitis; cigarette smoking; some medications; diesel fumes; weather changes; perfumes; paint; a condition known as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disorder; emotional factors; hormonal factors; and exercise.

Yes, exercise is considered a non-allergen trigger for asthma. That does not mean, however, that asthmatics should not exercise. Exercise induced asthma is only preliminary when workouts are done around an unfriendly environment. If you have asthma, it does not mean that you should not exercise. It only means that you must avoid doing your work under extreme conditions such as cold and dry seasons.

That thing about asthma and exercise is a cause of common concern for people around the world. Whether or not exercise may help prevent asthma or cause it to worsen is not yet proven by any kind of study. Experts, however, believe that getting some physical activity involved in a person's lifestyle could never be devastating. In fact, a significant lifestyle change may help alleviate asthma and some other medical conditions. What some scientist claim is that swimming is good for asthmatics. In the same regard, swimming and doing other workouts under extremely cold or dry condition may activate your signs of asthma.

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Asthma – The Common Signs and Symptoms

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects about 300 million of the world's population. It is a serious medical issue that causes more than 4,000 deaths every year in the United States alone.

Asthma is a debilitating disease due to the severity of the symptoms. As with any disease, asthma may affect a person differently, depending on his own risk factors, the level of his condition, and his overall health. Then again, there are common signs of asthma that may be apparent during an asthma attack.

The Major Signs

There are four major signs of asthma.

The first sign is wheezing. Wheezing occurs when you make a hissing or whistling sound as you breathe.

The second major sign is shortness of breath. During an asthma attack, inflammation of the air passes occurs so naturally you will be catching your breath. This happens commonly during nighttime.

The third major sign of an asthma attack is chest tightness. Feeling like some weight is left on your chest is a sure sign of an asthma attack. It also often occurs even without the other symptoms.

The fourth major sign of asthma is cough. Asthmatics are often found with chronic coughing. Usually, coughing becomes apparent or worse during nighttime or early in the morning, after exposure to irritants, or when exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Asthma Symptoms, Classified

The severity of one's asthma is classified according to the state and frequency of one's symptoms. Lung function tests are also made to help the doctor determine how far the inflammation has affected the airway passes as well as the lungs.

Based on the figures by several health organizations, 30% of asthmatic patients are considered with mild condition. These patients typically suffer from intermittent attacks, usually less than two times per week. They also usually have normal breathing tests and their symptoms are not as alarming.

Another 30% of the asthma population is considered to have mild but persistent condition. In this case, the patient sufferers about two or more asthma attacks per week. The symptoms are moderate and they may either have normal or abnormal breathing tests.

The remaining 40% of the asthma population is considered to have moderate to sever condition. Asthmatics in this case, experience persistent attacks, even daily. They also have abnormal breathing tests, which means that the effect on the lung function is present.

One of the saddest parts about asthma is that a good slice of the young population is affected. It has been found out that asthma may start in early childhood. Childhood asthma has been found in children aged 2 to 6 years. More often than not, the cause of asthma in children is based on environmental risks such as air pollutants and the common irritants found in the surrounding such as dust mites, viral respiratory infections, and tobacco smoke. Asthma occurs to even younger children, even to infants. However, diagnosis may be difficult at that stage as wheezing often disappears when the viral infection is treated.

In any case, treatment of any of the signs of asthma is highly important.

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The Treatments for Asthma

You would often see asthmatics bringing along asthma inhalers with them. That is because, during an asthma attack, an asthmatic would need an immediate therapy. Otherwise, their condition may worsen. So it is important that asthma help is always available.

But what is it in asthma inhalers that help solve the symptoms of a patient? Asthma medications including inhalers are powered with ingredients that help alleviate the inflammation as well as bronchospasm, which is a common effect of an attack. The reason inhaled solutions are highly preferred than oral ones, those medications taken by mouth, is because asthma inhalers act directly and immediately. With every dose, asthma inhalers immediately take effect on the airways, where the problems are rooted. Also, inhaled medications sans the absorption of the active ingredients into the rest of the body. This means that the occurrence of possible side effects that comes with every kind of drug is controlled.

Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options available for asthma patients. Treatment for asthma is always on a case-to-case basis. As with any kind of prescription, you can not use another person's prescription and think that it will work for you the way it did for him just because you have the same symptoms. You need to see a doctor personally and based on his diagnosis, you will be suggested a number of treatment options.

Again, a treatment plan is different with every patient. It depends on the asthmatics' risk factors, triggers, severity of condition, and overall health. Some treatments may work for some but not for the others. What is important, therefore, is to keep yourself closely monitored even after seeing a doctor for asthma help. Getting prescriptions is not the end. You need to continue see your doctor and report to him your progress as well as the possible adverse effects of your asthma management plan.

In some patients, a good treatment plan includes being desensitized from the agents that activate the signs of asthma. In some others, certain medicines work to control the severity and frequency of the attacks.

You see, asthma is a chronic condition. There is no absolute cure for it. Your best resort is to find a treatment plan or an asthma management therapy that will help prevent asthma attacks. In cases where you suffer from an episode, you will also be given instant relief characterized by inhalers, a nebulizer, and some drugs.

One thing a patient must be wary about in seeking for an effective treatment plan is how to effectively and safely use asthma inhalers as well as nebulizers. Ask about the directions carefully and make sure that you are being guided. That's because there is such a thing as overdose even with inhalers. You need to learn the right way of using the paraphernalia so as to make sure that you are not exposing yourself to many dangers.

In most cases, your doctor would give you a lesson or two about using asthma inhalers and nebulizers. Make sure that you keep them in mind, including your required doses and the frequency of using the medication.

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The Common Causes of Asthma

Asthma can be a life debilitating disease. It is a serious medical condition that should never be taken lightly. If left untreated, asthma can lead to death. People with the condition who do not get immediate asthma help during an attack could suffer from breathing difficulties, wheezing, bronchospasm, or death.

To be able to overcome asthma, there is a need to know and the first things that you should learn about the disease are of course, its causes.

The Common Causes

Many different things may cause asthma in children and in adults. Some causes are common for all patients with the condition while others are more personal, affecting only a specific individual or another.

Generally, asthma is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Some of those found to cause asthma, both genetic and environmental, are not confirmed by research but some are.

There are over a hundred genes that are associated with asthma. Most of them are related to the immune system while some are related to modulating inflammation. Then again, not all the studies made regarding these genes showed consistent results along all populations. This means that more studies are needed to figure the complex interactions to find what exactly causes asthma. One impression that experts have is that, asthma is basically a collection of several conditions and that is the basic reason for the differences in results. One genetic difference may be associated with childhood asthma and so on and so forth.

Environmental factors, meanwhile, are the usual suspects for asthma in children. One of the most common is cigarette smoking, especially maternal smoking. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy may cause their unborn children to suffer from wheezing, breathing difficulties, and respiratory infections in the process.

Another environmental factor that may cause asthma is the exposure to air pollutants. Children with asthma are especially associated with this. Researches shown that childhood asthma might be affected by exposure to outside air pollutants.

There are other environmental factors that are associated with the occurrence of asthma. There's the viral infection in the respiratory; delivery via the caesarean section, which may cause modification in the immune system; psychological stress; and improper use of antibiotics as well as paracetamol.

Some genetic factors that cause asthma only become precalent when combined with specific environmental factors. Otherwise, they can not be considered serious risks for asthma development and asthma morbidity.

All About Allergens

Allergens are things that asthmatics are allergic to and should not be exposed to because they may encourage asthma attacks. Asthma caused by allergens is patient-specific. Not all triggers have the same effect on all patients. Some allergens trigger a different effect on the lungs, so cause a different episode.

A patient must know what he is allergic to because exposure to such will often activate the signs of asthma. Examples of allergens are dust mites, pollens, molds, insect parts, foods, pets, work-related agents, and additives among others.

It must be pointed out, however, that not all asthmatics are allergic to something. There are about 80% of children with asthma and about 50% of asthmatic adults also have allergies.

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Can Asthma Be Controlled?

Asthma is a respiratory disease that can occur in all ages but is particularly common in children. It is the chronic inflammation of the airways which can be described by repeating symptoms, airway obstruction, and bronchospasms. The most common signs of asthma include cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. During an asthmatic episode, the muscles around the airways tighten and start to swell, so making it difficult for air to pass through. An asthmatic episode can last from minutes to hours and even days.

Respiratory asthmais primarily caused by allergens. Allergens are allergy-causing substances that initiate an asthmatic episode for sensitive people. Triggers that are frequently associated with asthma are the following: animal dander, molds, pollens, roaches, dust, chemical substances in the air, and tobacco smoke.

Strictly following medical advice is important. Medications like asthma inhalers should not have discontinued without the doctor's approval. However, pharmacologic therapy can not stand alone. Although there are a variety of medications for the treatment of asthma, it still has no definite cure.

Avoiding triggers and modifying my lifestyle are two of the best ways to control asthma. Unfortunately, allergy-causing substances can not be completely eliminated. It is best to stay away from known triggers or allergens as much as possible, even if it means saying goodbye to your beloved kittens.

Moreover, lessening exposure to secondhand smoke is of equal importance to people who have asthma. Cigarette and tobacco use should be avoided. In order to prevent an asthma attack, it is wise to stay away from people who are smoking.

An existing viral respiratory tract infection can trigger asthma too. Asthmatics should put more effort in preventing the occurrence of colds. They should also avoid people who have respiratory tract infections. Proper washing of the hands can be a good start to prevent the transmission of disease-causing microbes.

Extreme weather changes can possibly lead to an asthmatic episode. Exercise-induced asthma is also reasonably. In order to prevent this particular kind of asthma, prophylactic medications prescribed by the doctor should be taken dutifully. Prevention is always better than cure.

Stress is another cause of asthma. Therefore, taking stress reduction techniques are advisable. Muscle tension and shallow breathing can both activate an asthmatic episode. It is recommended for asthmatics to perform relaxation techniques. They should find their own means of relaxation to prevent the occurrence of asthma attacks due to stress.

In addition, caffeine is known to have mild therapeutic effects for people experiencing asthma attacks. However, caffeine-containing beverages should be taken moderately. Too much caffeine in the system can worsen asthma.

Warning or danger signs of asthma should not be taken lightly. These indicate that the asthma is poorly controlled. This increases the risk of developing a severe asthma attack. Frequent visits to your doctor are greatly recommended for better control of your asthma.

The prognosis for asthma, especially among children with just a mild condition, is good. However, the degree of lung damage in asthmatics is a concern. Fortunately, the death rate for asthma has declined over the last 10 years. This may be due to increasing knowledge on prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment.

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Common Triggers of Asthma

Many people ask, 'What is asthma'? Here's the direct and correct answer. Asthma is an unremitting ailment that involves the airways or the pipes that carries air in and out of the lungs.

When the airways act in response of an irritant or triggering factor, they get narrower and the lungs get not as much air as it needs. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tension, and a difficulty with breathing, which are all signs of asthma. This occurs more frequently during early morning or at night.

If the signs of asthma in asthmatics happen to be worse than the usual, it is referred to as an asthma attack. Asthmatics can die from severe asthma attacks, because in such occasions, the airways can strictly constrict the supply of oxygen to the different parts of the body.

Common triggers of asthma are animal hairs or dander. For this reason, asthmatics are advised to avoid keeping pets. For children with asthma, it is best that they take care of pets that are confined in small spaces and are dander-free, such as fishes or turtles.

Tobacco smoke is also considered as a trigger of asthma. Smokers should not smoke near or near asthmatics. This is especially advisable for those parents who have children with asthma.

Asthma may also be aggravated by strong odors, climate changes, or air pollution. In cases where inevitable changes such as rapid climate change can not be avoided, reduced exposure to extreme temperatures is the best thing to do.

Strenuous activities or exercises may also aggravate asthma. This is referred to exercise induced asthma. For asthmatics, it is best that exercises are done minimally and only as much as the body can tolerate. Pushing the body of asthmatics to its limit poses danger for an asthmatic's health and life.

Aspirins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and beta-blockers are some medications that may trigger asthma attacks. Asthmatics who wish to take these medications should discuss with a physician first.

Some types of food may also aggravate asthma. It is very important for asthmatics to know which type of foods they are allergic to, in order to avoid having asthma attacks. Taking a skin test for allergies may help verify allergies in food.

Emotional highs and lows are also found to exacerbate asthma attacks. Asthmatics should have sufficient rest, engage in regular (but not excessive) exercise, and eat the right foods to keep their bodies in optimum shape and aid it in dealing with their asthma.

Allergies are a large factor in aggravating the many signs of asthma. The most common allergens found in every home include dust mites, molds, pollen, and cockroach droppings. Asthmatics should clean their house frequently to prevent asthma attacks due to these.

Asthmatics should consult their physician to know the right treatment of asthma for them. Typically, asthma is treated with quick-relief medicine for short-term treatment of the signs of asthma.

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How to Treat Asthma

Asthma is a common respiratory tract condition not only in children, but also among adults. It is the chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract that leads to an increase in mucus production, boiling of the mucus linings, and hyper-reactivity of the airways. Asthma requires immediate intervention.

The longer a person experiences difficulty in breathing, the more he will be anxious, making the situation worse for himself. Primary signs of asthma include coughing, wheezing (asthma breathing), chest tightness, and difficulty in breathing.

Typically, there are two types of asthma remedies. These are the quick-relief and long-acting medications. Quick-relief medications are used for the abrupt treatment of asthma symptoms and exacerbations. On the other hand, long-acting medications are given to control the symptoms of persistent asthma.

Since the main cause of asthma is inflammation of the airways, regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs is needed. Metered-dose inhalers or asthma inhalers are commonly used. Corticosteroids are the most effective anti-inflammatory drug existing today. Corticosteroids efficiently alleviates the symptoms, and at the same time improve airway function.

This kind of medication suppresses the body's ability to respond to an inflammation, thus reducing the swelling on the airways. Other anti-inflammatory agents that are more commonly administered to children are nedocromil and cromolyn sodium. These two drugs are also good prophylaxis treatment for exercise-induced asthma or exposure to known triggers that can not be avoided. These are classified as mast cells stabilizers.

In addition to inhaled corticosteroids, theophylline and aminophylline are preferred for the relief of nocturnal asthma symptoms. These methyxanthines serve as bronchodilators and have minimal anti-inflammatory effects.

Another medication that can be an alternative for inhaled corticosteroid for mild persistent asthma is leukotriene modifiers or inhibitors. However, it can be used alongside corticosteroid treatment for the more severe type of asthma.

For acute exacerbations, short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists are prescribed. Examples are albuterol, metaproterenol, and pirbuterol. This drug class has a rapid onset, so providing immediate relief from symptoms. Ipratropium bromide and oxitropium bromide, both anti-cholinergic agents, may have added effects in acute exacerbation such as relief from bronchospasm and reduction of mucus production. However, these anti-cholinergic medications are more commonly given to patients who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Aside from drug therapy, people who asthma is triggered by allergies should consider allergy desensitization or allergy immunotherapy. Unfortunately, this kind of therapy is not recommended for those who have severe and uncontrolled asthma.

Asthma has no definite cure. However, following the right treatment can alleviate an asthmatic person's condition. If asthma is left untreated, undesirable complications may arise. Some of these life-threatening complications are status asthmaticus, pneumonia, atlectasis (lung collapse), and respiratory failure.

Acute asthma episodes can possibly obstruct a person's airway. This obstruction may often lead to hypoxemia or lack of oxygen in the blood circulation. Asthma can also lead to dehydration because of excessive sweating during an episode and insensible fluid losses through hyperventilation.

With proper medications, a person with asthma can live a normal life.

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Handling an Asthma Attack

One of the most common pulmonary diseases is asthma. We all probably know what asthma is and know at least one person who's suffering from such condition. Not all asthmatic episodes require immediate medical attention. But once in awhile, asthmatics experience a severe and persistent kind of asthma. It is medically known as status asthmaticus or acute exacerbation. But for lay men, it is called an “asthma attack”.

This attack will not respond to conventional therapy like asthma inhalers. An asthma attack can occur suddenly with no warning and can develop quickly to asphyxia. Some causes of an acute exacerbation include an infection, increased anxiety, severe deficiency of fluids, and external irritants.

Signs of asthma attacks are similar to a severe asthmatic episode. Some additional manifestations include labored breathing, prolonged exhalation, puffing up of the neck veins, and wheezing (asthma breathing). As the blockage in the airway is aggravated, the wheezing likely fades away. This may be a warning for respiratory failure.

During an asthma attack, the person may turn blue or cyanotic because of lack of oxygen. Chest pain may also be present, and loss of consciousness may be experienced. The person's extremities may also feel cold to touch and there might also be numbness.

An asthma attack is often not alleviated by asthma inhalers. Instead of relief, the symptoms may keep on worsening. Even when just talking, the person experiences panting. The patient becomes too breathless to speak, eat, sleep, or do other simple activities.

Status asthmaticus is an emergency situation. It can be fatal. However, most of us do not know what to do in this kind of situation. Asthma can deteriorate very quickly if warning signs are taken for granted. Luckily, you do not have to panic anymore. Just follow the simple steps below and everything will be just fine.

First, when the person starts to experience the symptoms mentioned above, grab the asthma inhaler immediately. Try sitting down and make sure that any stiff or tight garments are loosened. Never ever lie down. Lying down may worsen the attack and block the air passes. However, if the asthmatic did not experience any relief from medications or when in doubt, call the emergency services or your doctor right away.

An earlier appointment to the doctor will signify fewer drug requirements. In addition, it is important for the patient to stay calm. Anxiety will only make the situation worse.

Moreover, fluid intake is vital in people who are experiencing an asthma attack since dehydration is quite a common occurrence. Fluids help loosen and liquefy respiratory secretions, so making it easy for secretaries to be taken out. Additionally, the person who has just had an asthma attack or is experiencing one should conserve his or her energy.

The room should be quiet and away from any environmental stressor. Finally, since allergens are the main cause of asthma, the surroundings must be free from respiratory irritants like flowers, tobacco smoke, strong perfumes, and many other allergens.

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What Exactly Is Asthma?

Asthma is a life-altering condition. It can significantly change the way you deal with life. With asthma, you should always be on guard to keep the allergens away so you could live the normal way. For a lot of people, asthma is one of the most horrible conditions a person could get because it is chronic and attacks are quite very unpredictable at times.

However, dealing with asthma starts in understanding what it is exactly, the changes that may occur with some treatments, how it makes you feel, and how it promises to have over time. They say knowledge is power. That is definitely true in this case. There is no reason for asthmatics to be afraid of their condition if they are empowered enough with the right knowledge about how to deal with it.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease. It is caused by an inflammatory of the airways leading to the common signs of asthma including wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness felt in the chest, and cough. The airways are two tubes, which carry air in and out of the lungs. With asthma, the insides of the airways become swollen, causing the lungs to get less air than needed. As a result, the patient experience breathing difficulty.

When the inflammation of the airways becomes severe, the patient gets asthma attacks, which can be life threatening. In this case, the tightening of the airways gets to a point where there is no enough oxygen supplied to the organs.

Treating the Disease

Undoubtedly, asthma is a highly obstructive condition if not treated. How it affects the asthmatics' life depends on the effectiveness of the treatment for asthma being used.

There are two types of treatment for asthma. One is intended to deal with the current asthma symptoms and the other is intended to control the occurrence of the symptoms in the future. People with asthma should see to it that they are carefully monitored by a medical professional. That is, to prevent severe asthma attacks and keep them living as normal as possible.

Asthma Behaves Differently Over Time and For Every Patient

People are influenced by asthma in every different way. They also respond to treatment differently. That is why it is highly important with a person suffering from the condition to keep himself closely monitored. It will help a lot for him to control the symptoms if he knows the exact triggers of his attacks and how he can effectively get rid of them.

Several studies done over time are pointing out significant lifestyle change as a permanent solution to medical conditions such as asthma. They also say that exercise could help a lot in controlling the severity of the attacks. Whether that is true or not is still an issue. What scientists and medical professionals know for sure is that, there are lots of benefits that people could get by going the healthy way of life. Controlling asthma attacks could be one of them. Eating balanced meals everyday and incorporating exercise on one's daily routine are surefire ways to keep the body healthy and strong, allowing it to fight very kind of condition there is, effectively.

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