The flu, a common cold, sinus infections, and respiratory infections can all affect your physical and emotional wellness. While some are more dangerous than others, these illnesses can be managed and treated, ensuring they do not affect your quality of life permanently. Unfortunately, if you develop asthma, the illness will most likely follow you throughout life, since there are no cures. Even though 1 in 13 people have asthma, the condition is not understood well by most people. This guide will help you understand the causes, signs, and management options for asthma.
You may be surprised to learn there is not one specific cause of asthma. Each person is different, so your asthma may stem from an entirely different cause from another person's. Asthma is a genetic disorder, so if one or both of your parents have it, you may also develop asthma in some point of your life. If you already suffer from allergies of some sort, you have a higher risk of developing asthma because of the excess inflammation in your airways. Also, if you are frequently exposed to irritants and allergens, whether at home or while working, you have an increased risk of developing asthma.
Knowing the signs of asthma is key to early diagnosis and an effective plan for managing symptom. To get started understanding the actual symptoms, you need to understand how asthma is defined.
Basically, asthma is a chronic disorder that causes severe inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This inflammation is so severe, the bronchial tubes will swell, causing your airway to narrow, which will make breathing difficult.
Other than difficulty breathing, which may include shortness of breath or rapid breathing, signs of asthma may include the following:
- Chronic coughing
- Wheezing, whistling when you breathe
- Tightness and discomfort in the chest
It is important to note that some asthma symptoms can be dangerous and even life-threatening without immediate medical attention. If you are unable to catch your breath, the color of your face, lips, or nose is changing color, and you are experiencing severe chest pain, seek out emergency care immediately.
Again, there is no cure for asthma. However, you can manage the symptoms, reducing your risk of a dangerous asthma attack. The type of management that will be recommended by a doctor will depend on your specific type of asthma.
Asthma related to allergens is the most common form of the disorder. It is triggered by contact or exposure to various allergens, such as pollen, pet dander, dust, or mold.
If you suffer from allergy-induced asthma, reducing your exposure to allergens is imperative. Unfortunately, this can be difficult, since certain allergens are unavoidable. Instead of staying indoors to avoid pollen and completing ridding your home of pet dander, dust, and mold, you can use a rescue inhaler, which your doctor can prescribe. These small inhalers contain bronchodilators, which open up the airways when inhaled to improve your breathing. Because they work fast, they are called rescue inhalers and are often used at the first signs of an asthma attack.
Corticosteroids in a pill form are also options to consider. These medications reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes, allowing you to breathe in a more effective manner while preventing other asthma symptoms.
If you have non-allergic asthma, which can stem from heavy exercise, stress, weather, pollutants, or a side effect of another illness, such as the common cold, a long-lasting bronchodilator may be prescribed for you to use occasionally when and if your bronchial tubes become inflamed.
Living with asthma is possible, but knowing you have the disorder is essential. This guide will help you understand the causes, signs, and management options for your specific case of asthma. Contact a local medical clinic for more information.