Asthma is a medical condition that affects the bronchioles of the lungs. Asthma is caused by the inflammation of airways. The inflammation causes the airways to constrict which causes them to irritate and makes it difficult for the air to get in and leave the air passages and this causes wheezing and breathlessness. The inflammation also causes the passage of the airways to make mucus which causes cough and obstructs the airflow. Asthma patients usually suffer from sudden and frequent attacks of short breath and breathlessness. Most asthma patients use inhalers to get instant relief from asthma attacks. The typical symptoms of asthma include:
- Troubled breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Cough with or without mucus
What causes asthma?
The following factors are the main causes of asthma.
- Cold air
- Allergies to dust, pollen and animals
- Smoking and passive smoking
What asthma patients must know?
Asthma patients must know what makes their asthma worse and what triggers its symptoms. The following are known to trigger asthma symptoms.
- Infections like cold, cough and chest infections can worsen asthma making it more difficult for a patient to breathe.
- Pollens and moulds may block the air passages making it even tougher to breathe in and out.
- Exercises can induce asthma. This usually occurs when asthma is left untreated and physical activity makes breathing difficult.
- There are some medicines that trigger asthma. Smoking and cigarette fumes also trigger various asthma symptoms.
- Fumes from paints and solvents can also make it tough for an asthma patient to breath.
- Feathers and foams from mattresses and pillows also trigger asthma symptoms.
- Stress, emotional upsets and laughing may also trigger asthma and its symptoms.
- Allergies to animals like cats, dogs and horses can also trigger various symptoms of asthma.
- Allergy to dust mites can make the asthma symptoms worse.
- Some food and spices or certain ingredients in them also trigger symptoms of asthma.
How to treat asthma?
Asthma is known not to be cured. However, it can be treated and patients can use medicines to reduce the symptoms of asthma. The following can help treat asthma.
- Inhalers deliver a small dose of medicine to the airways unblocking them. This makes it easy for the patients of asthma to inhale and exhale. Reliever inhalers are the ones that are used to ease the symptoms of asthma. These broaden the air passages and this further helps the patients to breathe easily. Preventer inhalers are used to prevent the symptoms of asthma from occurring. Patients must know how to use the inhalers correctly so that the medicine from inhalers reaches the air passages.
- Steroid tablets maybe prescribed to patients who have long lasting asthma symptoms. Steroid tablets reduce the inflammation of the air passages and make it easier for the patients to breath.
- Omalizumab is a medicine which is used by a very few asthma patients. It is given using an injection and reduces the inflammation of the airways.
During an asthma attack, it is essential that the patients use their medicines correctly. Patients must not strain themselves physically and also make sure that they are not alone during an asthma attack. If the patient panics during the attack, it further worsens the patient's condition. Asthma patients must always keep their inhalers handy so that whenever an attack occurs they can use it and prevent other respiratory disorders or asthma from getting worse.
Do's for asthma patients
Asthma patients must
- Keep away from things that cause asthma.
- Maintain a healthy sleep routine i.e. Go to bed early and get up early in the mornings.
- Take morning walks and if possible perform yoga.
- Don't smoke and avoid passive and second hand smoking.
- Take a simple diet at regular hours.
- Keep the house clean and dust free.
- Keep away from smoke and dust.
- Try and stay in pollution free environment.
- Regularly consult the doctor.
- Keep inhalers in hand.
- Take medicines regularly and without fail.
Don'ts for asthma patients
- Asthma patients must not disrupt their regular routine.
- Asthma patients must refrain from smoking and drinking.
- Asthma patients must avoid hard drinks.
- Asthma patients must not over eat and avoid taking spicy food.
- Asthma patients must not forget to take their medications and ensure to take these at correct times.