- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
Detecting the early symptoms is the key to control Asthma!
Asthma is a respiratory disorder which occurs due to the narrowing of airways. The airways in the lungs of asthmatic patients become inflamed and may get filled with mucus, limiting the airflow. It occurs due to the allergies or irritants such as smoke and is more likely during winters. Few people have asthma attacks during physical activities or while exercising.
Asthma can be chronic (long-lasting) and can range from mild to severe based on the extent to which your breathing is affected. You will have episodes of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and controlling your breath can be really difficult. For effective control, you need to be aware of the early symptoms and signs of asthma which can occur suddenly. People with a family history of asthma are more prone to develop the condition, so it is better to seek a doctors’ suggestion in advance. Asthma is more common in women than in men while the reverse is true among children.
Asthma is not a serious condition if recognized early and treated properly. We are lucky enough to have medicines to control asthma. A person with severe asthma can have an improved quality of life with proper medication.
“Childhood-asthma” occurs before the age of five in a majority of the children. If your question is “Can my child diagnosed with asthma cannot do activities or play sports like the other children?” The answer is an emphatic “NO” as there are controller medications. In fact, some Olympic athletes also have asthma.
Inhaler corticosteroids which reduce the inflammation and bronchodilators which relax the muscles of the airways keeping them open are the commonly used medications to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Bronchodilators can also reverse most of the asthma cases, which are not severe. Nearly 90-95% of the asthma cases can be controlled with medications. The remaining 5-10% people are those with severe asthma who do not respond well to the treatment. If you have allergic asthma, the first thing you should do is to avoid the allergens such as pollen, dust, mites, air pollution, extreme weather conditions, etc. that trigger asthma. The attacks can be fatal in severe asthma cases, and when you stop taking medications or do not take them in the right way. So, you need to be serious about the condition before it gets serious! It is also recommended to regularly monitor your asthma using a peak flow meter.
Symptoms of asthma can temporarily appear and go away, so it is not definitive that you have asthma. Only a doctor can diagnose and say if you have asthma. Firstly, a correct diagnosis is essential for proper treatment and helps to dispel the fear of the patient.
Extreme asthma attacks can be life-threatening, but the key is to control it. Although a complete cure of asthma has remained elusive, the symptoms are controllable, and you or your loved ones can lead a normal life. If you notice the symptoms of asthma, you should consult a doctor for proper treatment. In a nutshell, it is not very serious.
Tips To Prevent Asthma Attacks
Bedding is important
Wash your blankets, sheets, and pillow covers every week in hot water to clean away mites. Use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture and this helps prevent mold in your living place.
Remove carpets in bedroom
It’s good, if you can remove your carpet, it may cause the asthmatic attack due to the piled up dust particles. If you can’t remove the carpet, vacuum at least twice a week.
Maintain smoke-free zones
Asthma attacks can be worsened not only by direct smoking but also by inhaling the smoke when someone around you is smoking. So see to it that you stay in a smoke-free zone.
Be careful during seasonal changes
Allergies and asthma are sides by side. When pollen counts are high, avoid outgoing and stay secured. Cold air is the culprit in asthma; it can attack and irritate your airways and lead to an asthma attack. You must cover your nose and mouth with any scarf in winter to minimize the chances of asthmatic attacks.
Stay away from chemicals
It is better for you to avoid strong perfumes or body sprays, paints, strong odorous cooking oils, strongly scented disinfectants, etc. these can trigger the asthma attacks. So, be away from them.
Control your emotions
Yes, it is surprising to know that strong emotion such as laughing hard; crying can be the triggers for asthma attack.
Confirm about what you should eat
Always you must consult with your healthcare provider or dietician to understand which food stuff would trigger your asthma. Certain foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and wheat sesame are believed to trigger and worsen asthma attacks.
Below are some important points that let you know about how to detect asthmatic symptoms.
Detecting the symptoms in the early stage and getting prior treatment would be most beneficial for you, so, here are few warning signs that alert you:
- Chest tightness
- Severe coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Decline in the peak flow rate
How to record asthma symptoms?
Your healthcare provider will ask you to record you symptoms:
Check below on how to record your symptoms
- No symptoms- wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or dyspnea even with normal regular physical activity.
- Mild symptoms- These symptoms occur during any physical activity but not when you are resting. These symptoms do not keep you from sleeping or being active
- Moderate symptoms: Symptoms are present even when you are at rest; these symptoms keep you from sleeping and being active.
- Severe symptoms: Even at rest the symptoms are severe, wheezing might not be prominent. There would be pulling of neck and rib muscles when breathing in.
Record all the symptoms and consult your healthcare provider to get a better treatment approach. You can keep asthma at bay by following these tips.
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