Dealing with asthma can be an overwhelming experience. Apart from it affecting over 25 million people in the U.S, most of which are children, Asthma alongside Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases ranks among the most common lung diseases in the world.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and respiratory region of the body. It is considered chronic because it is a continuous or ongoing medical condition, in the sense that it has no cure but can only be managed and controlled. Asthma is caused and triggered by a wide variety of factors.
Allergens for example increase the risk of an Asthma attack. Consistent exposure to substances like fumes, tobacco, or toxins that can irritate the airways of the lungs can also trigger Asthma. Also, to an extent, the risk of having Asthma can be influenced by genetics and hereditary factors.
During an Asthma attack, three things are bound to happen. The muscles surrounding the airways tighten thus making your airways smaller and more narrow. This in turn makes it difficult for air to pass through. Your airways begin to swell and your body creates more mucus in self-defense to deal with the swelling of your airways. The result of such occurrences is difficulty in breathing and a lack of oxygen in your body.
Types of Asthma
There are different types of Asthma and they are classified based on different factors such as causes, age, and severity. A Lung Doctor, Pulmonologist, or any medical expert with a specialty in lung, chest or heart-related diseases is in the best position to tell you that. For instance, if a person struggles with inconsistent asthma attacks, then it is usually determined to be Intermittent Asthma.
Otherwise, if it is consistent whether mild or severe, it is considered to be Persistent. This classification, however, is based on severity. Age-wise, Asthma is classified based on the age it begins. For those above 18, the disease is considered to be Adult-onset. Below that age mark, Asthma is considered to be Pediatric.
Based on possible causes, Asthma is categorized into Allergic and Non-allergic. As the name implies, Allergic Asthma is caused by allergens such as molds and pollen. Non-allergic Asthma is caused by external factors such as weather conditions and stress. Asthma can also be categorized into Exercised-induced Asthma, Occupational Asthma, and Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS).
Tips to help manage Asthma
If you or any other person around you struggles with asthma, then you must already be familiar with how exhausting it is to live with the disease. Hence, understanding what needs to be done to improve the state of your health is very necessary. Here are six, simple tips that can better enable you to handle Asthma and keep your health in check.
1. Study yourself- be familiar with what affects you and what doesn’t.
A crucial part of dealing with Asthma involves an understanding of how the disease affects you. Maintaining this awareness makes it much easier to handle flare-ups and attacks. This involves taking out time to identify what triggers affect you and avoiding locations where possible triggers might be. If you notice you respond to allergens like pollen in flowers, then being cautious enough to avoid being around flowers is a great decision to make. The same applies to triggers like tobacco or cold environments.
2. Take precautions for your immediate environment.
Since the environment is a possible cause and trigger of Asthma, it only makes sense to be mindful of how its present state can affect you. People with Asthma are very sensitive to the air within their immediate environment. Hence precautions like warm clothes for cold weather, nose masks, and being abreast of the pollen track or humidity level are typical examples. Cleaning your home and keeping it free from dust mites and other triggers is also a great step.
Exercise has a great effect on your muscles, heart, and lungs too. Getting involved with consistent exercise improves the state of your lungs and makes you feel happier. Apart from the fact that intense exercise makes breathing easier, it also boosts your control over the asthma symptoms that you experience.
4. Stick to your medications.
It is not uncommon to see or meet patients who struggle with following and using medications. However, as an Asthma patient, you cannot afford to do so. In dealing with Asthma, sticking to a medication regimen that is effective for you is crucial and should not be taken with levity. The word “effective” is determined by factors such as your triggers, health history, severity, and age.
Since most experts recommend consistent long-term asthma treatment to help you deal with Asthma triggers, flare-ups, and attacks, you must cooperate with them. Walk around with quick-relief medications like inhalers and ensure that you use treatments and drugs prescribed by your doctor.
5. Get vaccinated.
Cold environments and weather are one of the many factors that can make your Asthma worse or even trigger it. Doing your best to avoid it might not be very effective. Since Asthma places you at risk of getting affected by other chest diseases like Pneumonia, you should get vaccinated every year or a flu shot to prevent symptoms of a flu virus.
6. See your doctor often.
As an Asthma patient, keeping up with appointments with your doctor is crucial to the state of your health. Since it is a continuous disease, asthma patients must be monitored consistently. Check-ups and appointments with your doctor allow him to know if your drugs are working, create and maintain action plans, devise better ways to help you manage your asthma, and keep track of your progress.
The place of a medical health expert is vital. With the right lung doctor by your side, you can become healthier. If you need medical advice, or you’d like to speak with a doctor, contact us here.