Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways become constricted due to swelling, making it difficult for a person to get adequate oxygen into their system. The airways become inflamed, leading to swelling and constriction of the chest muscles. Sufferers typically experience coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Asthma attacks can last for anywhere from a few minutes to several days.
Asthma causes vary among individuals. Some people have a genetic pre-disposition due to a family history of allergies and other bronchial problems. Most sufferers have asthma triggers that set off an attack. Some common asthma triggers include dust mites, pet hair and dander, mold and exposure to chemicals. Tobacco smoke and other airborne allergens such as pollen can also trigger attacks. Strenuous activity, including exercise or heavy lifting, and extreme stress are also known to induce asthma attacks.
Anyone who experiences symptoms of asthma should consult their doctor for a diagnosis. It is important to know if the symptoms are caused by asthma or some other medical problem. Your doctor will not only listen to your lungs for indications of inflammation but will likely also conduct other tests such as allergy test, blood gas levels and lung function. These tests are designed not only to determine if you are suffering from asthma but also to help identify the asthma causes in your life.
Once a patient has been diagnosed with asthma, determining the right asthma treatment is critical. There are generally two types of asthma treatments, quick relief and long term. Quick relief, or rescue, treatments are designed to relieve the symptoms of an asthma attack in progress. Many patients keep an asthma inhaler nearby in order to quickly deliver the drugs that relax the air passages and help restore normal breathing. Quick relief treatments are only intended to be used occasionally, so those patients who must use an asthma inhaler more than twice a week should talk to their doctor about the need for long-term control asthma treatment.
Long term asthma remedies work to keep symptoms under control. These include daily inhaled treatments, using an inhaler or nebulizer, to deliver dosages of steroids to the lungs. Your doctor might also prescribe an oral medication to work along side the inhaled treatments when persistent asthma cannot otherwise be controlled. In order for asthma relief to be obtained, these medications must be taken every day, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms.
As with any medications, you should discuss possible side effects of these drugs with your doctor. Make sure you understand any contra-indications, signs that your body is reacting negatively to the treatment. These adverse conditions could potentially be life threatening, so it is important to recognize them and seek help from a qualified physician immediately.
In addition to pharmaceuticals, there are a number of natural asthma treatments that are being promoted. These natural asthma treatments include various herbal asthma remedies and dietary changes. Removing allergens from your environment is also helpful. Whether it is natural remedies, pharmaceuticals or a combination thereof, it is best to work with your doctor to create the right asthma control plan for you, in order to ensure your long term health and prevent potentially life=threatening complications.
Determining the proper course of treatment for your asthma relief is important to your long term health. Understanding your asthma causes and learning how to control your exposure to them is the first step in learning to live with asthma. We are a complete resource for understanding the triggers, symptoms and treatments of asthma. Knowing what causes your asthma attacks and how to prevent them is the best way to protect you and your loved ones from the trauma of a life-threatening event.