The ability to breathe effortlessly most times of the day is indeed a blessing in disguise. In fact, more than billions of people around the world do experience breathlessness or shortness of breath that surely makes breathing somewhat difficult. There can be many factors leading to the symptom such as respiratory diseases, heart diseases or psychological factors. One of the most common reasons behind breathlessness is asthma. Medicine such as SERETIDE 50 is used in treating asthma. In this article, we will be learning a bit more about asthma.
Asthma is defined as a chronic or long-term disease due to the inflammation of the airway and narrowing of the airways passage. Asthma is caused when the body’s immune system reacts excessively leading to many symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing especially at night or early morning and feeling tight chest. In a severe asthma attack, it could alter mental changes such as confusion, rapid heartbeat and bluish lips or skin. People with asthma often produce a whistling sound when breathing known as wheezing sounds. Wheezing sound usually cannot be heard clearly unless with a stethoscope but may be prominent with the naked ear when a person experiencing severe asthma.
Asthma is usually inherited which means a person with close family members with a history of asthma have high chances for asthma. Apart from genetic factors, previous allergy reaction, prolonged exposure towards allergens and irritants in air or babies born prematurely and/or born with low birth weight can be factors for a person to develop asthma. Asthma attack is usually triggered by many things such as allergens, cold weather, infection, medications and emotional stress.
Since asthma is much more than just breathlessness, managing its symptoms can help a person to have a better life and be able to continue with their daily routine with ease. The main thing a person with asthma history needs to do is to identify what triggers the asthma and avoid it. This means patients need to make observations on what could trigger their asthma or have discussion with their doctor to investigate the exact trigger behind an asthma attack.
Next, people with asthma need to understand and take medication as prescribed by the doctor. Common medication includes inhalers. Inhalers itself is divided into two types, short-acting bronchodilator known as reliever and long-acting bronchodilator known as preventer. Some may need to use inhalers that are both known as combination inhalers. Reliever inhaler is a quick-relief inhaler that is used to treat symptoms promptly whereas preventer inhaler is used as a maintenance treatment. Patients need to make sure they are using the right inhaler at the right time for the right reasons. For example, short-acting bronchodilator can be used before exercise to prevent asthma or used when a person is actually experiencing asthma symptoms while long-acting bronchodilator is used on a regular basis to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring or to lessen the chances for asthma attack.
Last but not least, people diagnosed with asthma need to know what to do when asthma gets worse and to recognize signs of worsening asthma. This means patients need to establish a plan with a healthcare provider on what to do should asthma get worse. Recognizing signs of worsening asthma such as symptoms not going away even after using a reliever inhaler up to 10 puffs or feeling worse, patients need to be calling for an ambulance or get themselves to an emergency room with help from other people around. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people treated in hospital for an asthma attack need hospital care again within 2 weeks. Hence, it is important for patient to discuss details on how to reduce future asthma attacks. If patient plans to take steps beside standard medical care such as traditional remedy or supplements, they should discuss the matter with their healthcare provider first. This ensure that there is no adverse drug interaction or side effect that could worsen the current asthma status.
In essence, managing symptoms of asthma not only depends on medication but also managing the triggers. Medications prescribed by a doctor should be used as instructed by doctors by following its dosage and frequency. If a patient is unsure or not used to using medications such as inhalers, they can always ask healthcare professionals on the right way to use it. This ensures medication given by doctors can bring benefits for patients. Patients should seek immediate medical care if asthma symptoms get worse, specifically when medication they used to take does not work effectively as it used to. This may be signs that patients need to be re-evaluate by doctors and provided with a new treatment plan. Beside patients themselves learning and understanding about asthma, friends and family can also take part in helping patients especially during an emergency. Simple things such as making copies of a patient’s personal asthma action plan and sharing among others can give great insight and reduce panicking should patients experience an asthma attack.