Living with Asthma

Asthma has no cure and is a lifelong disease that affects a lot of people in world. It affects the airways of the lungs, causing it to narrow when the airways have problems or are triggered, obstructed, and inflamed.

Asthma can occur at any age, but most patients start at a young age. It can also be inherited from relatives who have this condition or if your family has a history of allergies in general. Asthma is characterized by tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

Treatment of Asthma
Treating asthma should prevent the chronic symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing, maintain good function of the lungs, and stop attacks that could lower the quality of life of the person. Treatment not just involves prescription of preventers and relievers, but also proper diet, exercise, rest, and the avoidance of triggers.

Avoid Triggers
If you have asthma, you should take note of the triggers so that you don’t have an attack. The most common causes are changes in temperature or weather; contact with perfume, fumes, and other strong odors; contact with allergens like animal dander, dust mites, molds, and pollen; viral or bacterial infections that cause influenza and common cold; side-effects from medications; and smoke from cigarettes and wood smoke. You should also watch out for signs of anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction, when taking some medications for asthma.

Proper Medication
There are two types of medication used to treat asthma, long-term and quick relief medicines. The former are used to reduce the inflammation of the airways and prevent other symptoms, while the latter are taken when the symptoms flare up during an asthma attack. You need to schedule a check-up with your doctor so he/she can adjust the dosage depending on your needs. Long-term medications may include inhaled corticosteroids, Cromolyn sodium, anti-IgE and others.

Correct Diet
Some asthma attacks are triggered by some types of food. Like allergies, the best way to avoid a flare-up of the symptoms is to avoid those food that can aggravate your asthma. For emergencies or in case you have consumed food that you’re not supposed to, make sure that you always take your medicines with you wherever you go.

Don’t Forget to Exercise
Exercise or any other strenuous physical activity can be an asthma trigger for some people, so make sure that you ask your doctor about starting any fitness program. You should not avoid physical activities because it’s also important to stay active, but you will need to consult your doctor for the medications you will need to still keep an active life. You might be prescribed any of the following: either short-acting or long-acting beta2-agonists, leukotriene modifiers, and other long-term control medications for asthma.

Get Enough Sleep
Proper medication can help you get a restful sleep every night, but you should also make your bedroom a clean and comfortable place to sleep in. Use only pillows and mattresses that are free from allergens, and install a dehumidifier and air filters in your bedroom.

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