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Preventing Asthma Attacks: A Guide

People who are suffering from asthma need to have an asthma management plan in place for prevention of its symptoms. This plan is prepared by your doctor and you for controlling your asthma, so that the disease doesn’t spiral out of control.

An effective asthma plan will allow you to:

  1. Remain active without having the symptoms of asthma.
  2. Be involved in daily exercise and in sports.
  3. Sleep peacefully at night, without having asthma symptoms.
  4. Attend your office or school regularly.
  5. Have as clear lungs as possible.
  6. Remain immune to or have few side effects from asthma medications.
  7. Avoid emergency visits/stays in hospital.

Common asthma symptoms include:

  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

Frequently Asked Questions About Asthma

Q1. What is asthma?

A1. Asthma is a lung disease which causes the airways to become narrowed or blocked, causing breathing difficulty. It is a chronic disease that affects nearly 20 million Americans. Asthma is generally classified into two categories: extrinsic asthma, which is allergic, and non-intrinsic asthma, which is non-allergic. A lot of research still needs to be done for fully understanding how to treat, prevent, and cure asthma. However, with proper management, people are able to live healthy, active lives.

Q2. Can asthma be cured by medicines?

A2. Unfortunately, no. However, even though asthma can’t be cured, you can control it. There are a lot of medicines available for controlling asthma. Some of them are preventive medicines which help asthmatic patients, while others are quick relievers to provide relief from the acute symptoms of asthma.

Q3. Asthma triggers: What are they?

A3. Asthma patients need to be better aware of certain environmental factors that tend to make asthma worse. Asthma inducing factors or triggers are subjective, and can include cold air or rain, weather changes, allergens, tobacco smoke, asthma attack triggered due to exercise, smog, paint fumes, some medications, upper respiratory infections, etc.

Q4. Can people die from asthma?

A4. Asthma results in about 14 deaths each day in the US. However, with proper treatment and management, most people can keep their asthma under control and avoid life-threatening asthma attacks. It’s really important for them to follow their doctor’s instructions and keep their emergency medications always handy.

Q5. What can I expect from my asthma treatment?

A5. A proper medical treatment would ensure that your asthma symptoms do not:

  • Disturb your sleep at night
  • Cause disruption of daily activities
  • Lead to your missing school or work
  • Cause wheezing when you are performing a strenuous physical activity
  • Lead to the situation of visiting an emergency room

Effect of cold on asthma

People with asthma have very sensitive airways. Cold, damp air can cause spasms after entering the airways, leading to asthma symptoms, like wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

Effect of humidity on asthma

High humidity levels can cause greater incidences of asthma problems. This is because humid air is harder to breathe as it is heavier, and it also harbors dust mites, molds and fungus which trigger asthma.

Tips for preventing asthma attacks

The four major preventive steps include:

  • Limiting dust exposure
  • Protecting yourself, particularly your children from tobacco smoke as it is a major asthma trigger
  • Not keeping pets at home or workplace
  • Killing those roaches

Emergency treatment

Short-acting beta agonists, like albuterol. These medications are the same as used in the quick acting or rescue inhaler. You will need to use a nebulizer, which turns the medication into mist, so that it can be inhaled deep into the lungs.

Asthma treatment options

Quick-relief medicines, also known as bronchodilators, are taken at the first signs of asthma symptoms to get immediate relief. Long-term control medicines need to be taken on a daily basis for prevention of symptoms and attacks.

Related Post: Suffering from Asthma? Here’s What You Should Know

Newport Family Medicine, located in Newport Beach, CA, offers full-service family practice from pregnancy through childhood and adulthood to maturity. We provide comprehensive health care for people of all age groups.

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