Asthma is a chronic condition that can be managed at home with the help of medical professionals but can be avoided thru simple methods and tips that we can follow. But at times, even if with proper management, sometimes an acute attack is possible and can be life-threatening. To learn more about how to manage asthma and other emergencies, enroll in First Aid and CPR Courses.
Asthma is a condition causing a long tem inflammation of the airways, As the causing agent starts the inflammation, the muscle surrounding the airways goes into spasmic nature; with the lung swelling, the mucus lining secretes mucus thus making a patient have a difficult time breathing.
Asthma develops in childhood. Many children outgrow but the symptoms may return in your life.
What triggers an asthma attack
- Infections such as cold
- Allergens (Dust Mites, Grass Pollen, Cockroach,Legumes, Nuts and Shellfish etc.)
- Cigarette or smoke
- Chemical vapors
- Pain relievers such as aspirin
- Food preservatives
- Emotional stress
- Cold air or weather
How is asthma diagnosed
- Diagnosed by history, clinical findings, and measuring the airflow obstruction. However, in some cases, history and physical examination finding does not show the disease only during an episodic attack.
- Any patient who comes in with the following signs and symptoms, should be suspected of asthma:
- Cough worsening in the night
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest tightness
- The following signs and symptoms above with the presence of the following symptoms strengthens the diagnosis of asthma:
- Family history of asthma
- By using the anti-asthmatic medications and the symptoms improve
- Often provoked by allergens, irritants, infections and exercise
- Physical examination
- High pitched wheezes usually during force expiration can be found on auscultation but is not a significant finding
- Some patients may manifest a normal physical examination upon auscultation but in the find abnormal findings in different measures of lung parameters
- Spirometry is used to document airflow obstruction.
When do you do home treatment in Asthma?
- Do not panic! Reassure yourself that home treatment will control the attack
- Increase fluid intake to thin the mucus in the bronchial tubes
- Use inhalers to alleviate the symptoms. But this is only advised by your doctor
- Have a diary wherein your attacks are recorded and note what triggered the attack and what did you do to stop the attack
How can we avoid Asthma
There is no way that we can prevent asthma. We can avoid exposure to potential factors that can cause asthma symptoms.
- Washing of hands and having a flu shot can lower the risk of colds and flu
- Avoid substances that can trigger an attack such as legumes, nuts, shellfish, eggs, wheat and milk
- Avoid air irritants such as perfumes, fumes and odors
- Avoid smoke as much as possible
- Avoid medications that may cause an attack such as aspirin and other pain medications
- Avoid getting stressed out. One should practice relaxation exercises
- Avoid the cold weather. Use a scarf if you must.
When do we call for help for Asthma emergencies
- If difficulty of breathing ensues
- After taking your medications and symptoms has not improved after 20 minutes
Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of airways that is preventable and can be serious but if one takes care of himself, then there is no cause for alarm.