Asthma is a common lung complication that occasionally leads to breathing difficulties. Anyone can have asthma, no matter their age. Even though it mostly begins in childhood, there are cases of asthma developing in adults for the first time. Keep reading to learn more about asthma diagnosis in Swindon, how to treat it and how to use your inhaler.
There’s no cure for asthma at the moment, but there are simple treatments available to help manage the symptoms so that it does not have much interference with your normal life. In some people, asthma is just a minor case. However, there are severe cases that can greatly affect your day-to-day activities and may lead to deadly asthma attacks.
Asthma symptoms appear differently in every person. Some people may have symptoms infrequently, while others may witness them at particular times, like when exercising. Some may have them at all times.
Asthma signs and symptoms are:
– Shortness of breath
– Chest pain or tightness
– A common sign in children is wheezing when exhaling
– Sleeping difficulties as a result of coughing or wheezing, or shortness of breath
– Coughing or wheezing attacks that worsen when infected by flu or any other respiratory virus
Below are signs that your asthma is probably worsening:
– The signs and symptoms are becoming more and more frequent
– Increased breathing difficulties, measured by a peak flow meter, a device for measuring your lungs’ effectiveness.
– The need to use an inhaler more frequently
For certain people, Asthma signs and symptoms flare up in some situations such as:
– Exercise-induced asthma – may worsen when the air is dry or cold.
– Occupational Asthma – triggered by irritants at the workplace, such as gases, dust or chemical fumes.
– Allergy-induced Asthma – as the name suggests, it’s triggered by airborne substances you are allergic to, such as mould spores, pollen, skin particles and dried saliva from pets, or cockroach waste.
There are severe asthma attacks that can be life-threatening. Consult with your pharmacist or doctor for further action in case your signs and symptoms get worse. Especially if you require emergency treatment.
Signs of an asthma emergency are:
– Fast worsening of wheezing or shortness of breath
– A quick-relief inhaler doesn’t improve the symptoms
– Shortness of breath when doing even a little physical activity
It’s still unclear why certain people get asthma and not others, but it’s probably as a result of a number of genetic (inherited) and environmental factors. Some of these include:
– Airborne allergens like pollen, mould spores, pet dander, dust mites or cockroach waste
– Respiratory infections like flu and the common cold
– Cold air
– Physical activity, air irritants and pollutants like smoke
– Certain medicines like aspirin, beta-blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium
– Strong stress and emotions
– Preservatives and sulphites included in certain foods and beverages, like dried fruit, shrimp, beer and wine, as well as processed potatoes.
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition whereby stomach acids go up into the throat.
Asthma is normally diagnosed by its symptoms and a few simple tests. A GP is capable of diagnosing normal cases of asthma, but you may be referred to a specialist in some complicated situations.
There are some factors believed to increase the risk of a person developing asthma. They are:
– Having a blood relative who suffers from asthma, like a parent or sibling
– Suffering from another allergic condition, like atopic dermatitis- which turns the skin red and itchy, or hay fever-which comes with congestion, runny nose and itchy eyes
– Cigarette smoking
– Obesity or being overweight
– Exposure to exhaust fumes or any other kind of pollution
– Exposure to occupational hazards like hairdressing and manufacturing or farming chemicals
As mentioned earlier, asthma has no cure, but there are treatment options that are effective in keeping the symptoms under control to enable you to live your life normally.
You’ll usually be required to develop a personal action plan with the help of medical personnel. These include details such as your medicines, how to keep track of your condition, and what to do when under an asthma attack.
Inhalers, devices that enable you to breathe the medicines, are the most used treatment. Tablets and other treatment options may also apply in more serious cases.
Check out informative videos to help you understand more about inhalers here: Watch Inhaler Videos
Inhalers can help in:
– Relieving symptoms when they show (reliever inhalers)
– Stop developing symptoms (preventer inhalers)
– Some people require inhalers that serve both functions (combination inhalers).
Get in touch with us today for more details on how to control your asthma and to book your appointment.