9 Things to Know About Asthma
Asthma is a common respiratory condition that affects millions of people worldwide, including children and adults. While it's prevalent, there's still a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation surrounding asthma. To help clear the air, so to speak, we've compiled nine essential things you should know about asthma.
What is Asthma?
A long-term respiratory disease that damages the lungs' airways is asthma. Breathing becomes challenging for those affected because of inflammation and airway constriction. When certain stimuli stimulate these constricted airways, they might become hypersensitive and constrict, producing an excess of mucus. This causes wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest, which are typical asthmatic symptoms.
Asthma Can Develop at Any Age
While asthma often begins in childhood, it can develop at any age. Adult-onset asthma is not uncommon. Some people who had no previous respiratory issues may suddenly experience asthma symptoms in response to triggers like allergies, infections, or environmental factors.
It's Not Just "Childhood Wheezing"
Asthma is sometimes mistakenly dismissed as "childhood wheezing" that individuals will outgrow. While it's true that some children may experience wheezing due to respiratory infections, true asthma is a chronic condition that can persist into adulthood. Even if symptoms improve or become less frequent over time, asthma should be managed and monitored throughout life.
Asthma Triggers Vary
Causes of asthma might differ from person to person. Common triggers include respiratory conditions, chilly air, tobacco smoke, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and air pollution. Recognising and steering clear of these triggers is essential to managing asthma.
Diagnosis Requires Medical Evaluation
If you or a loved one experiences symptoms like wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, it's essential to seek medical evaluation for a proper diagnosis. To diagnose and assess the severity of asthma, medical professionals use a patient's medical history, physical examinations, and pulmonary function tests like spirometry.
Asthma is Manageable
While there's no cure for asthma, it's a highly manageable condition. Treatment typically involves two types of medications:
- Controller Medications : These are taken regularly to prevent symptoms and reduce airway inflammation. They include inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists.
- Reliever Medications : These are used as needed during asthma attacks to provide quick relief by relaxing the airway muscles. Short-acting beta-agonists are common reliever medications.
Asthma Action Plan is Crucial
People who have asthma should develop an asthma action plan in collaboration with their medical professional. This plan outlines steps to follow during asthma attacks, including medication doses, when to seek emergency care, and emergency contact information. Having a written plan helps individuals and their families know what to do in the event of an asthma exacerbation.
Avoiding Secondhand Smoke is Vital
Secondhand smoke exposure can aggravate asthma symptoms and set them off. If you or a family member has asthma, it's critical to maintain a smoke-free environment. Smoking cessation can also significantly improve asthma control.
Regular Follow-Up is Necessary
Asthma management is an ongoing process. Scheduling routine follow-up sessions with a healthcare professional is crucial for evaluating asthma control, making any medication adjustments, and imparting knowledge on correct inhaler methods. Peak flow monitoring at home can help individuals and their healthcare providers track lung function between visits.
Pulmonologists at Medicover Hospital
Our staff of pulmonologists at Medicover Hospital is made up of highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals who are dedicated to providing the best care possible to patients with respiratory illnesses. We are very proud of them.Our pulmonologists bring a wealth of expertise to the field, making them leaders in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of pulmonary diseases. Here are some key aspects of their expertise:
asthma is a common yet manageable respiratory condition that can affect individuals of all ages. Understanding its nature, triggers, and management is key to living a healthy and symptom-free life with asthma. If you or someone you know has asthma, working closely with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized asthma action plan and learning how to identify and avoid triggers are vital steps toward achieving good asthma control and overall well-being. Remember, asthma should never hold you back from leading a full and active life with the right management and support.