What is asthma?
Asthma is identified as a chronic lung condition which leads to symptoms such as inflammation, increased mucus formation and muscle tightening or contraction which causes the airways to narrow thereby making it difficult and inconvenient for air to move through the lungs making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Asthma is becoming increasingly common in children each year. The World Health Organization or WHO along with the Global Asthma Network recorded as many as 334 million people all over the globe who have asthma.
While the majority of the people develop asthma as children, adults can catch it and become asthmatic when exposed to allergens, irritants or occupational sensitizers over the period. The precise cause of asthma is unknown, but it could be partly inherited or as a result of an allergic reaction to some external substance which particularly irritates the lungs. Few warning signs before an impending asthma attack include a sore throat, dark circles under the eyes, a feeling of tiredness or a change in the color of the face. Asthma attacks vary in severity as well; some people experience asthma attacks continuously while others may experience symptoms only when exposed to triggers.
What are the treatment and prevention of asthma?
Unfortunately, there is no particular cure for asthma. Asthma is a chronic medical condition that can last a lifetime. The end goal of asthma treatment is to keep you symptom-free as much as possible. This involves being able to indulge in usual activities, following the use of rescue medication as little as less than four doses per week, having no daytime and nighttime symptoms and eliminating absenteeism due to asthma. There are mainly four things you can do to manage your asthma problems:-
- Avoid asthma triggers such as pollen found in grass and outdoor, dust mites existing in carpet or furniture, animal hair and dander, molds, pollution, and smoke filled environment and excessive exercise.
- See your doctor and ask for a “written asthma action plan” which describes how to monitor your asthma symptoms and take necessary asthma medication accordingly. It also entails how to tell if the asthma is getting worse and what to do if it does.
- If only recommended by your doctor, avail “preventer” also known as “controller” medications such as corticosteroids, examples are beclomethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone and mometasone with or without a long-acting bronchodilator like salmeterol, formoterol and leukotriene receptor antagonists like montelukast or zafirlukast and IgE-neutralizing antibody-like omalizumab.
- You can alleviate symptoms using “rescue” or “reliever” medications such as fast-acting bronchodilators like salbutamol, formoterol, and terbutaline.