Many people ask, ‘What is asthma’? Here’s the direct and correct answer. Asthma is an unremitting ailment that involves the airways or the pipes that carries air in and out of the lungs.
When the airways act in response of an irritant or triggering factor, they get narrower and the lungs get not as much air as it needs. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tension, and a difficulty with breathing, which are all signs of asthma. This occurs more frequently during early morning or at night.
If the signs of asthma in asthmatics happen to be worse than the usual, it is referred to as an asthma attack. Asthmatics can die from severe asthma attacks, because in such occasions, the airways can severely constrict the supply of oxygen to the different parts of the body.
Common triggers of asthma are animal hairs or dander. For this reason, asthmatics are advised to avoid keeping pets. For children with asthma, it is best that they take care of pets that are confined in small spaces and are dander-free, such as fishes or turtles.
Tobacco smoke is also considered as a trigger of asthma. Smokers should not smoke beside or near asthmatics. This is especially advisable for those parents who have children with asthma.
Asthma may also be aggravated by powerful odors, climate changes, or air pollution. In cases where inevitable changes such as rapid climate change cannot be avoided, reduced exposure to extreme temperatures is the best thing to do.
Strenuous activities or exercises may also aggravate asthma. This is referred to exercise induced asthma. For asthmatics, it is best that exercises are done minimally and only as much as the body can tolerate. Pushing the body of asthmatics to its limit poses danger for an asthmatic’s health and life.
Aspirins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and beta-blockers are some medications that may trigger asthma attacks. Asthmatics who wish to take these medications should discuss with a physician first.
Some types of food may also aggravate asthma. It is very important for asthmatics to know which type of foods they are allergic to, in order to avoid having asthma attacks. Taking a skin test for allergies may help verify allergies in food.
Emotional highs and lows are also found to exacerbate asthma attacks. Asthmatics should have sufficient rest, engage in regular (but not excessive) exercise, and eat the right foods to keep their bodies in optimum shape and aid it in dealing with their asthma.
Allergies are a large factor in aggravating the many signs of asthma. The most common allergens found in every home include dust mites, molds, pollen, and cockroach droppings. Asthmatics should clean their house frequently to prevent asthma attacks due to these.
Asthmatics should consult their physician to know the right treatment of asthma for them. Generally, asthma is treated with quick-relief medicine for short-term treatment of the signs of asthma.