Asthma is an incurable condition that many sufferers must live with for the duration of their lives. It must be effectively managed to avoid complications with breathing. Clinically proven medication is key in helping to manage and treat asthma.
- What Is the Asthma Condition?
- Treatment Options
- How Common Is It?
- How do you get It?
What Is the Asthma Condition?
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the small airways that carry air into and out of the lungs. If they become irritated, these airways, known as bronchioles, undergo similar symptoms to those of an allergy – they become swollen and inflamed, and produce excess mucus. These are the signs of asthma. This ‘asthma attack’ makes breathing difficult and, if left untreated, can be potentially very serious indeed.
Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for asthma. In the vast majority of cases, patients can effectively manage their condition using inhalers for asthma. A ‘reliever’ inhaler that helps to open up the airways and provide relief as an attack begins. Asthma sufferers should always ensure that they have adequate supplies of a salbutamol inhaler, the most popular of which is a Ventolin inhaler.
In addition, patients can use nebulisers as attacks grow in severity. A nebuliser creates a mist of medicine that can be inhaled, enabling higher doses of medicine to be given at a higher speed. However, the need to use increasing amounts of Ventolin usually indicate worsening asthma, and you should contact your regular doctor should these symptoms persist.
If a patient is suffering from frequent asthmatic attacks, they should consider the use of a steroid ‘preventer’ inhaler. These inhalers, such as Qvar, Clenil or Seretide, are used every day in a set routine to provide protection against the possible onset of attacks, and to reduce the amount of Ventolin used.
How Common Is It?
More than 5 million people in the UK are affected by asthma, with over 1 million of those being children. Usually, asthma occurs and is diagnosed at a young age, allowing children to be brought up with a good understanding of how to manage the illness. However, asthma can occur in people of all ages, at any time.
In recent years, asthma has become more common in the western world. Experts suggest that this is the result of a number of different circumstances, including increased air pollution.
Although asthma cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed to enable sufferers to live with minimal effects of the condition.
The common symptoms for asthma is characterized by a feeling of tightness in the chest, excess coughing or wheezing, and a general struggle to catch your breath. If you do not have an effective medicine to treat asthma in your possession and these symptoms occur, you should seek medical attention immediately.
In addition, there are certain signs that long-term asthma sufferers will grow to notice before an attack actually occurs. By identifying these signs of an asthma attack as early as possible, you can give yourself the best chance to avoid a full-blown asthma attack. These symptoms include itchiness of the skin, coughing and light-headedness.
Whilst the specific cause of how you get asthma is still not fully understood, there is a clear relationship at work between asthma and other, more generalised allergies. As a result, many sufferers will find a family history of asthma or allergies has increased their likeliness of having the condition.
Once somebody has been diagnosed with asthma, there are many substances that can trigger attacks. Each individual sufferer may be more suspectible to some specific irritants. Possible irritants include:
- Pets and pet hair
- Food allergies
- Mould spores in damp conditions
- House dust mites