Asthma is a lung disease that makes breathing difficult in both young and old, and in fact no race is immune from asthma.
It can also be defined as twitchy airways according airways according to Peter Creticos M.D, an allergist and co-director of John Hopkins Centre for Asthma and Allergic disease in Baltimore Maryland.
Signs and symptoms of asthma
The common symptoms of asthma include;
- Coughing especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness pains or pressure.
Though asthma symptoms might varies in people and some people with asthma may go for extended period with having any symptom, interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks. Others might have asthma symptoms every day.
Early symptoms that are always experienced could be summarized as;
Frequent cough, especially at night
Losing your breath easily or shortness of breath
Feeling very tired or weak when exercising
Wheezing or coughing after exercise
Feeling tired, easily upset, grouchy, or moody
Decreases or changes in lung function as measured on a peak flow meter
Signs of a cold or allergies (sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headache)
Causes of asthma: genetic makeup, bacterial infections and environmental triggers like dust, paints odour, smoke, and cold and so on
Diagnosis of asthma
According to the Global institute of asthma as a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play.
There is currently no precise diagnosis typically based on the pattern of symptoms and response to the therapy overtime.
A diagnosis of asthma should be suspected if there is a history of recurrent wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing and these symptoms worsen due to exercise or air pollution.
The ways to stop attacks are:
Stay out of smoke- filled room. Smoking in any environment could trigger an episode of asthma and also to anyone staying next to the smoker.
Don’t light a fire. Lighting fire could also make a case for asthma because of carbonic substances produced could trigger a stiffness of the bronchial.
Take an antacid at bed time. When you load your stomach, it could increase acid reflux. Acid reflux could invariably trigger asthma. Antacid will lower the reflux and keep you strong till your airways become clear.
Stay out of deep freeze. Always avoid staying outside especially when it’s cold.
Always cover your nose and mouth when you are in cold air.
Stay in a warm and dry place often. These will reduce the incidence of flu and symptoms of flu.
Watch what you eat. Some food should be avoided by asthmatics. They include milk, eggs, nuts and sea foods according to Dr. Carlson.
Be salt sensitive. A research conducted by community medicine of St. Thomas hospital London found out that there is a strong correlation between salt intake and asthma mortality. So moderation is advised.
Avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, aceclofenac, piroxicam and so on. Consult a pharmacist before using any of these drugs.
Keep your inhaler close and learn to use correctly. This is the first aid in asthmatic attack whether acute or chronic. Keep in a bag or pocket anywhere you go for emergency application.
Caffeine can provide relieve. Provided you forgot your inhaler, caffeine could keep you steady at any point in time due to its effect on the respiratory tract.
Take Vitamin B6 regularly. According to Professor Clayton L. Natta M.D at Columbia University College of Physician & Surgeons who carried out a research on the effectiveness of Vit. B6, it could reduce the severity of attacks in asthma.
Listen to your lungs. Be aware of your system sign attack by always listening to your lungs.
Doing all these and identifying all your potential triggers ultimately keep you fit and makes you forget the last time you had an attack.
- The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies: Debora Tkac
- America lung Association
- Asthma attack on WebMD
- Image from www.fullfit.com