Asthma

Asthma is a Chronic inflammatory disorder with airway obstruction caused by broncho-constriction, bronchial edema, and increased mucus production.  Some signs associated with asthma are wheezing and cough.  A wheeze is defined as a continuous high-pitched whistling sound heard when air is forced through a narrow space during inspiration or expiration.  This is usually caused by the tightening of the bronchi in patients with asthma.

Whenever an attack occurs it can come on slow or very quickly. This occurs when the airway is constricted or swollen.  Some signs and symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking and or breathing. Taking a medical class or an ACLS refresher course can significantly improve the chance of survival of your patient. There are many patients who have care takers who are certified via the American Heart Association.

Although asthma is a medical condition and the exact cause is still not known there are many things that can trigger asthma.  Some known triggers include strong odors, exercise, cold air, allergens and stress.  There are treatments to calm and prevent asthma attacks, which if you have this condition should be discussed with your doctor. Asthma treatments are inhaled anti-inflammatory agents which need to be decided from your doctor whether or not you need long term control ( every day) or quick relief control which the most common is albuterol.  Some other known triggers are cigarette smoke, which you should not be smoking or be around someone smoking if you have asthma.  As well as obesity.

This condition is not biased on who it will affect and when.   Adults and children of all ages are affected everyday.  My child has allergy induced asthma and my Husband has asthma so this is all to familiar to me. Not being able to catch your breath during an attack is very scary and observing it is even scarier.  I recommend that anyone knowing someone with asthma learn about it and what to do if you or someone you know has an attack. It could calm you and the person having the attack so that they can get the help they need.

The reality is that just because you have asthma or difficulty breathing you can still live a normal life.  My husband still works and enjoys the outdoors, he is on a long term controller medication.  My child still plays outside and has a normal life, he is on more of a quick relief medication certain times of the year.  However, they are both seen by their doctors on a yearly basis and medication is monitored.  Proper management and assessment of the condition by your doctor could help limit attacks and still be able to lead the life you live.

 

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