How to Deal with Asthma Attack: Effective Ways To Help Your Loved one
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory disorders affecting a large number of people. While for some people asthma is not really bothersome and triggers off and on with mild discomfort. However for some people asthma can be a major problem to deal with and it could becomes so chronic that it begins to interfere with their everyday living. Sometime asthma can even be a life threatening attack making you visit the hospital emergency room.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a medical condition which causes the narrowing of the airways which results in narrowing and swelling of the airways to such an extent that they produce extra mucus. This reaction of the airways causes breathing distress along with severe coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.
Asthma is one medical condition that has found no cure. However, the symptoms can certainly be managed. Since asthma is a condition that could improve or worsen with time, it helps to constantly work in close co-ordination with your treating doctor to manage and adjust the treatment and medications as and when required.
What Puts One At Risk of Asthma?
There are various factors that could trigger asthma in some people and the same triggers could cause no reaction for the others. Some of the factors that could put you at high risk of acquiring asthma include:
- When asthma runs in the family and you have an immediate blood relative like your parent or sibling suffering from the disease; you are likely to have higher chances of the disease.
- Other allergies like a topic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever) could also increase your chances of acquiring the disease.
- Being obese or overweight can also increase your chances of the disease
- Smoking can put you at risk of asthma
- Pollution from vehicles or exhaust fumes could also cause asthma
- Occupational factors could also trigger asthma like exposure to chemicals, hair dressing etc.
Can Asthma Lead to Medical Complications?
Asthma is a common disease however for some people it could result in some serious complications which can even become life threatening at some point. Here are some of the complications associated with asthma:
- Disturbed sleep and signs that interfere with everyday work and recreational activities one takes up
- A common cold or flu could flare up into a severe asthma attack causing severe breathing distress
- Changes in breathing pattern due to a severe narrowing of the bronchial tubes
- Emergency visit to the healthcare setup or requiring hospitalization for a severe asthma attack
- Long term medications like corticosteroids administered for asthma can cause severe side effects
Proper and regular treatment is the only way to effectively manage the long term ill effects of this disease.
How to Deal with Asthma Attack?
Breathing is a very basic function required for life. To go through breathing distress or watch a loved one suffering from a disease like asthma can be very challenging and stressful. The struggle one faces due to this disease can leave you feeling frustrated, furious or depressed due to the restrictions that come with this disease be it food or participating in your favorite activities. This disease brings with it a feeling of being restricted and frustrated due to the symptoms and the various routines you need to adopt to manage this condition.
However, asthma doesn’t have to define the life you lead. The best possible way to deal with this condition and to overpower the feelings of helplessness and anxiety that come with this disease are to understand and take charge of the condition and your treatment. Here are basic rules to cope with the disease:
- Know your upper limits: While you may be tempted to run another extra mile, if it is going to put stress on your breathing, you should best avoid it and stop at what you are comfortable achieving. It is important to know your abilities and avoid anything that could worsen your symptoms.
- Talk about your condition: While you may think life is unfair because you have to undergo a medical condition like asthma; you would be surprised at the number of people suffering from this condition. There are a number of support groups that are available on the internet and offline that could help you open up to others who are suffering from similar condition as yours. It also helps to learn what others are doing to manage their disease and how you could do it right for yourself.
- If your kid suffers from asthma: Watching your child feel the stress of asthma can be very painful for any parent. Focus on what your child can do and what he can’t. If required speak to your child’s school teachers, friends and relatives who can help your child manage the condition better.
Here are effective steps that you can take to cope with asthma as a medical condition:
- Having an action plan: Having an action plan to deal with your asthma condition is helpful in managing the disease better. An asthma action plan would involve a written asthma action plan; which is a written structure that elaborates details like medications and symptoms that will help you manage the condition better.
- Keeping the necessary medication handy: Whether it is an inhaler that gives you instant relief from your breathing distress in an asthma attack or any other medication that helps in soothing the inflamed airways; it is necessary to keep your medicines handy always.
- Using air conditioners: Air conditioners help in reducing the occurrence of airborne pollutants like pollen from trees, weeds etc. that can find their way indoors. Air conditioning helps in controlling the humidity indoors and can considerably control your exposure to various pollutants. In case you are not comfortable with air conditioning, at least keep your windows closed during the pollen season.
- Minimize dust: Dust is one of the most prominent asthma triggers. It is important to minimize the dust that could worsen your symptoms especially of nighttime asthma attacks. Avoid carpets that could be a collection ground for dust and other pollutants. Always clean or wash your curtains and blinds.
- Prevent mold: Always keep damp areas in the bathrooms, kitchen and around the house clean and dry to avoid bacteria and mold from developing.
- Keep up with exercise: Just because you have asthma it does not mean you have to lead an inactive life. Treatment goes a long way in dealing with asthma attacks and controlling the symptoms that could worsen due to symptoms that could occur due to asthma attacks. Regular exercises are the best way to keep your hearth and lungs strong. This could help in relieving one of symptoms of asthma. In case you exercise in cold weathers, it is important to cover your face with a mask to warm your breath.
- Maintaining your weight: Being overweight often increases the chances of asthma attacks. Excessive weight can put undue pressure on your lungs which can make breathing difficult. Maintaining a healthy weight can help in not just fighting asthma but also other medical illnesses.
- Control GERD: Conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn can cause damage to lung airways which can cause worsening of asthmatic symptoms. In case you do face these conditions often; you may require treatment for treating GERD so as to improve your asthma symptoms.
Asthma cannot be prevented in any way however when you work with your doctor you can devise an effective plan and strategy to live with the condition and prevent asthma attacks.
- Stick to your plan: When you have worked out a plan with your treating doctor for your medicines and other management techniques for asthma management; be sure you stick to it as far as possible. Asthma is a long term condition which requires a long monitoring and treatment to make you feel more in control of your life.
- Get vaccinated: When you have asthma you know your lungs are weaker and small infections could blow up for you compared to others who don’t have asthma. It is very important for asthmatics to stay updated with the vaccinations to prevent incidences of flus and pneumonias to trigger asthma attacks.
- Know your triggers: Various outdoor allergens and triggers could cause your asthma to flare up. Pay attention to your vulnerability towards various triggers and take appropriate steps to avoid those triggers.
- Identify the attack early: An asthma attack could suddenly flare up into a severe asthma attack. It is important to identify the signs of asthma attack early so that you can treat it as early as possible. If you have certain medicines that you know will help you control your symptoms; always keep them handy to manage your symptoms.
by Matt Bailey – a noted writer, content marketer and Social Strategist at FindaTopDoc. Find a best Local Doctor by Specialty and Insurance.