Asthma is one of the major health problems which affects your daily life. Early asthma diagnosis is very important to prevent its progression. Asthma is a chronic lung problem characterized by inflamed and narrow airways which causes recurring periods of wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing chest tightness.
Asthma is the disease of all ages and is associated with an extensive impact on the community affecting physical functioning as well as ability to perform social responsibilities. Asthma remains a noteworthy health problem in the United States, having approximately 25 million known cases of asthma including 7 million children.The key questions that come to mind of the patient or his caretakers by the name of asthma are as listed below.
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General questions about asthma
What is asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease which makes your breathing difficult. Asthma is characterized by inflammation with increased formation of sticky secretions inside the bronchial tubes.
How can I know that I have asthma?
Chest tightness, breathing problems, and coughing are the key problems in asthma that occur due to narrowing of the airways.After getting these symptoms, immediately talk to the doctor.Your doctor may use various tests like physical examination by looking at your throat, nose and upper way sand by certain tests like Spirometry, Challenge test, Exhaled nitric oxide test for asthma diagnosis.
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Who can get asthma?
You are prone to asthma if
- •You are a smoker.
- •You have family history of asthma.
- •You are having allergies like hay fever and eczema.
- •Frequently being exposed to triggers like dust mites, pets, cockroaches, molds, pollens, mice and cockroach waste products.
Question regarding treatment and management of asthma
What are the medicines available for asthma?
Asthma medication plays a key role in the management of asthma.The medication for asthma is present in different forms as pills, inhalers, nebulizers and can be categorized in two groups
•Controller Medications: This is an important type of medication regularly taken by most of the people having asthma to prevent asthma attack and chronic symptoms.These medicines include
- Ø Inhaled corticosteroids
- Ø Leukotriene modifiers
- Ø Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs)
- Ø Theophylline
- Ø Combination inhalers contain both a corticosteroid and a LABA
•Quick-relief medications (rescue medications): These medications are taken for rapid and short-term relief of symptoms.The drugs of this category are as follows:
- Ø Oral corticosteroids
- Ø Anticholinergics(short-acting)
- Ø Systemic corticosteroids
Also Read: How Safe Are Asthma Drugs?
What are asthma inhaler medications?
Inhalers are the device that deliver the medication directly to the lungs through breath, so you need to take less amount of medicine in comparison to tablets or any other formulation. It is an effective way to take asthma medication.Asthma Inhaler contains controller as well as relievers medications. Reliever inhalers contain bronchodilator medicines like Salbutamol and Terbutaline whereas preventer or controllerinhalers contain a steroid medicine like Beclometasone, Budesonide, Fluticasone, Mometasone.
What are the side effects of steroid inhaler medication?
Inhaled steroid medication is safe at conventional doses. You can encounter only a few side effects like sore throat, hoarse voice, and yeast infection in the mouth.These fewer side effects can be avoided by rinsing the mouth with water frequently after each use of the inhaled steroids.
For how long do I have to take asthma medication?
Asthma is an incurable disease. Asthma attack and troublesome symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath can be well managed by proper medication and modification in lifestyle.
Is that any natural cure for asthma?
Diet management, proper exercise to strengthen your airways are an important part of asthma management. Certain natural remedies like taking ginger, lemon honey, onion, garlic, turmeric, salmon for omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in asthma management.
Questions regarding childhood asthma
My child has asthma. Can he play outdoor games?
In the past, children with asthma were kept away from sports and physical exercise, but now sports are recommended to the children suffering from asthma. Sports strengthen the lung muscles and reduce the symptoms of asthma.Certain activities may flare up the asthma attacks so it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about these sports activities for your child. Usingan albuterol inhaler before sports or any physical activity minimizes the chances of asthma.
What special care do I have to give if my child has asthma?
Asthma may bring fear as well as feelings of isolation in your child.They may be treated unfairly by their peers and sometimes even adults. In such a condition, you have to work to built your child’s confidence.If your child is school going then discuss the asthma management plan to teacher, coaches, and school nurses with regards to emergency treatment. Nurture your relationship with your child into one that is more trusting and open, for effective asthma care.
What will be the effect of medication on the growth of my child?
A common worry in the mind of the parents is about the effect of steroids on the growth of their child. The accord among specialists is that daily inhaled steroid use causes some degree of decrease in growth in the initial year of treatment. That said, this difference is nullified with long term use.
How can I know about the allergy of my child?
Your kid may be allergic to animal dander, pollen grain, fumes, etc.Allergy testing by controlled exposure first is the best way to know about the allergy of your kid. Your awareness and efforts can bring asthma under control. Soon after initial symptoms, contact your health care provider to develop written asthma action plan. Your written asthma action plan ranges from identification of triggers to selection of medication.