Asthma is a health illness that affects the airways of the lungs resulting in breathing difficulties. The function of bronchial tubes (airways) usually is to act as passages for air to and from the lungs. A person living with asthma has highly sensitive airways which get swollen or narrow, they produce more mucus than normal and prevent free movement of air to and from the lungs. The illness on occasion affects other areas surrounding the airways like muscles which get tight due to some trigger factors.
Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and serious cold infections that affect the chest. The symptoms may persist for periods exceeding a week.
Causes of Asthma
There are different kinds of asthma including inherited, allergic, occupational and childhood asthma. Medical doctors are yet to establish the reasons why some individuals are prone to asthma. The disease is associated with inherited genes and triggered by environmental factors.
Substances that trigger asthma differ from one individual to another. The substances trigger allergies to cause symptoms of asthma and asthma attacks. Some known triggers include cold weather, certain medications, pollen, animal fur, wastes of small creatures, dust mites, food preservatives, pesticides, various airborne substances to name some.
Unfortunately, Asthma has no known cure. However, there are various ways of controlling the symptoms and preventing attacks.
How to Deal With Asthma
If you or your loved ones exhibit symptoms associated with Asthma, it is highly recommended that you see an asthma specialist, for example, an allergist or immunologist physician for a diagnosis and an asthma-treatment and asthma-control plan. Asthma is a serious illness that requires urgent action during a major attack, and any delays can result in death.
It is important to prevent the occurrence of an asthma attack because the attacks are usually life-threatening. Therefore, work with your doctor and come up with an asthma-treatment and control plan and follow it.
You do this by avoiding anything that can trigger asthma symptoms or attacks. You can do this by learning to identify what triggers your asthma.
Finally, monitor the condition of your lungs with a home peak flow meter by measuring yourself regularly and keeping a record. If you have to use a quick-relief inhaler often, then it means your situation is quite sensitive, and you need to work with your doctor to monitor and review your treatment plan to bring your asthma condition under control.
Asthma Prescription Medicine
An asthma-treatment plan involves using prescription drugs for short-term relief of symptoms, for dealing with an asthma attack and for life-long management of asthma. Asthma medications vary, and their work is to prevent the airways from swelling, reducing mucus production and relaxing muscles around the airways.
The drugs often used are categorized into two, namely Anti-Inflammatory Medicines including Steroids and Bronchodilators.
Your doctor may prescribe various drugs including inhalers with one or two medicines, or an asthma nebulizer if an inhaler is not working for you. A drug commonly prescribed for asthma patients who are older than 12 years is Dulera.
If you are uninsured or underinsured, you can enroll in the prescription assistance program which can provide some relief to the cost of asthma medication. If you are found eligible in the prescription assist, you can get Dulera cost subsidized.
If your asthma is serious, it can be life-threatening and needs to be medically managed to prevent the condition from interfering with your day to day activities. To live a healthy life with asthma, have regular checks with your doctor to monitor the effectiveness of drugs and review your treatment if need be. Also when symptoms worsen, and you are using inhalers and other medication, see a doctor immediately. You can also join online asthma support groups which can help you live with your condition positively.