How to Treat Asthma Symptoms
Millions of children and adults in the United States are affected by asthma. Asthma is a long-termed respiratory disease that affects over 20 million Americans. Asthma symptoms are very frightening as can feel like you are suffocating.
Asthma symptoms include wheezing or coughing, restriction of bronchial airways, chest tightness and pressure on the chest. The results of an asthma attack are potentially life-threatening experience, and 25% of all emergency room visits are because of asthma.
Asthma is triggered by allergies to cats, dogs, birds, dust mite, strong chemical odors and other external substances. Often when you have been diagnosed with asthma, part of the treatment is trying to get control or block allergies.
You physical will likely refer you to a respiratory specialist, to teach you how to manage asthma symptoms and beginning to live a normal life once again. Here are some things that will help you to manage asthma.
How you can Help
- Be under a Doctor's Care: Your family doctor or respiratory therapist will follow you closely and prescribe medications to help control and prevent asthma attacks. When you are having difficulty breathing and medications are not helping, do not wait until you are in respiratory distress to call your doctor.
- Take Medication on Time: The goal in managing asthma is to stop an attack before it happens. If your doctor prescribed asthma preventative like Advair or Symbicort, use it as the doctor prescribed. Be use never to miss a treatment. Always carry an extra rescue inhaler with you. Keep one in your car or in your purse, in the case of sudden symptoms.
- Exercise: It is not necessary to eliminate exercise from your life if your asthma symptoms are under control. Many professional athletes live with asthma and perform well. If asthma is a trigger for your, weight until your symptoms are under control. Exercise helps strengthen breathing muscles, lungs, boosts the immune system and helps to kept your weight stable.
- Be Self-aware: With chronic persistent asthma, many times you may be having difficulty breathing, but don't notice it or ignore it because it isn't severe. This is a mistake that can lead to a full blown attack. If you follow the plan of action your doctor has given, this can possibly prevent a trip to the emergency room.
- Know your Triggers: There are environmental triggers that must be avoided are such as Second-hand smoke, mold, animal dander, ragweed pollen, dust mites, cockroach waste, fumes from cleaning fluid, paint, pesticide, air pollution and perfumes. Everyone has different triggers, so it important to be observant to recognize what your triggers are, and to avoid them if at all possible.
- Your Home Environment: Remove anything in your home that will trigger an asthma attack. Do not keep indoor plants as they hold dust and damp water creates mold. Limit or avoid carpets, keep pets outdoors, get rid of roaches (if possible) and don't allow smoking in your home. Using an air purifier can also help to keep your home environment clearer from triggers. Use hypo-allergenic pillows and bedding avoid down filled pillows and bedding.
- Cleaning Products: Do not use strong smelling cleaning products such as ammonia or bleach, which can almost certainly trigger an asthma attack. There are many green or eco-friendly cleaning products on the market. Kangan water.pH 11, has not scented at all and can be used to clean all kitchen and bathroom surfaces in your home.
Food allergies: Your allergist can test you to determine what food, and external substance you are allergic to. A controlled diet, eliminating offending foods and exercise can also help improve your health and strengthen lung capacity.
Allergy testing: Your allergist can test you to determine what food, and external substance you are allergic to. A controlled diet eliminating offending foods and exercise can also help improve your health and strengthen lung capacity.
Alternative methods: There are also natural and Homeopathic methods that may be very helpful in managing asthma. A homeopathic physician can also do testing and prescribe proper natural alternatives. If you are considering using alternative treatments, do your research and never stop using medications recommended by your physician!
Your Respiratory Specialist/Allergist
If your asthma symptoms is not being managed, you may be referred to a respiratory specialist. The goal of your respiratory specialist is to:
- Help prevent constant daily symptoms
- To prevent damage to the lungs and encourage normal pulmonary function
- To help you continue daily activities without incident
- To prevent patient from going into respiratory distress and emergency care
- To provide necessary medications with not conflict or side effects
- To work with the patient and family members
A respiratory specialist will set of a medical plan of action for you to help you keep track of your lung functioning, to determine times and triggers of you asthma and to help you respond immediately in the event of an attack. You will use a peak flow meter to measure your daily lung capacity, to determine how well you are controlling asthma symptoms. This plan of action will help prevent the escalation of asthma to the point of an emergency room visit or hospitalization.
When to call 911:
Many people make the mistake of waiting too long to go to the emergency room. Once you notice that the person is in distress call 911.
If you or your child are experiencing, paleness, sweating, struggling to breath, can not easily talk without stopping between words or your rescue inhaler does not help your breathing; do not drive to the hospital, but call 911.
The EMS will have oxygen and other treatments available to help you, while on the way to the emergency room.