Wed, Apr 17, 2024

Managing Asthma Attacks: Understanding triggers and solutions



Introduction to Asthma
           Asthma is a long lasted lungs disorder that highly disturbs your airways and make someone hard to breathe. Airways carry air around lungs and when these airways inflame and narrow down they make the air difficult to pass and make breathing difficult. In a research of CDC, people suffering from Asthma are at least 1 out of 13 people. Asthma can happen at any age to anyone, most commonly it usually starts in childhood. Things like pollen, exercise, viruses, or cold air can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. When your symptoms get really bad, it's called an asthma attack.
           Occupational asthma is when an individual who has never had asthma develops due to exposure to an occupational substance. This can occur when an individual develops an allergy to an occupational substance, such as mold, or when an individual is exposed to an irritant, such as a speck of wood dust or chemical, repeatedly at a lower level or all at the same time at a higher level.
What is an Asthma attack?
           When you breathe normally, the muscles around your lungs relax, allowing air to flow freely and quietly. But when you have asthma, there are three main things that can happen: bronchospasm, inflammation, and wheezing.
• Bronchospasm causes your airways to tighten, which means air can't get in or out quickly.
• Inflammation causes the lining of your lungs to become swollen, which means your airways won't be able to move as much air.
• Wheezing is when your lungs make a noise while breathing out.
• An exacerbation or flare-up is when your asthma is out of control.
Types of Asthma?
           Asthma can manifest in various forms, including exercise-induced asthma, occupational asthma, and asthma-related overlap syndrome.
• Exercise-induced asthma is a form of asthma triggered by physical activity, also called exercise-induced vasospasm.
• Occupational asthma is a type of asthma that is most commonly associated with those who work with substances that irritate the respiratory system.
• Acute Combustion Syndrome (ACOS) is an umbrella term for both asthma and COPD, both of which cause difficulty in breathing.
Causes and Common Triggers of Asthma Attack
           Asthma is a respiratory disease caused by inflammation of the breathing passages that allow air to enter and exit the lungs. As a result, the breathing passages become highly sensitive, causing them to narrow temporarily.
           Asthma attacks can be caused by exposure to substances known to irritate the body. Healthcare providers refer to these substances as "triggers.” Understanding asthma triggers can help reduce the risk of developing an attack. Some individuals may experience an attack immediately, while others may experience an attack hours or even days later. The triggers of asthma can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include:
• Air pollution: This includes things like factory emissions, automobile exhaust, and wildfire smoke.
• Dust Mites: You may not see dust mites, but they can be found in your home. If you are allergic to dust mites, an asthma attack can be caused by inhaling dust mites.
• Exercise – Some people experience an asthma attack when they exercise.
• Mold – Mold can be found in damp places and can cause problems for those with asthma, even if you are not allergic to it.
• Pests – Cockroaches, mice, and other household pests can also cause asthma attacks if you are allergic to them.
• Pets – If you have pets, you may experience an asthma attack if you breathe in their dried skin flakes.
• Smoking: People with asthma are likelier to develop asthma if they smoke in enclosed spaces, such as the car or at home. The best way to prevent an attack is to stop smoking.
• Specific Occupational Exposures: You may be exposed to certain chemicals at your job.
Symptoms of Asthma
           Asthma typically manifests itself in the form of symptoms that are similar to those of many respiratory infections. These symptoms may include
• Chest tightness,
• Pain or pressure
• Coughing (especially at night)
• Shortness of breath
• Wheezing and other symptoms.
           However, with asthma, not all of these symptoms may present with every flare. With chronic asthma, the symptoms and signs may vary from time to time and may also change between asthma attacks.
Treatment of Asthma
           Apparently, there is no complete cure available to Asthma but it can be controlled. There are a variety of available treatments. The most widely used inhalers deliver medication directly into the lungs. Inhalers can help to manage the condition and enable individuals with asthma to lead a healthy and active life. Inhalers used are primarily of two types:
• Bronchodilators, which open airways and reduce symptoms
• Steroids reduce inflammation in airways, improve asthma symptoms, and reduce the risk of severe asthma attacks and fatalities.
           People living with Asthma may require daily inhaler use, depending on the severity of symptoms and the type of inhaler available. Using inhalers can be challenging, particularly for children and in emergencies. A spacer device can facilitate the use of aerosol inhalers, as it allows the medication to be delivered to the lungs more effectively. An aerosol inhaler is a plastic container containing a mouthpiece or a mask with a hole in the side for the inhaler.
Self-care
           Asthma education is essential for individuals with the condition and their families to better understand the treatment options available to them, the triggers they should avoid and that they can manage it at home to with some home remedies.
Additionally, it is essential for those with asthma to be aware of how to adjust their treatment if their symptoms are deteriorating to prevent a severe attack. Healthcare professionals may provide an asthma action plan to assist individuals with asthma in taking more control of their treatment.

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Kainat Ashiq

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