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ASTHMA

By: Goodness M.C

DEFINITION

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.



For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening Asthma attack.



Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it's important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

SYMPTOMS

Asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person. You may have infrequent Asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.



Asthma signs and symptoms include:



Shortness of breath



Chest tightness or pain



Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.



A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)

Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the Flu.



Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:



Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome.



Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working).



The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma symptoms flare up in certain situations:



Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry

Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, Gases or dust.



Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches or pollen.



See a doctor,

Seek emergency treatment

because severe Asthma attacks can be life-threatening.

Work with your doctor ahead of time to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms worsen — and when you need emergency treatment.



Signs of an asthma emergency include:



Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing

No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol

Shortness of breath when you are doing minimal physical activity

➡️Contact your doctor

See your doctor:



If you think you have asthma. If you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma, see your doctor. Treating asthma early may prevent long-term lung damage and help keep the condition from worsening over time.

To monitor your asthma after diagnosis. If you know you have asthma, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Good long-term control helps you feel better on a daily basis and can prevent a life-threatening Asthma attack.

If your asthma symptoms get worse, contact your doctor right away if your medication doesn't seem to ease your symptoms or if you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often.

Don't try to solve the problem by taking more medication without consulting your doctor.

Overusing asthma medication can cause side effects and may make your asthma worse.



To review your treatment. Asthma often changes over time. Meet with your doctor on a regular basis to discuss your symptoms and make any needed treatment adjustments.

CAUSES

It isn't clear why some people get asthma and others don't, but it's probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors.



Asthma triggers

Exposure to various substances that trigger.

Allergies (allergens) and irritants can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma.



Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:



Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mite.



Respiratory infections, such as the Common cold.



Physical activity (Exercise-induced asthma)

Cold air.



Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke

Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve.



Strong emotions and stress

Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine.



Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat

Menstrual cycle in some women.



RISK FACTORS

A number of factors are thought to increase your chances of developing asthma. These include:



Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with asthma.



Having another allergic condition, such as atopic Dermatitis or allergic Rhinitis (Hay fever).



Being overweight.



Being a smoker.



Exposure to secondhand smoke.



Having a mother who smoked while pregnant.



Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution.



Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing.



Exposure to allergens, exposure to certain germs or parasites, and having some types of bacterial or viral infections also may be risk factors.

However, more research is needed to determine what role they may play in developing asthma.



COMPLICATIONS

Asthma complications include:



Symptoms that interfere with sleep, work or recreational activities

Sick days from work or school during asthma flare-ups

Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes (airway remodeling) that affects how well you can breathe

Emergency room visits and hospitalizations for severe Asthma attacks

Side effects from long-term use of some medications used to stabilize severe asthma

Proper treatment makes a big difference in preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma.



PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

You're likely to start by visiting our hospital at 151 Shibiri road opposite council, Ajangbadi OjO Lagos.



However, when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to an allergist or a pulmonologist.



Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared.



For asthma, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:



Is asthma the most likely cause of my breathing problems?

Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?

What kinds of tests do I need?

Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?

What's the best treatment?

What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?

I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?

Should I see a specialist?

Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?

Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your visit you our hospital.



Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions.



Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on.



YOUR DOCTOR MAY ASK YOU:



What exactly are your symptoms?



When did you first notice your symptoms?



How severe are your symptoms?



Do you have breathing problems most of the time or only at certain times or in certain situations?



Do you have Allergies, such as atopic Dermatitis or Hay fever?



What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?



Do Allergies or asthma run in your family?



Do you have any chronic health problems?



Bottom line: Asthma doesn't have to be a limiting condition. The best way to overcome anxiety and a feeling of helplessness is to understand your condition and take control of your treatment.



BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY AND GET HELP

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