In recent times, a lot of illnesses have plagued multitudes leading to death due to ignorance and carelessness. Of these lot of ailments, asthma has managed to stand out on its own as a respiratory disease that can be treated but if not correctly, there is a high risk of death.
So, what exactly is asthma? Asthma is a condition in which the airways are made narrower, constricted by swellings and clogged by the production of extra mucus which leads to difficulty in breathing, short breaths and wheezing.
Asthma, like any other plaguing illness today, can be minor and just suppressed to the barest minimum by available treatment and can also be a major hindrance in lives, as it disturbs the normal way of life of the individual as little triggers can quickly escalate and without immediate suppressants could lead to other respiratory problems.
Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma can commonly be recognized in any person using some re-occurring symptoms. These symptoms vary from one asthma patient to the other and from one asthma attack to the other, as asthma attacks range from intermittent to mild and persistent to moderate and persistent to severe and persistent.
The mild and moderate may last for a few hours and may be without symptoms as they just occur during daily activities, severe asthma attacks, on the other hand, must be medically supervised to avoid further escalations, some of these symptoms are –
- Frequent coughing, especially at night when it is a mild or moderate asthma attack but when it is a severe asthma attack it is persistent severe coughing or wheezing in both inhaling and exhaling, which will eventually cause the throat to be sore considering other infections it could cause.
- Weakness during any physical activity, including exercise as a moderate or mild symptom of asthma. This could also be an early sign of severe asthma attacks to come, so be better prepared!
- Shortness of breath, which makes the patient try to rapidly breathe to allow more air into his or her lungs.
- Tight chest, asthma patients feel their chests being tense, locked even, some would explain, so to relieve their inflamed airways they take very deep breaths, try to not talk much as they need to breathe.
- Blue lips and fingertips – this is the stage that should prompt you to the hospital for aggressive asthma action plans, a stage called cyanosis, where there is little or no oxygen in the blood, the lungs keeps getting tightened and eventually death.
No asthma attack should be left to get to the cyanosis stage, if you have no knowledge of what to do when it’s become severe, seek medical assistance immediately before it gets this serious.
Different Types of Asthma
There are different types of asthma which were all recently classified to explain the actual cause of asthma for every individual experiencing it, the disease is diagnosed based on
- Physical examination of the airways
- Past attacks and medical treatments
- Frequency of attacks
- Symptoms experienced before an attack
Nonetheless, all the types of asthma involve blockage of the airways and may have overlapping symptoms – presently identified are six types of asthma
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Work-induced asthma
- Obesity-induced asthma
- Aspirin-induced asthma
- Cough-induce asthma
- Night-induced asthma
Cause and Triggers of Asthma in Adults and Children
Asthma is caused by an irregular airway. Asthma shows itself as an inflamed airway, often blocked by mucus. Asthma conditions are triggered by a number of factors in both adults and children, some of these factors include: Pollen from trees or weeds, dander from animals, dusts mites, irritants such as perfumes or smoke, illnesses such as the flu.
Asthma also affects children of various ages also with similar causes including; infections, allergens, weather, irritants, to mention a few. Quick-relief medications are administered to the patients using inhalers.
An asthma inhaler or a puffer is a medical device used in giving medication into the body via the lungs, it is mainly used in the treatment of asthma and in chronic pulmonary obstruction. There are several types of asthma inhalers, these include;
- Metered-dose inhalers(MDI), which is the most common type of inhalers. On activation, it releases a fixed dose of medication in aerosol form.
- Dry powder inhalers(DPI) release a metered or device measured dose of powdered medication that is inhaled through a DPI device.
- Nasal inhalers.
- A type of inhaler to be used for asthma cases is the Ventolin Asthma Evohaler. It contains an ingredient called salbutamol sulfate which belongs to a group of medicines called fast-acting bronchodilators that make it easier for air to move in and out of the lungs.
Steps to Use an Asthma Inhaler
Asthma conditions require a state of calm for the patients involved as to not aggravate the escalation of the attack whether mild, moderate or severe and use prescribed medications. The following steps will help you use an asthma inhaler effectively.
- Using an MDI Correctly: Take the cap of the inhaler off and hold it up straight. Make sure to shake the inhaler properly. Tilt your head back a little, exhale. Use a hollow, plastic chamber – a spacer, to filter the medicine between the inhaler and your mouth to prevent throat irritation, also, the spacer should be an instruction from your medical personnel.
Press down on the inhaler and start breathing in slowly for 3-5 seconds. Hold your breath for 10seconds to allow the medicine to get properly absorbed by your lungs. Repeat puffs as prescribed with a one-minute interval between puffs to allow for better absorption. This method is only applicable when MDI’s are in use.
- Using a DPI Correctly: Close your mouth tightly around the mouthpiece. Take quick breaths. This is only applicable to DPIs. Ask your doctor for further assistance.
- Using a Ventolin Asthma Evohaler Correctly: Firstly, you will need to stand or sit up straight. Next, shake the inhaler 4-5 times. Breathe out completely then tightly shut your mouth around the mouthpiece of the inhaler.
Push the canister pump while taking a deep slow breath through your mouth. Hold your breath as long as possible to allow proper absorption. Repeat as needed after waiting 30 seconds. This method is only applicable to Ventolin asthma evohaler, do not take more than 8 puffs in a 24-hour period.
It is necessary to know that asthma cannot be cured but is quite preventable if and only if you effectively track the signs and symptoms peculiar to you, your trigger(s), of course with the aid of medical personnel, then the proper treatment can be prescribed.