diagnosis and treatment of Asthma.Asthma is a chronic lung condition where increased mucus, inflammation and muscle tightening cause the lung airways to narrow and hence make breathing difficult. It can also make some physical activities problematic or even impossible.
Asthma vs. COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are mostly mistaken for one another.
They appear to have the same symptoms of coughing, wheezing and difficulty in breathing but the two are quite not similar.
COPD is a term used to categorize a group of progressive respiratory diseases that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
These diseases cause condensed airflow due to inflammation in the airways. The conditions can get to worse with time.
Asthma takes place at any age more so in childhood but COPD is mostly found in people who are at least at the age of 45 during diagnosis time.
Over 40% trusted source of people with COPD has asthma and the threat of having both increases with age.
It is yet not known what really causes asthma apart from inheritance but asthma is often caused by triggers like smell or physical activity. These causes can lead to breathing problems and even making them to get worse.
COPD is mostly caused by smoking and it’s a fact that smoking accounts to 9 out of 10 COPD –related deaths trusted source. The aim of treating both asthma and COPD is to reduce symptoms so you can carry on with life actively.
Causes of Asthma
The cause of asthma is not well known but it can be inherited in a way. Every person’s lungs re sensitive to various things like air pollution or chemicals and thus people with asthma have lungs that are more sensitive than average.
Processes that cause asthma:
- The inner lining of the airways become inflamed; swell leaving inadequate space for air to pass through.
- The muscles around the airways become tight and close them even more.
- The airways produce mucus in response to the inflammation blocking contracted tubes.
Asthma can as well be caused by allergies. It may be caused by some substances that mainly irritate your lungs. These causes are small protein particles known as allergens. Some individuals are sensitive to more than one cause. These allergies include:
- Animal dander
- Cockroach particles
- Grass, tree, and ragweed pollen
- House dust mites
Some people can acquire asthma through something they swallow instead of breathing. Examples are:
Nuts or shrimp
Preservatives found in some drinks or foods.
A number of people acquire asthma while young but grownups can become asthmatic through exposure to allergens, irritants or industrial sensitizers for a long period of time. People who deal with the products below are at a very great risk.
- Cotton and flax
- Foams and paints
- Grains and cereals
- Insulation and packaging materials
There are also non-allergic irritants that can also cause asthma
- Shouting, laughing so hard and crying
- Pollution and smoke
- Strong smells like perfumes, cleaning products and paint
- Inhaling cold air
- Strong exercise.
Symptoms of asthma
In some children, an itch at the back of the neck is felt before asthma attack. Other people have some cautionary signs that they can learn to identify. These signs include:
Gloomy circles under the eyes
Exhaustion or short temperedness
Change in face color
Asthma varies because there are people that experience asthma symptoms all through but there are those that experience these symptoms only if exposed to causes.
Characteristics of asthma symptoms
- Rigidity of chest
- Falling short of breath
First aid for asthma treatment
If you suspect that someone you know has an asthma attack, make them sit upright and help them to use their life saving inhaler by taking in three to six puffs of medication should help relieve their symptoms.
If the symptoms continues for more than half 20- 30 minutes, do not repeat the first medication and instead seek emergency medical attention. In case you need to use quick-relief medications more often, you should request your doctor about a different type of long-term asthma control.
diagnosis and treatment of Asthma
17 Home Remedies for Asthma
- Clove: Boil 4-5 cloves in a half glass of water then add a spoon of honey. This is a good mixture in curing asthma at home and it should be taken twice a day for effective results.
- Ginger: Make a juice with the same amounts of ginger pomegranate and honey .Take it thrice a day for good results. Ginger is of more benefit to your health and body. Or you can take a tablespoon of ginger juice then mix it with a tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of dried fenugreek seeds. Soak it throughout the night and take it every morning to clean your lungs
- Mustard oil: Take some mustard oil then mix camphor I it. Rub with it all over your chest until you get relief from asthma. Ensure you warm the oil before using it to rub so that your chest feels the heat and relieve faster.
- Figs: Figs are also effective home cure of asthma. Leave some dried fig in water overnight. Eat them in the morning before consuming anything else. Also, drink the fig water for having effective relief from the problem of asthma.
- Black Tea/ Coffee: caffeine found in coffee helps relief asthma. It also clears your air passage and creates way for air to get in and out easily through those passages. If you are not a coffee person, you can choose to use black tea but ensure you do not take in more than 3 cups in a day.
- Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus essential oil can help ease asthma and relief it from the existing one. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a cup of boiling water and take its steam as it will help in opening up the nasal passages and air passages, so that air can get in with ease.
- Honey: Honey is a natural remedy for asthma and the best one. You can take a teaspoon of honey mixed in hot water at least 2-3 times a day or you can also inhale the aroma of honey. You can also mix one teaspoon of honey with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder then have it before retiring to bed.
- Onions: Onions are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and they are verified to be helpful in clearing air passages. If you are suffering from asthma, you should be a more onion consumer either raw, a salad or cooked in vegetables.
- Fruits and Lemons: Fruits, like strawberries, blueberries, papaya, and oranges have shown benefits to asthmatic individuals. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and should be consumed with water and sugar at least once in a day to get a cure from asthma.
- Fish: Consuming fish can be effective in treating the problem of asthma. They make your lungs better and stronger to fight the problem of asthma and treat it quickly and effectively. If you cannot consume fish in cooked form, then you can have an option of taking their oil.
- Gooseberries: Gooseberries are very good for asthma. Crush a few gooseberries and add some honey to them. Consume the mixture and forget about the problem.
- Soup: Take a radish and blend it to obtain a juice from it. Mix it with some honey and lemon juice. Consume it as it will help in clearing up your respiratory tract, which will make breathing easier
- Bitter Gourd: Take out the juice of bitter gourd then add paste of basil and honey to it after that mix it well and it will help in curing asthmatic attacks.
- Herbal Tea: Herbal tea with a dash of lime juice and crushed ginger can also cure asthma. Herbal tea, prepared from licorice root, is an effective treatment for asthma.
- Fennel Seeds: Take fennel seeds daily to get rid of asthmatic attacks.
- Warm Milk: Add an equal quantity of olive oil and honey to a glass of warm milk then drink this milk together with some garlic cloves before you take breakfast. This provides natural asthma relief.
- Parsley Leaf: Parsley leaf is herbal cure for asthma cough. Prepare tea from these leaves and it will relax congestion in the chest and throat.
Treatment and Prevention of Asthma
There is no known cure for asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that can last for long. The main objective of treating asthma is to keep you free from symptoms and this includes being able to participate in in normal activities, eliminating day time and night time symptoms and doing away with absenteeism due to asthma. This target can be met by most people with asthma.
Staying away from causes of asthma is the foremost protection against asthma .Below is a few asthma causes and their prevention.
- Pollen from grass, trees and weeds- keep all ventilation closed and use air conditioners to eliminate pollen
- Dust mites found in pillows, carpets and furniture-Cover your mattresses and pillows, do away with carpets in bedrooms and wash your bedding in hot water and observe humidity of 30 -40%.
- Animal hair and dander-If you have pets, keep them away from bedrooms and furniture.
- Mold- Purchase a dehumidifier to do away with mold and also avoid freshly cut grass.
- Check on your environment- Avoid smoky areas and also stop smoking. Remain indoors when the air outside is polluted and make sure you cover your nose and mouth during cold weather.
- Exercise – use the medicine that you have been prescribed 1 0 – 15 minutes before exercising. Warm up and cool down for 3-5 minutes.
- Eating a healthy diet-Feed on a balanced diet and it can help your overall health.
- Maintaining a healthy weight-Asthma appears to be dreadful to persons with overweight as well as obesity. Managing weight is good for your heart, joints and lungs.
- Managing stress –Stress can be a cause of asthma symptoms and can make stopping asthma to be very difficult.
Even though it is important to manage asthma, it is nearly impossible to do away with them entirely. So medications are mostly required in prevention and treatment of asthma symptoms.
Prevention of asthma
The commonly known asthma prevention medications called corticosteroids which are inhaled by using a puffer or inhaler. They are intended to reduce the swelling in your airways. It can take a week or two for these medications to get the inflammation under control. They do not relieve asthma symptoms immediately but will help curb future symptoms. They control inflammation which is the most cause of asthma.
In case the corticosteroids do not work in controlling the symptoms, your physician may advise you to use a long-acting defibrillator joined with your corticosteroid in a single combined inhaler.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists can be used to help some people control asthma. The treatment works by hindering a chemical from causing inflammation in the lung airways. If your asthma is caused by allergies and the symptoms have not been controlled by the use of corticosteroids your doctor may recommend allergy an inject-able medication known as omalizumab.
In most cases, asthmatic individuals with signs and symptoms of asthma require treatment that offers quick relief. Defibrillators are effective and work faster to make the muscles around the airways to relax and make breathing easier for you. These medications only relieve the symptom but not the main cause. When you use relievers continuously for more than five times a week, you should consult your doctor for some changes in your medications. Preventing asthma can be challenging but there is much that can be done to eliminate or reduce symptoms of asthma.
If you have been prescribed on some medication, make sure you follow the instructions carefully and once you use accordingly, it should regulate the swelling in your airways and decrease your symptoms for asthma for a long time.
Using an inhaler
Asthma medications are usually inhaled and they need a lot of skill for you to use it with ease. These asthma inhalers have to be used well for them to get the desired amount of medication into your lungs.
For you to have the knowledge of using inhalers effectively there can be practice to be done. You can always inquire from your doctor if you are using your inhaler in the right way. If at first you were using a metered-dose inhaler that is a pressurized inhaler, your physician may suggest a spacer device that fits your inhaler to make sure that most of your medication is reaching your lungs. Spacers are also used in easing side effects of inhaled corticosteroids and these spacers are also not needed in dry-powdered devices that are not compelled.
Your doctor can also propose that you may use a peak flow meter as part of your treatment which helps you to know how your lungs are functioning and it indicates how your asthma is controlled. The peak flow meter will also help in observing how your medications are behaving, have an idea of the day you need to change your medications as suggested by your doctor and also know when to get medical attention. To observe your asthma control, you can have a diary of your asthma symptoms.
When to see a doctor
For now, there is no known cure for asthma and so there are a variety of effective treatments that can help in reducing asthma symptoms. Change in lifestyle can as well help in improving your quality of life. If you have not been diagnosed with asthma and you are having symptoms like coughing, wheezing or you are falling short of breath; you should alert your doctor.
Immediately you have been diagnosed with asthma, you should schedule yourself to visiting your doctor at least once or as frequent as possible if you are experiencing continuous symptoms even after treatment. You should ring your doctor once you:
Call your doctor immediately if you:
- Feel weak
- Can’t perform daily activities
- Have a wheeze or cough that is not seizing
It is good for you to educate yourself about your condition and its symptoms .The more you familiarize yourself on them; the more active you can be in improving your lung functions and also how you feel.