Asthma

Symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistle or wheezing noise when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks worsened by a virus such as a respiratory cold or flu

Risk Factors:

  • having a blood relative with asthma
  • having another allergic condition
  • being overweight
  • being a smoker or being around smoke
  • exposure to exhaust fumes or pollution
  • low birth weight

Triggers:

  • airborne allergens; pollen, dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites
  • allergic reactions to foods
  • respiratory infections
  • physical over exertion
  • cold air
  • air pollutants
  • medications such as beta blockers and aspirin
  • stress and anxiety
  • acid reflux

Treatments & Medications:

Remember that prevention is key to avoiding asthma attacks but below are medications of varying degrees to help calm down and stop an attack:

  • Long-term asthma control medications
  • inhaled corticosteroids
  • leukotriene modifiers
  • long-acting beta agonists
  • combination inhalers
  • theophylline
  • Quick-relief medications
  • short-acting beta agonists
  • ipratropium
  • oral and intravenous corticosteroids
  • Allergy medications
  • allergy shots
  • omalizumab
  • Bronchial Thermoplasty

All medications and treatment options should be talked about first with a primary care physician seeing as some options may not be appropriate for all.

Lifestyle & Home Remedies:

  • Use of an air conditioner can actually reduce the chances of an attack. The AC will reduce the airborne pollens from coming inside. Another perk of this is the reduction of humidity which greatly decreases the number of dust mites. Using a dehumidifier also helps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, thus cutting dust mite numbers
  • Clean regularly and limit house décor. By having fewer surfaces and keeping the remaining ones dust free as much as possible, dust getting kicked up is less likely
  • Keep areas such as the bathrooms and kitchens dry to avoid the development of mold
  • Avoid pets with fur or feathers to keep dander down to a minimum or have the pets groomed regularly
  • Get regular exercise to increase the strength and productivity of the heart and lungs
  • Wear a mask or avoid cold weather to make sure that the air taken in is warm
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Eat fruits and vegetables to increase lung function and boost the immune system