What Should I Know About Asthma?

Adult onset asthma can result in much anxiety.  The person having the asthma attacks may become very fearful and even panic.  It is a very scary thing to be unable to breathe.  One must remember to remain as calm as possible and take appropriate steps to relieve the symptoms. 

According to WebMD, asthma is a combination of two things- inflammation and airway constriction.  Asthma will also result in an increase in mucus production.  This can be an extremely traumatic event for someone who has never had such an experience.  But there are things that can help alleviate the symptoms.

Medications known as bronchodilators are often implemented when treating asthma.  These medications help to reverse bronchospasm, opening the bronchial tubes and resulting in increased air flow.  Healthline discusses some of these medications, how to take them, and precautions to take in using them.

Some individuals will need to take inhaled steroids as well.  The Mayo Clinic website has information on different types of steroids and how they work.  Basically, they reduce inflammation of the airways to reduce the work of breathing.

Always be sure to consult with your doctor before starting or stopping any of these medications.  Some people do have allergic reactions or other adverse effects to these drugs. 

Asthmatics can also do breathing exercises to help alleviate shortness of breath.  Pursed lip breathing is a very good technique that can be used to increase lung volume and make breathing easier.  You Tube has an excellent video you can watch that demonstrates this maneuver.  It is very helpful to asthmatics.

Asthmatics should also use a peak flow meter to keep track of their disease status.  The Mayo Clinic has produced a video explaining how a peak flow meter should be used.  It also explains how to read the meter and when the asthmatic may need to seek additional medical attention.

Friends and relatives of an asthmatic can do much to help the individual suffering from this illness.  The most important thing a person can do in the event someone is having an asthma attack is to remain calm.  Be as supportive as you can.  Retrieve medications for the asthmatic, and help him or her take them if necessary.  Talk in a low, calm voice.  Do not become anxious, irritated, or impatient with the asthmatic.  Remember, they are going through a very scary experience; and they may act out of character.

Armed with this information, anyone can cope with adult onset asthma in a productive, beneficial manner.

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