What is it?
Asthma is a condition in which your airways have a tendancy to swell up and produce extra mucous. When they do this breathing becomes difficult.
How do I recognise it?
Most patients will complain of some/all of these:
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu
We can't say why some people get Asthma and others don't, but it's probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors.
Exposure to different allergens and irritants can trigger signs and symptoms of Asthma, including:
- Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites
- 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 and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Strong emotions and stress
- Sulfites, preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat
- Menstrual cycle in some women
- Allergic reactions to some foods, such as peanuts or shellfish
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Asthma make an appointment at Lynch's Pharmacy, Douglas, Cork on 021-4366923.
Learn all about the drugs used to treat the disease and any complementary medicines or therapies proven to help. Equip yourself with the tools to manage the condition and not be managed by it.
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
We give you all the pertinant information available to make your life easier that allows you to live with your condition, and have a better quality of life.
Asthma, a comprehensive overview- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/DS00021/DSECTION=symptoms
Asthma, information for patients http://www.cks.nhs.uk/patient_information_leaflet/asthma#-460324