Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames the airways leading to periodic outbursts of gasping, a stiffness of the chest, coughing and shortness of breath. Most times, the cough occurs early in the morning or during the night because of the highly inflamed airways. Inflamed airways produce more mucus which. Asthmatic patients react to inhaled substances.
Asthmatic patients usually have some warning signs before the symptoms eventually appear. These warning signs may differ from individual to individual. By understanding the early signs of asthma, you can start treatment earlier. This will prevent the serious attack of asthma. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of an asthmatic attack.
- Irregular Breathing – breathing faster than normal, shortness of breath, or difficulty in breathing.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Incessant coughing – coughing may become worse at night or early morning.
- Stiffness of the chest.
- Fatigue or a feeling of abnormal tiredness.
- Gasping for breath
- Scratchy or a sore throat
- Head congestion
Things that can trigger asthmatic attack include:
- Air pollution
- Cold weather
- Lung infections
You need to learn to watch out for the signs and symptoms that your asthma is worsening as well as things to do to stop an asthma attack. It is possible to care for yourself at home during an attack. Nonetheless, if your breathing fails to improve with medicine or treatments, you should contact your doctor as alternative treatments may be necessary.
The severity of your condition determines the type of medication you need to control your asthma. In general, asthma medicines fall into 2 categories:
- The long-term control medicines are taken daily to control the persistence of this lung condition by gradually reducing the inflammation of the airways. This type of medicines prevents swollen airways from occurring. This medicine is put into an inhaler which you breathe.
- Quick-relief medicines are taken to open the airways and to quickly treat symptoms such as a cough, the stiffness of the chest, gasping for breath, and short breath. This type of medicine is known as bronchodilators. Bronchodilators relax muscles which have tightened around the airways. Once these muscles relax, the airways open to help you breathe easily.
However, self-medication should be prohibited because there are stages of asthma conditions that require different types of medication. It is also possible that the patient may be prescribed to take more than a single medication. Oral pill is usually taken with some other medication for asthma. This pill may be combined with an inhaler to minimize the number of attacks suffered by a patient.
Bronchoditator Group of Asthma Medicines
Most doctors prescribe bronchodilators as a type of salvage inhaler which helps to relax the muscles surrounding the airways, making it easier to breathe quickly. Below are group of medicines belonging to the bronchodilator group:
- Terbutaline: A patient who suffers from short breath and gasping for breath can use Terbutaline. This type of bronchodilator opens up the passage of air in the bronchial tubes. 1. 2.
- Fluticasone. This drug is combined with another asthma medicine. Fluticasone works by unclogging the nasal passages and offers relief from gasping for breath.
- Albuterol is a common medication for asthma that is commonly suggested as a bronchodilator. This medicine works like then normal bronchodilator that clears the airways and prevents contractions in the respiratory tubes. The medicine comes in various forms: liquid, pill, or inhaler. One important thing for individuals who suffer from asthma is that they need to inform their doctors if they have other ailments they may be suffering from because most asthma medication can lead to side effects or most cases worsen other conditions.
Bronchodilators have minor side effects. The problem of abnormal or increased heart beat can arise from the improper usage of the recommended dosage.
Oral steroids are usually prescribed for a severe case of asthma. They function by reducing the inflammation in the lungs, along the bronchioles. Due to the number of associated side effects, this type of medication is used for short-term treatment. In few cases, if a patient doesn’t respond to other forms of treatment, these may be prescribed for long-term treatment.
The common side effects of oral steroid medications include the following:
- Itching and/ or irritations
- Severe breathing problems
- Pain in the eye which may impair vision
- Pain or swelling in the lower legs
Asthma inhalers are the most common medicine prescribed by doctors to treat asthma. Asthma inhalers are the small and handy medicine which delivers asthma medication directly into an individual’s airway. While asthma medication can be administered orally or intravenously, inhalers have the least amount of side effects while being the most effective.
When you think of asthma inhaler, you most certainly think of the small aerosol container that you press down to deliver wafts of medicine directly into your mouth. Those are referred to as metered dose inhalers. There is also inhalers in the dry powder form, which require you to breathe the medicine into your airways. Asthma inhalers are generally in two categories: prevention and rescue/relief inhalers.
The rescue or relief inhalers are mostly administered during an asthma attack or can be used prior to coming in a contact with a trigger. The rescue inhalers do not treat the causes of the attack but focus on the symptoms while making it easier to breathe. During an asthma attack, the muscle around the airway stiffens but with the use of the rescue inhalers, the muscle is relaxed, opening up an airway. lt doesn’t affect the inflamed airways, but it will give short term relief.
The prevention inhalers work on the inflammation or swelling of the airways and within the period of seven days to four weeks, depending on the type of medicine, a gradual change and a decrease in the symptoms would be noticed. Steroid prevention inhalers provide positive result while non-steroid ones are less effective and also take a longer time to produce a positive effect. The prevention inhaler should be used based on your doctor’s recommendation and must not be stopped even if you feel better. While there is no cure for asthma, the right medicines can help bring it under control.
A Ventolin or Salbutamol inhaler is the most common drug for handling asthma around the world. Its singular purpose is to relieve an acute asthma attack. It works against the body’s natural defence system and therefore creates addiction; worsening the lung condition in the long term.
Many asthmatic patients believe that taking corticosteroids are much more harmful to their health than the fast-acting relieving inhaler. Therefore, they may skip doses of the preventative drugs and require the rescue inhaler. Corticosteroids administered in the correct dose are less damaging to your health than the rescue/relief drug (Albuterol, Ventolin or Salbutamol).
The side effects associated with inhaled steroid medications are less severe than those associated with oral steroid medications. These medications are often prescribed to manage asthma attack because the side effects are much less common and because of the effectiveness of these medications. The only side associated with this type of medication is oral yeast infections.
Taking medication can make a huge difference in the lives of those suffering from asthma but has some side effects associated with them. Unfortunately, many people stop taking their medication when these side effects occur, which can lead to increased risk of an attack.
Natural Medication for Asthma
Asthma being the most difficult ailments to tackle because of its recurring state is caused by inflamed airways in the lungs which make breathing difficult. With several types of medications available in the market, some individuals are in search of effective natural asthma medications. Although a change in diet change cannot be considered as a natural medication but it does prevent asthma attacks. Adult patients are advised to lessen the intake of meat, eggs and shellfish.
An effective way of treating this chronic lung disease naturally is the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid in the form of supplements. Research have shown that increased consumption of omega 3 fatty acid reduces the inflammation of dangerous acids in the system.
Butterbur is another anti-inflammatory herb highly effective for asthmatics. This is one of the natural treatment which is highly effective. Consuming fresh pineapple in larger amounts also helps asthma patients. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain that lessens inflammation, especially in the lungs -one of the primary organs affected during an attack.
Another herbal plant highly essential for asthmatic patients is Boswellia. The plant is now being made into pills. This herbal plant helps to lessen inflammation like the other two herbal plants.
Stress is one of the most common causes of asthma. It is best to exercise and relax the body and to counter the effect of stress, it is advisable to take yoga classes. Yoga not only helps you relax, but there are training exercises on yoga that can be helpful during an attack. This is one of the most effective and helpful natural asthma medications that a patient can ever undergo.