Approximately 26 million Americans have been diagnosed with Asthma equating to about 1 in every 13 people. It isn’t certain what causes Asthma, although there is evidence to suggest that it could be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Attacks can be triggered by a variety of things including allergens, respiratory infections, physical activity, cold air, smoke, strong emotions and gastroesophageal reflux. Advice on managing Asthma can be obtained from a doctor or from your local pharmacy.
What is Asthma?
Asthma causes the airways to swell and become narrow. Extra mucus is also produced. This can make it difficult to breathe, and sufferers will often experience wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. The severity of the condition can vary from one person to the next. For some, it is merely a minor inconvenience that disturbs day to day activities, but for others, it is a life-threatening illness. There is no cure for Asthma, but it is possible to control the symptoms. If you have Asthma and need help or advice with managing the symptoms, you can speak with your local pharmacy.
Symptoms can vary and may even change over time, so it is important to be vigilant and to discuss any changes with your doctors. The most common Asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Difficulty Sleeping Due to Breathlessness
Interesting Asthma Facts
There are lots of misconceptions out there surrounding asthma, but here are a few proven facts you may not know:
- Asthma attacks can be triggered by strong emotions such as anger, stress, and fear which make us breathe faster. Yelling, laughing and crying can also be triggers.
- Asthma and allergies often go hand in hand. Around 60% of asthma sufferers experience attacks when allergies to dust, pollen or pet dander are irritated.
- Quick-Relief Inhalers can help during an asthma attack but is not a preventative measure. Patients suffering 3 or more attacks per week may need additional medication to control flares.
- While exercise may trigger asthma attacks, it can also help strengthen breathing muscles. Talk to a doctor to plan appropriate workouts.
Managing Asthma Effectively
As previously noted, there is no cure for Asthma, but with the help of doctors and your local pharmacy, the symptoms can be managed effectively. Aside from prescription medication and inhalers, there are also many lifestyle changes that can be made to lessen the frequency and severity of Asthma attacks. A great starting place is to get vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia as these infections can cause flare-ups. It is also essential to identify and monitor Asthma triggers. These can be different for everyone, but will commonly include pollen, air pollution, mold, dust, smoke and pet dander. Once identified, you can take steps to avoid these triggers wherever possible. Asthma sufferers should also learn to monitor their breathing patterns as this will allow them to pinpoint the early warning signs of an attack. Speak with your local pharmacy for advice on tracking this.
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Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!