Published On: Fri, Feb 9th, 2018

How To Live With Asthma

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The cause of asthma isn’t completely understood, but it is one of a group of allergic conditions, including eczema and hay fever, which often occur together.

How To Live With Asthma

Common symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest. It is possible to identify the presence of asthma by using the following checklist. Symptoms are:

-Variable and unpredictable in how severe they are and how long they last.
-Often worse during the night.
-Provoked by triggers, including pollen, dust, feathered or furry animals, exercise, viral infections, chemicals and tobacco smoke.
-Each episode of asthma may last an hour or so, or may persist for days or weeks unless treated.

Getting an Accurate Diagnosis for Asthma

If someone is experiencing symptoms that could be due to asthma, it’s important to get advice from a GP. There’s no simple test for the condition; it is diagnosed by a doctor after examination, and through taking into account how and when symptoms occur.

Tests and investigations that measure the volume and speed of air breathed in and out can be useful to confirm that asthma is present. It is common to be given a medicine used to open up the airways (a bronchodilator), to see if this improves lung function.

Asthma is usually ‘episodic’. There are periods of time when people have asthma symptoms, but in between they are generally well, even for periods of many years. The severity and duration of symptoms vary and are difficult to predict.

Treatment for Asthma and Breathing Problems

The aim of treating chronic asthma is to achieve control of the symptoms, to maintain this control and to prevent asthma. The treatments available are effective in most people, and should enable them to be free from symptoms, and to get on with life with no adverse effects.

A doctor or nurse will tailor asthma treatment according to symptoms and lung function. The key components of good asthma care include:

-Primary care provided by doctors and nurses trained in asthma management
-Weight reduction advice for obese patients with asthma to improve asthma control
-Advice to smokers about the risks to themselves and their children with asthma
-Vaccinations to reduce respiratory infection, such as flu
-A written asthma plan agreed with a doctor or nurse, which provides clear information on the asthma, including medicines, how to tell if symptoms are getting worse, what to do if symptoms do get worse, and what to do in the case of an asthma attack
-For patients admitted to hospital, a carefully planned and supervised discharge as soon as the health condition improves
-An action plan tailored to the individual upon admission to hospital to improve self-management of the asthma.

It is recommended to develop a personal asthma plan with a doctor that makes it clear when to seek medical attention, and when to take reliever medication.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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