What is asthma?
Asthma is a long-term – chronic – condition that affects the lungs and airways. Whilst there is no cure for asthma, there are certain lifestyle choices and highly effective treatment that can limit breathlessness and significantly remove any discomfort or potential asthma attacks the condition can cause. Asthma is so common - with most developing the condition in childhood - meaning there's a wealth of information regarding asthmatic triggers and how to buy asthma treatment that the vast majority can manage their condition efficiency on a daily basis.
Asthmatics are always advised to have a supply of inhalers on them dependent on whether you need a preventer or reliever, and to carry one – in date – on their person.
The causes of asthma can vary massively from person to person. What might trigger symptoms associated with asthma for you may have no affect on another. There has been a link to hereditary causes so if your parents or grandparents have asthma, you are more likely to develop it at some point. There has also been links to pregnancy and birthing factors as well.
Whatever the underlying cause of the condition for you happens to be, certain situations can trigger breathlessness. These include:
- Pollen (hay fever)
- Smoke (smoking)
- Getting a cold
- Mould and bacteria
- Fumes and gasses
- Any other allergies (e.g. animals)
If you are unsure what triggers asthma, it is recommended that you adjust certain lifestyle choices and make a note of what can improve the condition for you.
As with causes and triggers, symptoms can also vary amongst asthmatics.
- Sore throat
- Tightness in the chest
When experiencing an asthma attack, these symptoms will become more severe and include light-headedness, as there is a struggle to get enough air to feel your lungs.
By altering triggers, you could remove any symptoms of asthma completely. This could be adjusting your exercise regime to avoid less strenuous activities, quitting smoking or buying inhalers and allergy treatment.
For some with manageable asthma symptoms, you may not need continuous treatment, however it is always advised to carry the most effective inhaler for you around just in case of emergencies. Asthma inhalers also have a shelf life, so checking the expiry date periodically is also common practice.
If you have light asthmatic symptoms, reliever inhalers will be recommended. These are ideal for short-term use when you experience wheeziness unexpectedly.
If you have more severe symptoms, or experience breathlessness on a daily basis, you will be recommended a preventive inhaler treatment that is used daily (once or twice a day) to prevent an attack from occurring and to generally make your life easier.
You can buy both relievers and preventers to use interchangeably when recommended by the doctor.
Treating an asthma attack
When subduing the symptoms of an asthma attack, you can follow simple guidelines to help ease worry and regulate breathing:
- Make sure you are near others or a phone to call if needed
- Sit up straight (don't lie down)
- Use your reliever inhaler one or two times per minute for 5-10 minutes
- Focus on calming your breathing and returning a constant rhythm
- If your symptoms haven't improved, call 999 and continue for a further 15 minutes
As well as avoiding or limiting your contact with any triggers that appear to be making your asthma symptoms worse, there are other ways to help prevent severe symptoms or an attack from occurring:
- Get the flu jab (this is free from the NHS from asthmatics)
- Keeping a supply of in date inhalers
- Allergy-proof your home (fabrics especially bedding)
- Avoiding cigarette smoke or quitting smoking
- Keeping a supply of antihistamines for any allergies
- Avoiding high pollution areas
- Getting GP check-ups intermittently
Regardless of the triggers and severity of your condition, asthma can be managed effectively by altering lifestyle choices and purchasing the correct medication. Whether you require a preventer for daily use or a reliever for emergencies, many asthmatics keep an inhaler handy to ease symptoms and to significantly reduce the chances of an attack. At OnlineClinic, we provide eight different inhalers – for both short-term and long-term use – that are available for free delivery across the UK. If you already have the correct inhaler, you can order straight away, or visit our product pages for more information.