Saturday, February 25, 2012

What to believe and not to: Asthma Myths

Asthma is not just a simple illness associated with difficulty in breathing. It has no cure but it can be treated and attacks can be prevented as well as managed. Even the most exact factors that cause it are still unidentified.  Based on health records, several asthmatics have risked their lives because they were not able to handle the illness when it attacked. There are times that it occurs frequently while there are also times that it only comes once or twice a year, depending on the person’s activity.

Thus, it is significant to grasp and comprehend the changes taking place in asthma including how the person feels and behave during asthma attacks.

Due to unidentified cause of this illness there are several facts and myths about it. Here are some:

First, a person with asthma is triggering the illness in order to get everyone’s attention. In short, it’s just “all in the mind.” This is definitely false.  One cannot really fake and act as if they are having asthma attack. However, emotional conditions can provoke it. They are named as globus hystericus, factious asthma and spastic dysphonia.

Second, asthma will later be outgrown by the person. This is false, too. According to statistics, 50 percent of children with this illness were not able to experience it during their teenage life. Yet, asthma may still be active and occur during adulthood.

Lastly, asthma runs in the blood. If the family has history of the illness the next generation could likely acquire it. This is true. There is 70 percent probability that the child may acquire asthma if both of the parents have it while 30 percent chance if one of the parents only. There is 6 percent probability of acquiring the illness if none of the parent has it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How is Asthma Controlled?

For many years, a huge variety of asthma medications have been formulated by scientists and prescribed by doctors. In fact, many parents have tried using different asthma treatments for their kids. And although we know that asthma is a long-term disease which cannot be cured, the aim of these different treatments is to control the disease.

Basically, the asthma medications are classified into two: Controller Asthma medicines and Quick Relief Asthma medicines. At the very first instance of an asthma symptom, the controller medicine should be administered to prevent making it worse. Examples of controllers are Inhaled corticosteroids ( Flovent HFA, Aerobid, Asmanex,  Pulmicort), Theophylline, Advair, Leukotriene receptor antagonists (Zyflo, Singulair,and Accolate), Long-acting beta2 agonists, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory controller , and Xolair injections for those with allergic asthma.

Quick Relief Asthma Medicines are those that provide instant relief during an asthma attack. When a child has asthma symptoms, they are commonly given a nebulizer or an inhaler. Other asthma medicines include Terbutaline, Levaluterol, Albuterol, Pirbuterol, and Atrovent. Oral asteroids can be taken as an asthma treatment. Older kids can swallow pills while younger ones can take syrups.

To make it easier for parents to understand which medication should be given to their child in different situations, an asthma action plan should be utilized. If you do not have this plan yet, you may consider asking a doctor or Pediatric Pulmonologist to learn how to manage asthma and educate yourselves more.

Learning how to control asthma will help prevent chronic symptoms, reduce the need for quick relief medicines, help maintain good lung function, and of course, lets you maintain normal activity and sleep soundly during the night.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Find out the cause of your Asthma

I guess we’re all familiar with how asthma attacks. People feel shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. People may have experience these attacks everyday. Treatment for the disease is readily available at the counter or prescribed by the doctor. But what we ought to know is what causes asthma? Here is one sure thing, the causes of asthma symptoms vary from different people.

One thing consistent when asthma is triggered is that the airways become inflamed, narrowed, and filled with mucus. The resistance of airways increases which makes it difficult to breathe.

Despite the uncertainty of asthma causes, one can figure out how it is triggered and can avoid attacks to himself, friend, or a loved one.   For some people, allergies play a big role in their asthma. And this can be traced in their family history. Allergies form a strong genetic component for asthma, thus, this is called allergic asthma. One should be aware what causes his or her allergies to reduce the severity of its attacks.
In a research, eighty percent of people who have asthma have allergies brought about by substances found in grass, animal dander, dust mites, weed pollens, and cockroach particles. Already figured out what causes your allergy? Here are some of the most common allergies in food and food additives:
  •         Peanuts
  •      Fish
  •        Shrimp and other shellfish
  •         Egg
  •     Cow’s milk
  •         Salads and other fruits

Some food additives like sodium metabisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium sulphite and sodium bisulfite which are commonly used in food processing also causes allergic asthma.

Other asthmas are caused by environmental pollution. As early as the warning symptoms of asthma, medication should be taken as described in asthma action plan.