At its core, asthma involves inflamed airways in the lungs causing coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. Asthma, however, can be caused by different things for different people. It can be triggered by tobacco smoke, exercise, medications, anxiety, and exposure to cold, dry air. Nonetheless, the most common trigger of asthma is allergies.
Asthma remains to be under-diagnosed and under-treated. Those that continue to suffer without proper diagnosis may find themselves restricted in their daily activities. Don’t let this be you! If your family has a history of allergies or asthma, you should consider meeting with an allergist.
Because asthma is a chronic disease, it requires ongoing management. This treatment enables asthma sufferers to take control of their condition and improve their quality of life. There are two general classes of medications to treat asthma, and may be used in combination. These are quick relief and long-term controller medications.
Quick relief medications are administered by inhalers or nebulizer machines and provide temporary relief of symptoms. These can be used before exercise or at the on-set of symptoms. For those who suffer from asthma frequently, a long-term controller medication should be taken on a daily basis.
Treatments in this category include a leukotriene modifier, or a daily pill to control the immune systems chemicals, and allergy shots that gradually build up one’s tolerance to the allergen.
All in all, there is no cure for asthma at this point. Consult with your physician to determine if such treatments are right for your needs.
Sources: The Mayo Clinic, World Health Organization, and American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology