Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the airways in your lungs making it difficult to breathe in and out properly.
Asthma is oftentimes triggered by things such as cold weather, heavy exercise, or irritants such as pollution, dust, pollen, smoke, pet hair, and dander. Upon being triggered, the insides of your airways swell which narrows the space for air to move in and out of the lungs. In some cases, the muscles that wrap around your airways also can tighten, making breathing even harder. This occurrence is called asthma attack or flare-up. People of all ages can suffer from asthma and there is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled with medicine and lifestyle changes.1
Different types of asthma
See how asthma can occur different in everyone2:
While asthma typically develops during childhood, it can develop during adulthood because of certain chemicals or irritants that could be in your workplace.
When asthma symptoms appear during different times of the year, it can be due to change in weather and triggered by different allergens present in weeds or grass.
Allergic asthma is triggered by allergens such as dust, dust mites, mold, pollen, cockroaches, or pet dander.
Suffering from asthma at night could be because of a delayed response to an allergen you encountered in the day, allergens in your mattress, or various other causes.
Some causes of occupational asthma could include chemicals, enzymes, metals, animal substances, and/or plant substances in your work environment.
You might experience asthma symptoms during strenuous exercise. Suffering from it doesnt mean you shouldnt be active; just be sure you take necessary treatment.
Non allergic asthma can be caused by irritants such as perfume, fresh paint, room deodorizers, smoke, and tobacco smoke.
Another condition that can make breathing difficult is an asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary ddisease overlap.
Asthma fact check
There are lots of wives’ tales and miscommunication about asthma out there in the world today. We want to shed some light on popular myths and beliefs about asthma to provide you with the whole truth.3,4
Myth 1: All children can outgrow asthma.
Fact: Some children will stop having asthma symptoms and it may seem like they have outgrown it. But oftentimes the child has not outgrown asthma, it’s just not active. However, it doesn’t mean symptoms can’t resurface at any time. Some children will have to deal with asthma throughout their adult lives, so the best thing to do is to seek help early on. Be sure you have regular checkups scheduled with your doctor to make sure your child is getting the right medicines. Most importantly, keep a positive attitude.
Myth 2: If you suffer from asthma you should not part take in exercise as it could cause a flare-up.
Fact: Those who suffer from asthma are actually encouraged to live an active lifestyle. Participating in exercise keeps your lungs healthy and can improve lung function.If exercise is an asthma trigger for you, be sure to talk to your doctor about what medication they recommend and best practices to follow to ensure you are safe while performing any physical exercise.
Myth 3: Asthma medication is highly addictive and the more often you use it, the less effective it will become in the future.
Fact: all forms of asthma medication are safe and essential for proper asthma management. Since asthma is a chronic condition, it does require those affected to utilize medication long-term, but the medication itself is not addictive. Additionally, since these medications are intended for long-term use they must continue to be effective for proper management.
Myth 4: Medication used to treat asthma will make you gain weight and cause hormone issues.
Fact: Absolutely not! Your inhaler contains a very low dosage of steroids that it will not make you gain weight or offset your hormones. Certain medications can make you feel hungry as a side effect but do not make you gain weight. So as long as you eat a balanced diet and getting proper physical activity in, you should not see any weight gain.
Myth 5: Asthma can be treated by altering one’s diet and dietary or herbal supplements exclusively.
Fact: Unfortunately, there’s little to no evidence to back the statement above. Diet changes or the addition of dietary supplements may be recommended by your doctor for general health reasons or to supplement in vitamins that are missing from your diet. As always, be sure to notify your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including vitamins and herbal supplements, as there could be potential side effects.
What Treatments Are Available For Asthma?
There are two types of treatment available to those with asthma, fast-acting rescue medication, and long-term medication. Depending on your type of asthma, your medical provider will work with you to create a treatment plan. Let’s take a closer look at what medications are included in each treatment.5,6
Fast-acting rescue medication:
- Short-acting beta-agonists are the first choice for quick relief of asthma symptoms as they quickly relax the muscles lining the airways that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes) within 5 minutes making it easier to breathe. They include albuterol sulfates like Ventolin HFA and levalbuterol like Xopenex HFA.
- Anticholinergics such as ipratropium like Atrovent hfa, lessen mucus in addition to opening your airways.
- Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone (Generic Deltasone) and methylprednisolone (Generic Medrol) lower swelling in your airways.
Preventive long-term medications:
- Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective long-term control medicines. They include the following drugs: budesonide like Pulmicort Flexhaler, fluticasone like Flovent HFA, or a combo product of an inhaled corticosteroid and a bronchodilator such as fluticasone-salmeterol, and mometasone like Asmanex Twisthaler. These drugs reducing inflammation, swelling, and mucus production. As a result, the airways are less inflamed and less likely to react to asthma triggers.
- Inhaled long-acting beta-agonists help open your airways by relaxing the smooth muscles around them making it easier to breathe. These medications might include formoterol.
- Leukotriene modifiers work to relax the smooth muscles around your airways and ease swelling. These medications come in both pill and liquid form. These include montelukast (Generic Singular) and zileuton (Generic Zyflo).
- Cromolyn prevents your airways from swelling when they come into contact with an asthma trigger thus reducing the severity and the number of asthmatic flare-ups.
Don’t let asthma slow you down!
GeniusRx can work with you to offer FDA-approved medications that help you keep your asthma under control with fast and free delivery to your home. Remember, thousands of Americans live totally normal lives with asthma, and you can too!Contact us today or visit our website for more information.