The underlying problem in an asthma attack is an inflammation of
the lining of the airways, leading to spasms in the surrounding
muscles, together with the production of excess mucus. One or
more triggers can provoke such an attack, but what precisely are
these triggers? There is no all-inclusive list which embraces
these factors, simply because each individual is affected
differently, but some are definitely more common than others.
For instance, cold air will certainly not help, nor for that
matter will exposure to polluted air, such as tobacco smoke.
There are also certain similarities with hay fever triggers, e.g.
grass pollen - especially if in the vicinity of a freshly mown
lawn. In addition the indoor environment has had an affect on
the development of the condition; with homes these days tending
to be warmer and consequently, more appealing for cohabitation by
dust mites - a real enemy of asthma sufferers. It’s not all doom
and gloom though, as people become better acquainted with the
condition, self management and medication is now a good deal
easier. Many carry a peak flow meter, which can determine
whether an attack is imminent. For children with asthma, taking
such control of their illness not only decreases its symptoms,
but also promotes feelings of self-confidence. The usual method
of controlling asthma involves the use of inhalers. There are
quite a range of these, so it is important to select the right
one for each individual. In the main they will be either
relievers or presenters. The reliever medicines tend to be put
in blue or grey devices. If you only have symptoms every so
often, then the occasional use of this type of inhaler may be all
that you need. The preventer version is taken every day to
prevent symptoms from developing and tend to be either a brown,
orange, or red appliance. The medicines commonly used in these
are steroids and whilst it can take up to a fortnight for them to
build up to their full effect; after a couple of months use, they
may be needed far less, if indeed at all!
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Mick Burrows writes for www.asthma-any-question.com
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