Nobody likes to spend half the night coughing, but for asthmatics this can happen very often. Not only do asthmatics cough they also wheeze. Wheezing is caused by turbulent or chaotic air flow from inflamed airways in the lungs. Add on to this narrowing of these airways from muscle spasm and Houston, we have a problem. It becomes more and more difficult to breathe to the point where a sufferer can suffocate from lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide.
Treatment of asthma involves inhaled medications of two types. Rescue medications such as Albuterol help dilate the airways and work almost immediately. On the other hand, antiinflammatory medications as well as long acting types of Albuterol take some time to work and should be used on a regular schedule, even when there are no symptoms. These medications should not be used like the rescue medications, since they do not act quickly enough.
Other medications help stabilize mast cells or those hyperactive ADD versions of allergy cells. Still other treatments such as Prednisone help cool down the immune system to prevent inflammation of the airways.
Asthma can be environmental-that is to say be caused by something in your daily environment. Perhaps that cute kittie is contributing to your lung problem or maybe you are allergic to milk or to your ultrasoft down pillow. Your doctor can help you determine what role allergies play to common things in your life.
Still others only develop wheezing during heavy exercise, a condition known as exercise induced asthma. No, you most likely can still get out there a run a lap or two-it doesn’t mean permanent couch time. You just need to take a puff or two of your inhaler before starting your exercise.
Not all wheezing is caused by asthma. In young children or those with swallowing problems (such as stroke victims) aspiration of food or other object into the lungs can cause chronic cough and wheezing. Tumors or congenital airway problems can also cause wheezing.
Needless to say, since asthma already affects the lungs, smoking is even more stupid than usual. If you are an asthmatic and smoke, you will make your asthma much worse and might even die.
Asthmatics should see their primary care providers on a regular basis. You should seek emergency care for severe shortness of breath, if you have tried 3 inhaled or nebulized treatments and there is no improvement or are getting weak and confused from your breathing problems. Better to seek care early than to wait until you might need hospitalization.