Do you suffer from asthma? Do you know someone who does? How has it affected their life? I am lucky that I don’t have asthma, however I have friends that do and I know it can be a small irritation to a major concern. Welcome to my 3 part series about Asthma and Allergies. Part 2 and 3 coming in the next couple of days. So stay tuned.
According to kidswithasthama.com.au
1 in out of every 8 or 9 Australian children have asthma.
“Most children with asthma have symptoms only occasionally – isolated episodes lasting a few days, with no symptoms for about two months or more between episodes”.
So What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. Symptoms include: coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.
Kids who have asthma might have the following symptoms:
- Not eat or drink as much
- Have tummy ache and have episodes of vomiting
- Cry more
- Get puffed out more than usual while playing, running or participating in sports.
- Become tired quickly
Below is a great video from the NHS Choices. The video has detailed diagrams.
What are your treatment options if you suffer from asthma? Do they vary if you only have a mild case compared to a severe form of the disease? Depending on how bad the attack is, you might need different treatments, tg.com.au have a great breakdown on what to do in these different cases.
Medicines for Asthma:
- Relievers – Otherwise known as a puffer. A puffer can be purchased from a chemist without a prescription.
- Preventers – This medicine is for adolescents and adults. It is a medicine that has a low dose of corticosteroid. Preventers reduces inflammation in the airways and can reduce risk of an asthma attack.
Need a good overview of Asthama & COPD Medicines, the National Asthma Organisation has it sorted.
Did you know?
“Asthma symptoms after physical activity are common but can be prevented. The symptoms are usually worst 5 to 10 minutes after stopping exercise, not during the exercise.” (Asthma Handbook)
Download your Asthma Handbook from the National Asthma Organisation. This fabulous guide is packed with info that you will need to know if you or your child has asthma.
How Asthma Impacts Your Lifestyle
Do you think having asthma has impacted your lifestyle? Do you not do things for fear you might have an attack?
“Global rates of asthma have increased significantly between the 1960s and 2008 with it being recognized as a major public health problem since the 1970s. Rates of asthma have plateaued in the developed world since the mid-1990s with recent increases primarily in the developing world. Asthma affects approximately 7% of the population of the United States and 5% of people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have rates of about 14–15%” (Wikipedia)
Disability-adjusted life year for asthma per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.
Getting Educated About Asthma
If you or a family member has asthma it is a good idea to know how to help them in case of an emergency. You will need to know the following:
- What medicine the person is using
- Create an action plan
- Learn what triggers your asthma
- Lifestyle modification – ie. avoid passive smoke, don’t get exposed to certain pollens and so on.
Learn as much as you can about what makes you feel better. Is it diet? Exercise? Living in a warmer climate or cooler one? Do what works for you.
One thing to make sure to do, is to let people know that you suffer from asthma. The more people know the better things will be. Why you ask? Well, if you do have an episode others will know what the issue is and help you when you cannot help yourself. If you did not tell them, they would have no idea.
Another Fact About Asthma
“Asthma and allergies are closely linked. Most people with asthma have allergic asthma” (Asthma Handbook)
What to do in an Emergency
Taken from the National Asthma Council Australia
- Severe breathing problems
- Symptoms get worse
- Reliever has little or no effect
- Difficulty saying sentences
- Blue lips
Call an ambulance (dial 000) and start asthma first aid
How do you cope with your asthma? Do you find that you go a while without an issue and then say stress or something else sets it off? Let us know? Do your friends or family have a plan just in case there is an emergency? Send in your comments.
Disclaimer: I am entering the Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards.I aim to create more awareness about asthma and allergies. In the process it would be nice to win the prize but just to be in it will be achievement enough.