Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways. It causes wheezing and can make it hard to breathe. Some triggers include exposure to an allergen or irritant, viruses, exercise, emotional stress, and other factors.
Adult-onset asthma: Asthma can start at any age, but it’s more common in people younger than 40.
Status asthmaticus: These long-lasting asthma attacks don’t go away when you use bronchodilators. They’re a medical emergency that needs treatment right away.
Asthma in children: Symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child. Watch for problems like:
– Coughing often,especially during play, at night, or while laughing. This may be the only symptom.
– Less energy or pausing to catch their breath while they play fast or shallow breathing.
– Saying their chest hurts or feels tight.
– A whistling sound when they breathe in or out.
– Seesaw motions in their chest because of trouble breathing
– Shortness of breath
– Tight neck and chest muscles.
– Weakness or fatigue.
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. You might hear this called exercise-induced asthma. It happens during physical activity, when you breathe in air that’s drier than what’s in your body, and your airways narrow. It can affect people who don’t have asthma, too. You’ll notice symptoms within a few minutes after you start to exercise, and they might last 10 to 15 minutes after you stop.
TYPES OF ASTHMA
Things that trigger allergies, like dust, pollen and pet dander, can also cause asthma attacks.
Nonallergic asthma: This type flares in extreme weather. It could be the heat of summer or the cold of winter. It could also show up when you’re stressed or have a cold.
Occupational asthma: This usually affects people who work around chemical fumes, dust, or other irritating things in the air.
Eosinophilic asthma: This severe form is marked by high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils. It usually affects adults between 35 and 50 years old.
Your asthma symptoms get worse at night.
You have asthma symptoms when you take aspirin, along with a runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, and a cough.
Cough-variant asthma: Unlike with other types, the only symptom of this kind of asthma is a long-term cough.
Asthma Causes and Triggers
When you have asthma, your airways react to things in the world around you. Doctors call these asthma triggers. They might cause symptoms or make them worse. Common asthma triggers include:
– Infections like sinusitis, colds, and the flu
– Allergens such as pollens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites.
– Irritants like strong odors from perfumes or cleaning solutions
– Air pollution
Cold air or changes in the weather, such as temperature or humidity.
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
– Strong emotions such as anxiety, laughter, sadness, or stress.
– Medications such as aspirin.
– Food preservatives called sulfites, found in things like shrimp, pickles, beer and wine, dried fruits, and bottled lemon and lime juices
How You Can Help
Fortunately, however, there are a few simple things that we can do to help someone with asthma, even if they don’t have an inhaler, or they have never had an attack before.
- Keep Them Calm
You should keep calm, and you should try your best to calm the person experiencing an attack down. Speak in calming tones, don’t panic, and reassure them as much as you can.
- Sit Them Upright:
When we’re experiencing unpleasant symptoms, our instinct is to protect and comfort ourselves, and so we might lie down or curl up into a ball. In the case of an asthma attack, these positions can close airways and restrict breathing even more. Help them to get into an upright position for the duration of the attack, offering them physical support to stay there if necessary.