by all, but I would like to add just a few things.... Few triggers and treatments
were listed. Some of the most common triggers are cigarette
smoke, perfumes (such as hairspray
spray), pollens and weather
changes. Many asthmatics also suffer from traditional
allergies, such as allergies to pets or foods
, but an equal number have no apparent underlying
allergies at all. It is especially important to note that perfume
is a trigger, as many people seem to overlook this as a possible cause of discomfort, either for themselves or those around
Asthmatics have many treatment options, depending on the severity of their asthma. Mild cases of asthma are often treated with short acting bronchodilators, such as albuterol (Ventolin). Moderate cases of asthma can be treated with bronchodilators that work for up to 12 hours,
(Serevent) or with corticosteroids, (Q-VAR).Broncho-dilators work to relax the smooth muscles found in the lungs, opening up the bronchial tubes. Corticosteroids work to inhibit inflammation, and decrease mucous within the bronchial passages. It should be noted that cortico-
steroids are very safe when taken in the inhaled form, with few side effects, and little effect on the entire body. When inhaled, they act only in the lungs. For severe cases of asthma, oral steroids are often used in conjunction with bronchodilators. Oral steroids have
deleterious effects on the entire body, so they are used as infrequently as possible.
These medicines come in various forms. The most common form is the MDI, or metered dose inhaler. The metered dose inhaler delivers a set amount of medication with each actuation. It is recommended that anyone with a metered dose inhaler use a spacer. I was recently told that when asthma meds are taken without a spacer, only 20% of the medicine actually reaches the lungs. Another common form of distribution is the nebulizer, a machine that turns the liquid medicine into a fine mist, which is then inhaled
through a mouthpiece or a mask. A newer form of inhaler is the dry-powder disk, a form that I am unfamiliar with at the moment. It contains capsules of dry powder. You puncture the capsule by spinning the disk and then inhale the medicine. Yummy.....
The side effects of bronchodilators usually are mild, but can include heart palpitations, tremors, dizziness, headache and sore throat. The symptoms of overdose include extreme tremors, seizures, and anginal pain. These,
however, are rare. The side effects of corticosteroids include headache, pharyngitis, and yeast infections of the mouth. These infections usually only occur if the person using the medication does not rinse his mouth.
Ptui.... As I do not take oral steroids, I am not very familiar with the side effects, but I do know that they aren't very nice.
If you are having trouble breathing, and use your short-acting bronchodilator, I know it is tempting to use more than you were instructed to. DO NOT DO THIS. I learned this one the hard way. During soccer practice one day, I took oh, let's say, roughly 2-3 times the amount I should have. Well, the next thing I knew, I was having tremors that shook my entire body, and I hyperventilated.
Woke up on the ground. Need I say more? If your meds do not kick in within 20 minutes, seek help. Call your doctor, or go to the emergency room. Don't take unnecessary risks, asthma is a very treatable condition, unless it is ignored.
Hope this helps, but note that I have not listed all the possible treatments or triggers for asthma. If you'd like to research all of them, I suggest Google. Breathe easy, peace.....