http://www.facebook.com/jhmwau John Harun Mwau: Identifying and avoiding triggers of asthma
Things that set off or worsen your asthma are called triggers. Identifying and avoiding triggers is an important part of asthma treatment and can lead to significant improvements in your asthma. Triggers can include:
• Allergens such as dust and molds
• Cold air
• Respiratory infections
• Irritants such as tobacco smoke
• Medications like aspirin
• Emotional stress
Once you've identified your asthma triggers, there are several options:
• Avoid the trigger entirely -- a great thought and goal for your asthma treatment, but not always achievable.
• If avoiding the trigger completely is not possible (like your favorite furry pet), limit your exposure (keep your pet outside).
• If exposure to the trigger can be predicted (like exercise), talk with your healthcare provider about treatments that might be taken before exposure to the trigger.
• Immunotherapy or allergy shots -- If you live in a community with high pollen counts, all of the above may be extremely difficult and allergy shots may significantly decrease your response to the trigger.
Asthma Treatment: Medications
Your asthma treatment will be based on how frequently you experience symptoms. Most physicians follow guidelines from the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.
Generally, asthma medications that are part of your asthma treatment either provide quick relief and long-term control.
Bronchodilators: Short-acting bronchodilators (SABA) like Albuterol provide quick relief asthma treatment by relaxing the smooth muscles in the narrowed airways. SABAs are generally inhaled using a device called a metered dose inhaler. In patients who require SABA use only once or twice per week, this may be the only medication needed. Side affects that you may notice after using a SABA include:
• Feeling shaky
• Rapid heart rate
• Anxiousness a
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