Asthma

Asthma

Asthma is about access. Asthma management starts when you access the correct diagnosis to get the best treatment for you – usually an inhaler – which is the one you find yourself reaching for, when it’s harder to breathe during the occasion of an asthma attack.

What is asthma? The NHS says asthma is a common lung condition, affecting people of all ages but often starting in childhood. Can you develop asthma? Even in adulthood, asthma can begin for the first time, too. There is no current cure for asthma but you can access treatments to control symptoms better minimising the impact of this often long-term condition, on daily life. Please note that a severe asthma attack  can be life-threatening.

Access the tools to manage your asthma by booking an appointment for all the tests, scans and diagnostics designed to accurately assess the current condition of your lungs, which Pall Mall can offer you.

Symptoms of Asthma

Main signs of asthma:

  • A whistling sound when breathing (known as wheezing)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathlessness
  • A tight chest (you may feel like a band is tightening around it)
  • Coughing

Asthma symptoms can get temporarily worse occasionally – this is an asthma attack. Asthma attack treatment is usually a reliever inhaler, taken as directed.

What causes Asthma?

Asthma causes? The NHS says the exact cause of asthma is unknown. What is known is that people with asthma have sore or inflamed and ‘sensitive’ airways becoming narrow and blocked with sticky mucus in response to certain triggers within the air we all breathe.

Risk factors increasing your chances of getting asthma include:

  • Having an allergy-related condition like eczema, a food allergy or hay fever –atopic conditions
  • Having a family history of asthma or atopic conditions
  • Having had bronchiolitis – a common childhood lung infection
  • Having had exposure to tobacco smoke as a child
  • Your mother smoking during pregnancy
  • Being born prematurely (before 37 weeks) or with a low birth weight

There is a risk of getting asthma at work (occupational asthma) due to triggers like flour, grain or wood dust, for example.

Other asthma triggers include:

  • Infections – like colds or flu
  • Allergies – pollen, dust mites, animal furs, feathers
  • Smoke fumes, pollution
  • Some medicines – Ibuprofen, aspirin
  • Emotions – like stress, laughter
  • The weather – sudden temperature changes, cold air, wind, thunderstorms, heat, humidity
  • Mould, damp
  • Exercise

The avoidance of asthma triggers, where possible, is key to managing asthma.

Treatments for Asthma

At Pall Mall, we offer tests, scans and diagnostics for lung function so that if an asthma diagnosis is determined you are best placed to create your personal asthma action plan.

Asthma is usually treated with an inhaler. A reliever inhaler is a small, hand-held device which when activated allows you to breathe in medicines to relieve breathing difficulties during an asthma attack.

A preventer inhaler is also about the same size (maybe in a different colour) used daily to prevent your asthma symptoms starting. You may be prescribed both types and sometimes, tablets may also be included.

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