Get to Know Your Asthma Doctor

If you’ve already done the research or live with an asthma patient, you probably already know that asthma is a debilitating chronic condition that impacts the body – specifically the lungs and their ability to process air flow. With air passages constricted, breathing is labored and also subject to environmental sensitivities. In certain cases, asthma can also be a fatal disease.

Naturally we look to the medical community for help with acute care and in managing chronic asthma. Choosing a good asthma doctor is a necessary first step if management efforts are to succeed.

General Practitioners vs. Asthma Doctors

Whether to stay with your family doctor or pediatrician is a personal decision. Most medical doctors have a good understanding of asthma and asthmatic symptoms. Locating a patient-friendly allergy specialist or even a pulmonologist need not be a big challenge. Your primary doctor can and should assist you in this process.

The main thing is if you have questions – ask them; if you are new to the area ask for a referral or referral list. Resource groups, yellow pages, online search engines can all assist in the process of finding a suitable asthma doctor. Even among asthma doctors there are different specialists and it might take a little time to find the right one for your situation. However, it is well worth the search.

Allergy practitioners are a great resource and are generally very competent in critical areas that impact asthma patients. Their particular niche keeps them abreast of what the current challenges are within a particular area or geographic location. And as they are familiar with environmental complications that asthma sufferers are encountering throughout the year (seasonal allergies, outbreaks of flu, pollen blooms, pollution alerts, etc), they hold a frontline position in the army of asthma doctors and practitioners.

Alternative, Holistic and Naturopathic Approaches

It used to be that if an asthma doctor was called in that was it. However, that is not so these days. A whole team of practitioners can produce very positive effects if working in harmony. Natural methods, adjustments to diet, exercise and lifestyle changes in general are looked at as a good thing now rather than restrictions or limitations on life opportunities.

If we take to heart the idea that the whole world lives on hope, then it also applies here and much is possible where human efforts are concerned. Ask you asthma doctor to come to the place where medicine and hope meet success.

Is Asthma Management Really Possible?

There is always hope – the whole world lives on hope.

Asthma management is a relatively recent term encompassing methods, techniques and modalities used to deal with asthma and asthmatic symptoms. The main idea is to assist those suffering with asthma in carrying on with a normal life, or as normal a life as humans aspire towards.

So much has been written about asthma management already and as more is understood about asthma, the available knowledge base grows. In the United States, the National Asthma Council not only compiles but brings together asthma management resources from multiple sources.

Internet search engines further facilitate access to traditional and alternative asthma management techniques. The world of science has opened up new and promising air function research that looks both forward and backward in time to unlock clues to elusive solutions.

Traditional Treatments

Traditional asthma medications play a significant role in management theory. These consist of inhalers that basically treat air availability issues such as airway constriction or obstruction. Primarily anti-inflammatory, prescription drugs act on the body’s adrenal and epinephrine activators related to muscles. Whether to treat the condition daily or on occurrence is a discussion to have with one’s primary doctor or asthma specialist.

Pediatric considerations play a paramount part and require separate asthma management focus. Since philosophies and guidelines keep changing, it is best to stay abreast of medical advances. Simply put this requires maintaining more than a casual monitoring of events. Rightly so as there is nothing casual about an asthma attack.

Alternative Medicine

Modern asthma management takes alternative therapies seriously. With the recent onset of acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and homeopathy in western society, available options for treatments are more holistic in nature and have flourished.

Each modality has its own strengths and shortcomings but they are worth investigating. Many MD’s are now working these complementary therapies into their treatment regimes for asthma patients. Asthma management has stepped into the 21st century with the addition of ancient remedies.

Action Plan

A discussion would be incomplete without considering the Action Plan – a vital and potentially life-saving element. We are all adding action plans to our lifestyles in preparation for emergencies – floods, hurricanes and other disasters. In the life of one who suffers asthmatic attacks, this is not just for peace of mind. Asthma management means knowing what to do, who to call and which medication to take.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, asthma management is about survival and it’s about working solutions to reach and maintain a normal life. With hope, diligence and determined effort, the asthma sufferer can live and grow, benefiting from the positive approaches modern asthma management offers.

The Available Forms of Asthma Relief

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a serious disease, which is chronic and non-curable, and yet is able to be relieved with the proper forms of medication and other treatment. Asthma can affect anyone, from children to adults, but it especially evident in young children and seniors. The disease of asthma causes asthma attacks which can occur at anytime, and which can take anywhere from minutes to days to occur.

What are the Forms of Asthma Relief That are Available?

There are several different forms of asthma relief that are available today, and the type of asthma relief that you as an asthmatic should take will depend on what your physician has to say. Your physician will decide on the best form of treatment for you, depending on your own personal and particular circumstances, as well as the severity of your asthma condition.

Asthma relief basically consists of any type of drug that provides relief from asthma symptoms, and which is in fact the most common type of asthma medication. These forms of asthma relief are used especially during an attack, when the airways constrict, and these are used in order to help relax the smooth muscle, which in turn helps to open the airways again.

Although these relievers are not necessarily able to prevent asthma attacks, they are helpful in relieving the triggers of asthma as well as helping during attacks. The most common forms of asthma relievers are beta-agonists, which are used to stimulate beta-receptors, and which are able to relax smooth muscle and open the bronchioles.

There are two basic types of beta-agonists, which are: short-acting and long-acting. The short-acting forms are used to help overcome attacks, and the long-acting forms work by keeping the airways open for several hours, and these are typically taken regularly even if asthma symptoms are not present in the patient. Some of the most popular medications in these regards are: Salbutamol, Bitoterol, Ephedrine, Epinephrine, Fenoterol, Formoterol, Isoetharine, Isoproterenol, Orciprenaline, Pirbuterol, Procaterol, Salmeterol, and Terbutaline.

The specific type of reliever that is best for you will be prescribed by your doctor, and the matter of whether you have any allergies, for instance, will need to be taken into account in regards to the final decision of what type of medication you should take. There is also the matter of how frequently you will be able to take the medication, as some require a daily dose while others are more infrequent.

What Do You Understand By Chronic Asthma?

Asthma is a very painful disease. Some reports show that almost a third of all asthma cases today are due to pollution. There are two main stages of asthma – one is the hyperactive response and the second is the inflammatory response. In the first stage, the airway constricts and creates a choking sensation following an allergen or trigger for asthma. In the second stage, the immune system of the body reacts to form thick mucus and swelling of the airways. As a result, there is pronounced distress to the patient.

Chronic Asthma vs. Normal Asthma

Chronic asthma is the asthma that responds only temporarily to treatment. What happens when an asthma attacks occurs? Let us suppose that a person inhales some irritant all of a sudden. The reaction of a healthy body comes in two stages – one, the airway immediately constricts to prevent the irritant getting too deep in the lungs. In the second stage, the airway relaxes so the irritant can be expelled effectively.

In an asthmatic person, the first stage is the same as in the healthy person. In the second stage however, the airway instead of relaxing to expel, suddenly constricts further provoking acute breathlessness and respiratory distress. In ordinary asthma, an inhaler would immediately give relief. However, in chromic asthma, it would take continuous and prolonged intervention before one gets slight relief. In this case, it is very easy for the patient to become serious even at the slightest stimuli.

Some of the triggers/ stimuli that can trigger an attack in patients of chronic asthma are, dust, pollen, exercise, cold air, stress, sudden emotion, sudden scare and so on. It is very difficult to control chronic asthma as compared to the normal asthma. The treatment of the ordinary asthma is relatively easy and relief is fast. On the other hand, patients suffering from chronic asthma will find it very difficult to stabilize once the attack commences. Hence, the best policy here would be to prevent attacks by carefully identifying all the allergens that may trigger an attack and avoiding them at all costs.

It is advisable for these patients to wear a tag with instructions of what can be done if an attack renders them helpless. The card should also have the phone numbers of someone who could be contacted in such a case, and/ or the hospital where the patinet’s doctor practices.

What you Should Know About an Asthma Attack

An asthma attack is a very serious thing, although it is incredibly misunderstood, and many asthmatics don’t even know much about an asthma attack, which is actually an incredibly dangerous factor.

What Happens During an Asthma Attack?

Wheezing is what usually happens at the start of an asthma attack, and if after the asthma attack progresses further, the wheezing stops, then this usually indicates that many bronchioles have become completely blocked, and this is an incredibly serious condition and must be taken into note. However, it should also be taken into consideration that not all asthmatics wheeze, and therefore not everyone will wheeze before having an asthma attack.

Symptoms of an asthma attack include that of the following: severe wheezing when breathing in and out, coughing that won’t stop, very rapid breathing, chest pain or pressure, tightened neck and chest muscles, difficulty talking, feelings of anxiety or panic, pale and sweaty face, blue lips or fingernails, and worsening symptoms despite the use of the proper medications.

It is incredibly important to treat an asthma attack properly, as without immediate treatment, breathing will become more labored, and the wheezing will also get worse. As well, as the lungs continue to tighten up, it will become harder and harder to breathe, and gradually, the lungs will tighten so much that there will not be enough air movement to even produce wheezing.

If one does not receive immediate and adequate treatment during an attack, they will eventually be unable to speak and will also develop a bluish color due to this. The changing in color of the skin basically means that you have less and less oxygen in your blood, and without immediate and incredibly aggressive treatment you will lose consciousness and eventually could die.

The best way to determine when an attack is coming on is by learning about and understanding the warning signs, such as: frequent cough, especially at night; reduced peak flow meter readings; losing your breath easily or shortness of breath; feeling very tired or weak while exercising or completing other forms of physical activity; wheezing or coughing after exercise; feeling tired, moody, or grouchy; trouble sleeping; and signs of a cold or allergies, which includes anything from a runny nose and cough to nasal congestion and a sore throat. It is incredibly important to take these early warning signs into consideration, as recognizing these signs before the attack actually happens will obviously save you in the end.

Natural Asthma Treatment: Identify The Causes

Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes the airways to constrict, cutting off the ability to breathe. Most people who have asthma have to refrain from certain activities and locations because there are certain triggers that set off an asthma attack. Of course, there are medicines people can take. Usually, these medicines come in the form of inhalers that a person uses when they feel the onset of an asthma attack. However, these medicines can be expensive if you don’t have insurance. Therefore, more and more sufferers of asthma are researching natural asthma treatments.

Stay Away From Those Triggers

The best natural asthma treatment is to stay away from the triggers that bring on attacks. These triggers, or causes of asthma, include smoking, certain plants and fungi, extremes in hot or cold air as well as many others. It all depends on the severity of the person’s asthma but staying away from the causes of asthma is the best natural asthma treatment.

If smoking tends to trigger an asthma attack, you’ll want to refrain from smoking, of course, but you’ll also want to refrain from breathing in second hand smoke. If a person you live with smokes, ask them to do it outside or in a separate room with plenty of ventilation. If extremes in temperature, such as cold air, bring about an attack, you’ll want to refrain from cold air activities, such as skiing or sledding. The natural asthma treatment of staying away from activities and locations that bring upon attacks may take some getting used to but it’s worth it when you consider your health, and possibly your life, is at risk. You likely know what thing bring an attack on and refraining from those things can save your life.

Lead A Long, Normal Life

People who suffer from asthma can lead long, normal lives. They should follow the natural asthma treatment, however, of refraining from the things that cause their asthma attacks. If the asthma is too severe, this natural asthma treatment may not work and medicine may be the only resort. However, if the asthma is only in its mildest form and it seems to only come about when you’re around certain elements, use the natural asthma treatment of staying away from the causes of the asthma. Your lungs will thank you for it and you’ll feel much better when you’re actually able to breathe normally, just like everyone else.

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The Various Available Methods of Asthma Treatment

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a non-curable yet controllable disease, and the first step in asthma treatment is that of environmental control, as the environment is considered as being one of the most primary causes of asthma attacks. There are certain symptoms of asthma, including: tightness in the chest, wheezing sound, shortness of breath, persistent cough, and increased pulse or heart rate.

What are the Available Methods of Asthma Treatment?

In regards to the asthma treatment that is available today, there are basic steps that are advised by most physicians in order to attempt to at least avoid attacks, which are: clean the house at least once a week, avoid any pets with fur or feathers, wash the bedding weekly in hot water, encase the mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers, consider replacing any upholstered furniture with leather or vinyl, consider replacing carpets in your home with hardwood floors or tile, and remember to keep the humidity in the house as low as you possibly can.

The most important form of asthma treatment if for asthmatics to take their proper medications properly and as prescribed. Asthma treatment in relation to this involves that of the monitoring of lung function, especially with the use of that of a peak flow meter, which is used to gauge lung function. This is incredibly important because lung function decreases dramatically before the actual symptoms of an asthma attack, and if the meter results in indicating that the peak flow is down by 20 percent or more from your usual best effort, then generally an asthma attack is on its way.

There are also anti-inflammatories which are often used, and which work by reducing the number of inflammatory cells in the airways and by preventing blood vessels from leaking any fluid into the airway tissues. However, the unfortunate part of this is that there are some people who cannot control the symptoms of asthma even when avoiding the triggers and using the proper medication, and for these people, there is the option of immunotherapy. This type of therapy involves the injection of allergen extracts in order to desensitize the person, and this treatment in particular begins with injections of a solution of allergen given typically five times a week to start, and then the strength will be gradually increased as time goes on.

Herbal and homeopathic asthma treatments are also considered as being quite positive, and depending on the severity of the asthma itself in the person, herbal and homeopathic treatments can reduce or even eliminate the need for synthetic drugs, and even inhalers, and they can also safely be used to complement that of the more conventional treatments of asthma.

Grateful for any Natural Asthma Remedy

Already a breath of hope comes when considering that a natural asthma remedy exists.

What is a Natural Asthma Remedy?

Webster says that natural is “being such by nature”. That’s a good place to start – in nature. Fortunately for us, in this modern age of internet search engines and instant information retrieval, we can look up just about anything. What we find in our search is that among thousands of ancient remedies that are some also suitable as natural asthma remedy.

Of course there are lots of other considerations, but let’s take a few minutes and explore a few of these alternative, complementary and natural asthma remedies.

Ayurveda

Coming out of India and centuries of exploration is Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine seeks to identify and treat the root cause of disease, chronic and acute illness. Problematic in its application as a natural asthma remedy is that our present day environment is filled with pollutants and it is not possible to remove all or even most of the problem.

Nevertheless, Ayurveda offers herbal treatments to be used with corresponding exercises in the treatment of asthma. Results vary but general health improvements have their own effect on alleviating suffering.

Acupuncture

Next, we’ll look at Acupuncture as a natural asthma remedy. Again there are more than a thousand years of experience with acupuncture – mostly in Asian culture, but more recently in the West. Modern acupuncture has treatments for all sorts of modern-day ailments, including techniques to aid those attempting to quit smoking. Acupuncture as a natural asthma remedy has also come forward, making a strong presence in the last two decades.

Acupuncture has only recently been recognized by the allopathic medical communities as a useful co-treatment. We expect to hear lots more about this in the coming years.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy as a natural asthma remedy has come to light along with other popular remedies – Bach Flower Remedies, Essential Oil Treatments and Herbal Essence Therapies. The homeopathic practitioner (homeopath) identifies specific symptoms and treats them with very potent minute doses – the idea being to reduce stress caused by the condition with severe side effects, allowing the body time to rejuvenate itself and act in a more holistic way.

Healthy Lifestyle

Finally, a discussion on natural asthma remedy has to include healthy living as a component. Although still considered subjective, elements of a healthy lifestyle should be looked at – diet, stress, environment, exercise and applied attention to happy living.

Ayurveda, Acupuncture and Homeopathy are all useful tools, especially within a larger program of Healthy Living – not a cure-all but definitely a natural asthma remedy.

How Asthma Inhalers Work

What are Asthma Inhalers?

Asthma inhalers are devices which are used for treating asthma, and they are considered as having truly transformed asthma treatment. Asthma inhalers allow for both children and adults who suffer from asthma to be able to deliver the medicine that they require directly to their lungs, and there is a variety of asthma inhalers available, with the two most common being that of the metered-dose inhalers and the dry powder inhalers.

Metered-dose asthma inhalers are those which use a chemical propellant in order to push the medication out of the inhaler, and the medication itself may be released either by squeezing the canister or by that of direct inhalation. The dry powder asthma inhalers, on the other hand, are ones which don’t use that of a chemical propellant to push the medication out, but rather the medication is released by the patient inhaling more rapidly than they would with a traditional metered-dose inhaler.

These inhalers can be used to deliver that of a wide variety of different medications, with the most common being: short-acting bronchodilators, long-acting bronchodilators, corticosteroids, cromolyn or nedocromil, and corticosteroid plus long-acting bronchodilator.

Dependant upon which type of inhaler you are dealing with, either the more traditional metered-dose or the dry powder inhaler, will result in the instructions and basic working methods that you will have. For instance, with the metered-dose inhalers, and these work by including that of a pressurized canister which contains measured doses of medication inside of it, and by squeezing the top of the canister for use you will then convert the medication into a fine mist, which goes down the throat.

The dry powder inhalers, on the other hand, work by requiring the patient to place their lips on the mouthpiece and then inhale extremely rapidly, and in fact, some people find these types of inhalers easier because of the fact that hand-lung coordination is not required with the dry powder inhalers, but it is with the metered-dose inhalers.

However, one factor that is incredibly important and yet surprisingly overlooked, is the importance of using the inhalers properly. Many people find it difficult to take their asthma medication regularly, and however it should be known that even though it may be difficult, for one not to take their asthma medication regularly means that they may have more serious problems later on. If necessary, you can always consult your physician and ask them for a demonstration on how to use the inhaler properly.