Asthma

Various pictures of angry lungs as a metaphor for asthma.
Asthma is a common lung condition. In fact, about 10 percent of adults and 20 percent of children suffer from this condition. Even though it often starts in childhood, people can develop the symptoms of asthma at any age.

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Shortness of breath

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COUGHING, WHEEZING, TIGHT CHEST, SHORTNESS OF BREATH?

 

Constricted lungs

What is Asthma?
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Asthma is a common lung condition. In fact, about 10 percent of adults and 20 percent of children suffer from this condition. Although it often starts in childhood, people can develop asthma at any age.
As you breathe, air moves in and out of your lungs through airways or breathing tubes. Each of these breathing tubes has a fine inner lining called a mucous membrane. Additionally, wrapped around the airways are muscle fibres that can constrict or relax to alter the size of the airways.
Asthma is a condition of inflammation of the airways caused by certain triggers. That is to say, with exposure to these triggers, the lining of the airways swells and produces extra mucous. In addition, the muscles tighten and the airways become narrower. In short, this makes it difficult to breathe and then results in the condition known as asthma.

 

Three different airways. The first is normal, the second has tightened muscles around the airway , and the third has extra mucus present.

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?
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Doctors ascribe specific symptoms to asthma. For instance, coughing, wheezing (a coarse whistling sound when you breathe), a tight chest and shortness of breath. In addition, symptoms vary from time to time and also from person to person. For example, some people may have all these symptoms. On the other hand, others may experience coughing or wheezing only, while others may experience a combination of some of the symptoms. Most importantly, if your symptoms worsen, it could result in an asthma attack.

The causes of an asthma attack.
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Different people are sensitive to different triggers (things that set off an attack). Therefore, if you have this respiratory disorder, it is vital to identify your particular triggers and avoid them as much as possible.

Even though almost anything can trigger an asthma attack, the following are some of the most common triggers:

  • House dust.
  • Insecticides.
  • Cigarette and other smoke.
  • Animals with fur.
  • Emotions.
  • Plant pollen.
  • Weather changes.
  • Colds.
  • Physical strain.

In the event of an asthma attack, do the following:

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  • Stay calm and try not to panic.
  • Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible.
  • Take your prescribed medication.
  • Check your breathing with a peak flow meter (if your doctor has advised you to do so).
  • Ask someone to call your doctor, clinic, or ambulance service if you have difficulty speaking
  • Above all, DO NOT ignore the problem.

Emergency numbers must be kept available on your cell phone, or fridge, next to a landline telephone.

They must be available at the places you visit frequently, school, gym, family.

Advise your school and gym that you are an asthmatic.

Emergency numbers can be added in – 10177, or 112 from cell phone.

What is the diagnosis and treatment of asthma?
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Even though doctors cannot cure this respiratory disorder, you can lead a normal life without your condition limiting you, if you manage it properly, Therefore, in order to keep your symptoms under control, it is important to understand the types of treatment available:

Firstly, reliever medication gives instant relief for a short period of time (4 – 6 hours). It only works on the smooth muscles around the airways and not on the membranes lining the insides of the tiny tubes.

Secondly, controller medication works on the lining of the airways. It does not give immediate relief. However, when used every day over prolonged periods of time, it controls the redness, swelling and mucous production on the inside of the breathing tubes. Therefore, it controls symptoms, prevents severe attacks and prevents long-term damage to the airways.

There are also other medications which your doctor can prescribe if your asthma is still poorly controlled despite you taking your medications as prescribed and with the correct technique if inhalers are used.

In short, you need to speak to your doctor about the best treatment for you. He or she will advise on ways to manage your symptoms including how and when to take your medication.

Ways to take your medication:

 

Different ways to control the symptoms of asthma

Asthma management tips
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  • Take your medication as prescribed.
  • Avoid triggers where possible.
  • Visit your doctor regularly.
  • Lead an active life (get regular exercise).
  • Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of asthma.

Inhalers
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Doctors consider inhalers to be the best way to treat asthma, and they are safe to use. Long-term continual use helps asthmatics breathe properly and lead a normal life.

However, many people with this condition do not get the full benefit of using inhalers. This is because they do not do the following.
  1. Comply with treatment: Taking medication as prescribed and not stopping without consulting their doctor.
  2. Use their inhaler correctly: Different inhalers require different techniques. Consequently, it is essential that a healthcare professional shows you how to use your inhaler correctly. On the other hand, incorrect inhaler technique is one of the major reasons for uncontrolled asthma.
A new revolutionary inhaler called Synchrobreathe (SB) was launched recently. How to use the Synchrobreathe
SB is very simple to use, with three easy steps. Simply put the SB inhaler in your mouth and breathe in slowly. This will trigger the Synchrobreathe to release the medication.
In addition, SB also contains a dose counter. This allows you to track the doses remaining in the inhaler. Moreover, it will remind you when it is time to get your new inhaler.

Synchrobreathe Inhaler

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Syncrobreathe asthma inhaler

For more information, visit:

Please note: This is an educational information leaflet. Do not use it for diagnosis. For more information on asthma, consult your healthcare professional.

Synchrobreathe - How to use

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The BronkiBoosters are here to help when it comes to managing your asthma and how to use your inhaler to its full potential. Let the battle for air begin!




Global Initiative for Asthma.

Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, 2017. Available from: www.ginasthma.org

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