Asthma is a common respiratory disease which varies in severity. Symptoms include; wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing and a tight chest. Attacks cause the sufferer great distress and sometimes require hospitalisation. Triggers include; stress, dander, pollen, temperature changes, extreme emotions, exercise and the common cold. People use inhalers to control their symptoms.
Managing the condition helps to reduce the chance of an attack. Chronic asthma makes life very difficult and can be fatal so it is important to avoid triggers. Many people manage their condition well and live a normal active life. Some athletes are sufferers and still manage to win gold medals. An asthma plan makes sure that you have the right level of treatment and stops it from getting worse.
Severe cases may cause life-threatening complications and is fatal. Badly controlled asthma results in fatigue, missing work days and psychological conditions. Occasionally it leads to pneumonia, lung deterioration, low oxygen and attacks that cannot be treated. Keeping on top of your treatment reduces the chances of suffering a fatal attack.
What Causes Asthma?
Over 5 million people suffer from the condition in the UK. According to Asthma.org the condition affects one in eleven people, a quarter of sufferers have difficulty climbing stairs and someone has a serious attack every 10 seconds. The condition costs the NHS £1 billion each year and over a thousand people died from it in 2016. (Source: Asthma.org).
Asthma is inflammation of the airways which causes them to narrow and restrict airflow. The condition varies from mild to severe and affects people’s lives. There is no cure so it is important to control the condition by identifying triggers and managing medication. People complete an asthma plan at their doctor’s surgery to keep the condition in check.
Triggers include; allergies, dust, changes in temperature, dander, pet hairs, strong scents, stress, emotions and acid reflux. Avoiding these triggers will help to prevent the onset of an attack. Symptoms include; shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing and difficulty sleeping. Inhalers relieve the symptoms by relaxing the airways and making breathing easier.
Which Complications Are Life Threatening?
Complications result in death because the sufferer is unable to breathe and succumbs to the condition. Inhalers and avoiding triggers does not relieve severe asthma. Approximately five percent of sufferers have the condition severely this is because the inflammation of the lungs is untreatable. People with severe asthma have to have special care and experience a poor quality of life.
Sufferers frequently visit the hospital with chest infections and pneumonia which cause long-term damage to the lungs. Extra medication and lifestyle changes help to control the condition. The condition proves fatal if it becomes uncontrollable and breathing is severely impaired. Frequent attacks reduce lung capacity until the body can longer recover.
All sufferers whether severe or mild should be aware of the danger of complications. Keeping up to date with your asthma plan and having regular health checks ensures that changes in your condition are noted before they become serious. Avoiding triggers and making sensible lifestyle choices will reduce the chances of the condition from being life-threatening.