Asthma is a disease characterized by periods when the sufferer has a hard time breathing or getting enough oxygen. These periods are referred to as asthma attacks and can be scary and dangerous.
During an asthma attack, the person's airways become inflamed and swollen, making it harder for air to get through. Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness are common symptoms of asthma. Because asthma is a disease, there is no cure for it and the symptoms can only be treated.
Asthma can occur occasionally or often and can interfere with a person's daily routine and quality of life. Many people who have asthma are unable to participate in sports, enjoy certain activities or even sleep well at night.
having an asthma attack and then having a panic attack because I could breathe has got to be the most horrific thing I've been through
— gloria (@heeyitsgloriax3) April 26, 2014
I feel really insecure running in public. Like everyone is watching me have an asthma attack when I only ran half a mile.
— Ryan Biehahn (@Ryan_Biehahn) April 23, 2014
Finally a beautiful night for sleeping *Opens windows *Gets comfy in bed & starts to drift *Has first asthma attack of spring
— Jenn (@JennMcDago) April 21, 2014
I just had an asthma attack walking into Bass Pro Shop in case anyone was wondering how "outdoorsy" I am.
— Sarah (@CubanaMama82) April 20, 2014
skateboarded myself into an asthma attack #yolo
— Alaia Baldwin (@AlaiaBbbaldwin) April 19, 2014
I celebrated the first really beautiful day of Spring by working inside all day and then having an asthma attack
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) April 13, 2014
Don't prank me on April fools cause I'll have an asthma attack and end up in the hospital pic.twitter.com/HCSUmge4en
— Najee (@QueenNajahara) April 1, 2014
Inhalers are one of the best and most convenient ways to control asthma. If you use an inhaler, you should always carry it with you. It is never a good idea to share inhalers or use one if you are not having an asthma attack or feel one coming on.
There are also certain things that can trigger asthma attacks that should be avoided. These triggers can vary, but common asthma triggers include certain foods, chemicals, allergens, pets and even certain fabrics.
If you know what triggers your asthma, you can avoid the triggers and reduce your chances of having an asthma attack. Some people have more than one trigger and will have to use trial and error to determine exactly what triggers an asthma attack.
Certain activities can cause asthma attacks as well. Running, jumping, coughing and even getting overly excited or being scared can all cause asthma attacks. If these things can't be avoided, it is best to try to control your breathing during or after the activity to reduce your chances of having an asthma attack.
Asthma can be frustrating and scary at times, but knowing how to manage and cope with the disease can help you live a better and happier life and have less asthma attacks and symptoms.
Image via Wikimedia Commons