Asthma for Families

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , /

Asthma is a health problem that can make it
hard to breathe. This can be very frustrating and scary. For kids, it can make them miss a lot of school. But – if you know what to do, asthma can be
controlled. With the help of parents, teachers, nurses,
and doctors, the good news is that children with asthma can live healthy, active lives. They can go to school, play sports, play the
trumpet–or whatever they love to do! When you breathe, air moves from your nose
or mouth into your lungs by passing through small tubes, called airways. People with asthma have trouble breathing
because these airways get narrower, making it hard for air to move in and out. Let’s take a closer look at the airways
inside the lungs. One reason that asthma makes it hard to breathe
is that it causes a lot of irritation and swelling, making the walls of the airways
get thick. The muscles around the airways also get irritated
and squeeze, making them even more narrow. With– asthma, the irritation also leads to
more mucus, which can clog the airways. Breathing with asthma can feel like breathing
through a thin straw – it is hard to move air in and out, and can be very tiring. Asthma is different for everyone. The most common symptoms are coughing, chest
tightness, getting tired easily, and wheezing. Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound
that comes from the air trying to get in and out of the lungs through narrow airways. In some children, cough may be the only symptom,
and may increase at night or while napping, making it hard to sleep. Some people with asthma have symptoms almost
every day. Others have symptoms once every few months. But asthma is a chronic disease, which means
it never really goes away, so people with asthma should always have their medications
ready. Sometimes, asthma symptoms can suddenly get
worse. This is called an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, it can be so hard
to breathe that it is hard to talk. If a child is having an asthma attack, you
might be able to see them using muscles in their neck, or between the ribs, to help breathe. Severe asthma attacks are dangerous, require
medicine, and may require going to the hospital! Talk to your doctor, so you know what to do. ———————————————- An asthma trigger is something that makes
your asthma symptoms start up or get worse. Everyone has different triggers, but a common
one is cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke can be harmful even when not
in the air because it can get caught in clothes and furniture and still trigger asthma. Other causes inside the house can be things
like dust, pets, cockroaches, mold, strong perfumes, and cleaning products. Triggers outside the house can be things like
cold air, pollen, grass, and air pollution. Asthma can also be triggered by getting sick
with a cold, flu, or other illness. Knowing your triggers and staying away from
them can help you control your asthma. Make sure that nobody in the home smokes,
and try to keep your home free of cockroaches and mold. On heavy air pollution days keep children
with asthma indoors, when possible. Avoid standing too close to cars or buses
when their engines are running. Make sure you always have your medicines with
you, as you will need them if your asthma is triggered. If a trigger is something like a cold, asthma
symptoms usually improve once the illness goes away. If your asthma is brought on by exercise or
sports, it can be tempting to avoid those things, but exercise is an important part
of being healthy for everyone–including people with asthma. With the right medications, a person with
asthma can live a very active life. Talk to your doctor to make sure everyone
in the family with asthma has the right medicine and action plan to stay healthy. ————————–
There are two main types of medication that can help with asthma – relievers and controllers. Both play an important role in helping to
manage asthma, but are used very differently. Relievers, sometimes called rescue inhalers,
work within minutes to relax the muscles around the airways and can stop an asthma attack
while it’s happening. They can make it easier to breathe right away. That’s why it’s important for everyone
with asthma to always have a reliever medication with them in case they need it. People who have asthma symptoms more than
a few times a week need to also have a controller medicine. Controllers reduce mucus and swelling, but
have to be used every day to work. They don’t help right away, but over time
can make lungs healthier. This will help people with asthma have fewer
symptoms, and fewer asthma attacks. But during an asthma attack, only relievers
will help right away. There are many different kinds of controllers,
so talk to your doctor to make sure you have one if you need one. Both of these medication types are usually
taken with an inhaler. For children, inhalers should be used with
spacers. The spacer helps get the medication deep into
the lungs instead of just in the mouth. If the medicine cannot get into the lungs
it won’t help. Babies and younger kids may need a nebulizer
machine which turns a liquid medication into a mist that can be breathed in. Inhalers and nebulizers take practice to use,
so ask your nurse or doctor to watch you do it at your next visit. The inhaler, spacer, and mask can be bulky
to carry around, but all people with asthma need to have their rescue medicines close
by at all times. They can be life-saving during an asthma attack! The main thing is that every person with asthma
has their own medicine plan, clearly understands how and when to use each medicine, and feels
confident that their medicines work for them. This plan is sometimes called an asthma action
plan. It is very important that people who take
care of kids with asthma have their medicines and know how to use them. If you have a child with asthma, make sure
their school or day care has the reliever medicine as well as your consent to use it. Ask the school nurse or principal if you need
to sign a medication form. They may need this to be able to give the
medication to your child for breathing problems at school! Okay – let’s review – asthma is a health
condition that affects many people, especially children. It makes the airways in the lungs narrow and
tight, making it hard to breathe. Each person can have different asthma triggers,
and a common one is cigarette smoke. Medicines include both relievers and controllers
and can help a person with asthma lead a very active life and not have to miss out on school. So work with your doctor to develop an asthma
action plan specific for your child and don’t let asthma hold your child back.

16 thoughts on “Asthma for Families

  1. My brother got as asthma attack while we were at a convention because everyone in his room put on Axe body's spray right when he entered. He hadn't had an asthma attack in years. Luckily, our hotel was next to a hosptial and he fininished all his singing events the day before.

  2. Take Sun shine.
    Eat lot of fruits and vegetables.
    Drink more water and other healthy fluids so as to keep arteries clear.
    Walk more and try yoga and Breathing exercise.

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