Asthma Breathing Problems
Asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation of the bronchial passageways, causing tightness of the chest and making it difficult to breathe. Asthma cannot be cured, but learning to avoid the environmental and emotional triggers that bring on an attack, asthmatics can live a healthy, normal life.
When the bronchial tubes become inflamed, asthmatics experience coughing, wheezing and tightness of the chest. This can feel as if the asthmatic is breathing through a straw, and can be emotionally upsetting to the sufferer.
At the onset of an attack, a fast-acting rescue inhaler (or bronchodilator) can literally be a life-saver. Bronchodilators such as Albuterol offer relief from asthma symptoms within minutes of taking it. They are available by prescription only and are a necessity for any asthma sufferer. Other medications are available for preventative care, such as Advair Diskus or Singulair tablets, and are administered daily so that an attack should never occur.
Asthma is a complicated disease because environmental triggers bother some asthmatics worse than others, and some not at all. Asthmatics must go through a series of trial and error to find out which triggers affect them the most. Common triggers are: dust, smoke, mold, extreme climate changes (outdoor), humidity, cold air, pollen, pet dander, paint, bleach, strong chemicals, fragrances, perfume and certain foods, particularly dairy products.
Asthma is brought on by emotional triggers as well. That’s why learning to manage stress can help the asthmatic breathe easier. Many asthmatics use breathing techniques, such as sitting up straight, breathing slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth. Relaxation techniques include yoga to help clear the mind of worry.
Overexertion can cause an asthma attack, so use caution when exercising to alleviate the possibility of breathing difficulty. It is important that you get regular exercise several times per week, but it is critical that you not overdo it. Meditate, do yoga or pilates, swim laps or lightly jog instead of running a marathon and wearing yourself out. Most important, be sure to stop when you feel overly exerted and drink plenty of water to ensure that you stay hydrated.