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Asthma - Defining the Causes and Treatment Options
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the lungs and airways, preventing sufficient amounts of air to circulate in and out of the lungs and causing various unpleasant and health or life threatening symptoms. The effects of asthma may persist or worsen over long periods of time, and the disease itself requires constant attention and consistent treatment. As of yet, no cure for asthma has been found, but this condition can be adequately managed with the help of medications, behavioral changes, and environmental awareness.
The main symptoms of asthma include various respiratory problems, including:
- Trouble breathing,
- Shortness of breath,
- Chest tightness,
- Wheezing, and
During a severe asthma attack however, as a result of the sudden onset of acute symptoms, several much more alarming symptoms may arise, including:
- Panic attack, anxiety,
- Pale, discolored face,
- Bluish lips or fingernails
- Rapid, short breaths,
- Difficulty talking,
- Intense sweating,
- Teary eyes.
If the symptoms of an asthma attack are not dealt with promptly, whether by using an inhaler or by exercising specific relaxation techniques (in case an inhaler is not handy), they can lead to severe, health and life threatening complications that should be avoided at all costs. You can buy inhalers for asthma online without any prior consult to control the disease, but it is still strongly recommended that you see a doctor and evaluate the state at which your condition persists. These evaluations should be performed regularly in order to find the most efficient way to deal with the symptoms you experience.
Ways to Control the Symptoms of Asthma
When treating asthma, the most common practice is to approach the problem from two different angles: directly treating any acute symptoms that may appear, and manage the overall severity of the condition while reducing the frequency of acute episodes.
The drugs and methods used in the treatment of asthma and COPD are usually divided into three main groups:
These substances are designed to quickly alleviate any acute symptoms the patient may have, which makes them impervious during any form of asthma therapy. Inhalers containing albuterol are perhaps the most common type of drugs in this category, since they are able to deliver the medication right onto the affected areas in a matter of seconds, suppressing the symptoms and preventing them from escalating further. It should be noted that most reliever medications have no significant cumulative effects that would prove beneficial over long-term.
Managing the long-term effects of asthma is just as important as keeping acute symptoms at bay. Respiratory problems linked to asthma may consist of several distinct complications, some of which may not respond very well to emergency treatment alone. Most "reliever" inhalers work my relaxing the soft muscles that surround the airways (bronchodilators), while having almost no effect on airway tissue inflammation and mucus secretion, which is why additional forms of treatment may be necessary to control asthma.
Being conscious about your surroundings is an essential aspect of avoiding any dangerous complications to the severity of your asthma. Since this condition is known to have direct correlation to the presence of environmental irritants and allergens, removing these substances from your surroundings (or avoiding potentially dangerous environments) can lead to almost complete absence of symptoms, greatly aiding in the treatment of your condition. You will still most likely need to carry emergency medications such as Ventolin inhaler, just to be safe, but the frequency and severity of attacks can be greatly reduced.
Treating Asthma using Inhalers
Since asthma and its related symptoms directly affect the lungs and airways, the most efficient way to administer proper medications is through the use of aerosol-based devices, such as inhalers or nebulizers.
If you plan to buy inhalers for asthma online, you should know that you may need more than one type of inhaler to manage your condition, depending on the range, severity, and frequency of symptoms you are having:
- If your symptoms are mild and/or infrequent, you will most likely only need a "reliever" type inhaler to keep your condition in check. This medication should be kept with you at all times, in case you feel the onset of symptoms while away from home, at work or in transit. Albuterol (Ventolin inhaler) is by far the most common medication used for these purposes. If you intend to buy asthma inhalers online, know that several different types and brands exist, each designed to be effective against a specific form of asthma. Inhalers can differ in the drug delivery method (aerosol, mist, powder), mode of action, and individual brand traits, such as weight of the inhaler, having a counter for the remaining sprays, construction of the mouthpiece, ability to attach a spacer(*), and others. You will need to talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you want to learn more about different types of asthma inhalers.
- If you experience the symptoms of asthma at least once every few days, and the onset of symptoms is more than just cough and slight shortness of breath, you will probably need to use a "controller" medication in addition to any other drugs your healthcare provider suggests. Steroids are considered the front line of drugs that aid in long-term treatment of asthma, as they help to reduce the overall inflammation and sensitivity of airway tissue. Reducing the overall severity of symptoms long-term is essential if your condition has progressed into more alarming stages.
(*) A spacer is a special tubular device designed to aid in the use of an inhaler. People who may have trouble timing their breath correctly, have trouble inhaling, as well as children or elderly, may greatly benefit from using a spacer. If you prefer to buy asthma inhalers online, most stores will also have spacers available for sale.