Brought to you by Cipla

Various pictures of angry lungs as a metaphor for asthma.

Brought to you by

Asthma is a common lung condition. About 10 percent of adults and 20 percent of children suffer from this condition. Moreover, it often starts in childhood, but people can develop the symptoms of asthma at any age.

COUGHING, WHEEZING, TIGHT CHEST, SHORTNESS OF BREATH?

 

Constricted lungs

What is Asthma?
Back to top
Asthma is a common lung condition. About 10 percent of adults and 20 percent of children suffer from this condition. Although it often starts in childhood, people can develop asthma at any age.
As you breathe, air moves in and out of your lungs through airways or breathing tubes. Further, each breathing tube has a fine inner lining called a mucous membrane. Wrapped around the airways are muscle fibres that can constrict or relax to alter the size of the airways.
Asthma is a condition of inflammation of the airways caused by certain triggers. That is to say, with exposure to these triggers, the lining of the airways swells and produces extra mucous. As a result, the muscles tighten and the airways become narrower. In short, this makes it difficult to breathe and results in the condition known as asthma.

 

Three different airways. The first is normal, the second has tightened muscles around the airway , and the third has extra mucus present.

Signs and symptoms
Back to top
Doctors ascribe specific symptoms to asthma. For instance, coughing, wheezing (a coarse whistling sound when you breathe), a tight chest and shortness of breath. In addition, symptoms vary from time to time and from person to person. For instance, some people may have all these symptoms. On the other hand, others may experience coughing or wheezing only. Others still may experience a combination of some of the symptoms. Most importantly, if your symptoms worsen, it could result in an asthma attack.

What causes an asthma attack?
Back to top
Different people are sensitive to different triggers (things that set off an attack). If you have asthma, it is vital to identify your particular triggers and avoid them as much as possible.

Almost anything can trigger an asthma attack. However, these are some of the most common triggers:

  • House dust.
  • Insecticides.
  • Cigarette and other smoke.
  • Animals with fur.
  • Emotions.
  • Plant pollen.
  • Weather changes.
  • Colds.
  • Physical strain.

 

In the event of an asthma attack:

  • Stay calm and try not to panic.
  • Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible.
  • Take your prescribed medication.
  • Check your breathing with a peak flow meter (if your doctor has advised you to do so).
  • Ask someone to call your doctor if you have difficulty speaking.
  • Above all, DO NOT ignore the problem.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Back to top

Doctors cannot cure asthma. However, if managed properly, you can lead a normal life without your condition limiting you. Therefore, in order to keep your symptoms under control, it is important to understand the types of treatment available:

Firstly, reliever medication gives instant relief for a short period of time (4 – 6 hours). It only works on the smooth muscles around the airways and not on the membranes lining the insides of the tiny tubes.

Secondly, controller medication works on the lining of the airways. It does not give immediate relief. However, when used every day over prolonged periods of time, it controls the redness, swelling and mucous production on the inside of the breathing tubes. Therefore, it controls symptoms, prevents severe attacks and prevents long-term damage to the airways.

In short, you need to speak to your doctor about the best treatment for you. He or she will advise on ways to manage your symptoms including how and when to take your medication.

Ways to take your medication:

 

Different ways to control the symptoms of asthma

Asthma management tips
Back to top
  • Take your medication as prescribed.
  • Avoid triggers where possible.
  • Visit your doctor regularly.
  • Lead an active life (get regular exercise).
  • Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of asthma.

Inhalers
Back to top

Doctors consider inhalers to be the best way to treat asthma, and they are safe to use. Long-term continual use helps asthmatics breathe properly and lead a normal life.

However, many people with this condition do not get the full benefit of using inhalers. This is because they do not do the following.
  1. Comply with treatment: Taking medication as prescribed and not stopping without consulting their doctor.
  2. Use their inhaler correctly: Different inhalers require different techniques. Consequently, it is essential that a healthcare professional shows you how to use your inhaler correctly. On the other hand, incorrect inhaler technique is one of the major reasons for uncontrolled asthma.
A new revolutionary inhaler called Synchrobreathe (SB) was launched recently. How to use the Synchrobreathe
SB is very simple to use, with three easy steps. Simply put the SB inhaler in your mouth and breathe in slowly. This will trigger the Synchrobreathe to release the medication.
In addition, SB also contains a dose counter. This allows you to track the doses remaining in the inhaler. Moreover, it will remind you when it is time to get your new inhaler.

 

The BronkiBoosters are here to help when it comes to managing your asthma and how to use your inhaler to its full potential. Let the battle for air begin!

Syncrobreathe asthma inhaler

For more information, visit:

http://synchrobreathe.co.za/

Please note: This is an educational information leaflet. Do not use it for diagnosis. For more information on asthma, consult your healthcare professional.

Woman using an inhaler.


Global Initiative for Asthma.

Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, 2017. Available from: www.ginasthma.org

For more health information

Click on the body area you want to know more about. Select a related health topic from the menu

Select a body area
Head
Chest
Abdomen
Pelvis
Legs
Feet
Mental Health
Skin
General
Infant Health
HIV 11 – HIV and Opportunistic infections
HIV 11 – HIV and Opportunistic infections
Doctors were first alerted to the existence of AIDS when patients clinically presented with opportunistic ....
Acne (Pimples)
Acne (Pimples)
WHAT IS ACNE? Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and back.1a It can be emotionally stressful ....