Asthma is an extremely common chronic (long-term) respiratory condition that causes reoccurring symptoms such as coughing, wheeziness and difficulty breathing. When asthma isn't managed effectively with either preventer or reliever inhalers, or certain triggers aren't avoided in your particular environment, it can cause an asthma attack. Asthma treatment often comes in the form of inhalers that are highly effective for the vast majority of asthmatics. Whilst there is no cure for asthma, people with the condition can effectively treat breathlessness and asthma attacks, with the appropriate treatment.
At euroClinix, we offer 11 various preventer and reliever inhalers depending on the severity of your condition. A quick, free and easy online consultation service prior to ordering will determine whether the inhaler is suitable for you, which will ensure the effectiveness of your desired treatment. Our service requires no booking, no face-to-face appointments and quick next day delivery on orders made before 4.30pm.
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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the airways and cells in the lungs, which leads to difficulty breathing. Asthma can result in one or a number of the symptoms including wheezing, breathlessness and tightness in the chest. For most people, this commonly occurs at night or early morning, and can be managed effectively with the right inhaler. If symptoms are severe, or they begin to escalate, this is often referred to as asthma attack. Depending on the causes and symptoms of each individual will depend on the severity of the condition and the medication that is recommended.
The majority of people with asthma are either born with the condition or develop it during childhood, although some adults may develop it during their lives as external factors influence their susceptibility and it is experience common. In fact, one in every 12 adults has asthma, and one in every 11 children also have the condition.
Whilst asthma is more common in boys than girls, in adulthood this is reversed, with more women contracting asthma, or continuing to manage the condition.
The causes of asthma, as well as the triggers that personally affect you, can vary massively from individual to individual. This can make it difficult to establish the initial causes, especially at first, however over time you will gain a further understanding regarding your personal triggers allowing you to avoid potential asthma attacks.
Asthma is often contracted when you're a child, and can be a hereditary condition for many people. Whilst you can grow out of the condition, 5.4 adults in the UK still have asthma that can range from mild symptoms that require reliever treatment when necessary, to severe asthma needing daily preventative medication.
Whilst irritants can provoke symptoms and asthma attacks in adults, ironically, it's this lack of exposure in childhood that could have caused the condition. Children who lacked initial contact to certain irritations that set off asthma attacks may stand a higher chance of reacting to them with asthma symptoms later on in life.
It's also believed that people whose mother's smoked during pregnancy may have a higher chance of developing asthma.
When someone who suffers from asthma comes into contact with irritants such as pollen, smoke or inhalable powders, essentially any particles likely to cause a reaction on the bronchial muscles in the lungs, an asthma attack may occur as a result.
This happens as the tubes connected to the lungs, known as the bronchioles, narrow and airflow becomes restricted. The problem is compounded as the lining of the bronchioles becomes more inflamed and mucus production provides further blockage. These elements that cause asthmatic symptoms can also be referred to as "triggers".
Triggers that cause asthmatic symptoms can also vary massively, but some may be linked to the cause; for example, the lack of irritant exposure mentioned above. An asthma treatment is therefore used to try and prevent this inflammation from occurring, preventatively, as well as help widen the airways during an attack.
Most children who suffer from asthma usually outgrow the condition and its various symptoms. However, many retain the disorder into adult life and some people develop it only later in general in response to external factors. While it can be uncomfortable, luckily there are effective treatments readily available.
An external factor could be just one of the following, however many asthmatics find that a number of triggers can prompt symptoms such as wheeziness, tightness in the chest, coughing or light-headedness.
Asthma triggers include:
These are the most common triggers, however some other factors may be contributing to your condition. This could be anti-inflammatory treatments, natural fires and gases and even certain foods and drinks.
If you believe certain triggers are causing symptoms, one option is to avoid them. For example, if air pollution is a factor, keep windows shut and avoid walking through heavily polluted areas.Sometimes avoiding triggers isn't possible, including avoiding air pollution if you work and live in a big city, therefore asthmatics are encouraged to keep an inhaler on their being, just in case of emergencies.
Whilst the causes and triggers can alter between each asthmatic, and even develop throughout your life and condition lifespan, the symptoms of asthma are similar for most people.
For light asthma symptoms, these include:
These symptoms can be mild and reduce without escalating to an attack, especially if you take the precautions such as resting and giving your body time to adjust. For mild to severe asthmatic symptoms, you will either be prescribed a reliever inhaler, or a combination of preventer and reliever medications to ease any discomfort.
When experiencing symptoms, you will develop knowledge over the years regarding what level of discomfort will pass easily and what will require further aid, whether that is reliever treatment or preventer inhalers that will stop symptoms from developing into an asthma attack through long-term treatment.
It is always advised to carry a reliever inhaler on your person to alleviate mild to severe symptoms, especially when you don't know what predicament you may be in. For some, running for the bus can provoke an attack whilst others may be caught out by allergies.
You can also prevent an asthma attack by avoiding and minimising your exposure to certain triggers. For example, in the spring and summer months, take the typical precautions to minimise the symptoms of hay fever, such as closing windows, washing sheets and staying away from pollen.
If you start to experience any symptoms, from coughing to light-headedness, it is advised to sit straight and focus on your breathing.
These are split between two groups of asthma treatments, which invariably come in the form of inhalers, either to prevent or relieve the condition.
Preventers are used daily and lower the sensitivity of the airways so they are less likely to react to irritants thereby causing swelling and increased mucous. While relievers focus on relaxing the delicate airways during an attack and allowing normal airflow and unobstructed breathing. These may sometimes be used in combination for maximum effect.
Whilst there isn't an outright cure for asthma, they can either reduce potential symptoms or alleviate an attack. In severe cases, a doctor may even prescribe steroid pills or injections that can provide a stronger and more immediate relief.
Due to the array of causes and triggers, it is advised to keep a reliever inhaler on your person just in case you fall into any difficulty. Remember, inhalers expire, so check the tube after some time. The most popular reliever treatment is the Ventolin inhaler, however there are many other brands. When used correctly, a reliever inhaler for moderate asthmatics can ease symptoms and help you avoid an asthma attack. Reliever inhalers can be used immediately to alleviate symptoms.
Preventer inhalers are designed to offer long-term relief for asthmatics and should therefore it use daily. For those with moderate to severe asthma, this can prevent an attack from occurring. Those asthmatics who experience symptoms on a daily basis, or have severe symptoms, will be given a preventer inhaler that must be used daily to be effective. Preventer inhalers can be combined with certain reliever inhalers as well.
Certain long-term preventers and short-term reliever inhalers can be used together, others cannot. You doctor will advise you on which combination will be the most effective for your particular level of the condition.
Yes. At euroClinix, we offer a free and easy consultation service to provide patients with their desired asthma treatment, of which 11 inhalers are on offer. During this process, you will be asked to answer several medical questions to ascertain your suitability, whether it is a preventer or a reliever treatment. Medication will be delivered to your door without the need to a face-to-face appointment or trip to the pharmacy to pick up your treatment.