Understanding Allergies & Asthma - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Understanding Allergies & Asthma

Asthma has often been described as a wheezing sound when you breathe, but asthma is so much more!  Asthma has also been falsely described as an emotional disease, but the disease is real and can be deadly if not treated properly.  This page describes some of the common symptoms, triggers, and medications used in the treatment of asthma.  These guidelines and the treatment of asthma and allergies should be discussed with your health-care professional.

Asthma Can Happen at Any Stage of Life

Asthma Symptoms
If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, the diagnosis could be asthma:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or whistling when you breathe
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excess mucus
In addition, these symptoms or conditions are sometimes associated with asthma:
  • Stuffy or runny nose (rhinitis or hay fever)
  • Sinusitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Eczema (atopic determatitis)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
Is there a pattern to the symptoms?
  • Seasonal or year-round
  • Sudden attacks or gradual worsening
  • Duration and frequency
  • Nighttime v. daytime symptoms
  • Only at certain places, such as work, home or school
Symptoms may be triggered by:
  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Exposure to pollen, mold, house dust mites, cockroach, and animal dander, urine, and saliva
  • Exposure to workplace chemicals or allergens
  • Environmental change resulting from moving or vacation
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke, perfumes, hairsprays, air pollutants, vapors, grasses, and aerosols
  • Emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, crying, and laughing
  • Medications such as aspirin, beta-blockers, food additives, and preservatives
  • Changes in weather, air pressure, humidity, and cold air
  • Exercise
  • Menstrual period, pregnancy, or thyroid disease
  • Cold drinks

Asthma can be controlled!

You are your family can lead an active, health life with a customized Asthma Management Plan (AMP) developed by you and your physician.  Your AMP is your action plan giving you power over your symptoms.  Every AMP will include:

If asthma symptoms keep you on a roller coaster of good time and bad, you will need to contact your physician for a plan for recovery.  Recovery can take weeks or months depending on how diligent you are working with your physician.

Once you have achieved long term control of symptoms, you will need a plan for preventing a relapse.

Early intervention
You will need another plan for stopping an attack as it approaches - at the earliest possible moment.  This is the early intervention plan.

Crisis management
Do you think all asthma crises happen on the way to the hospital? Learn how to identify and handle an asthma crisis at home.  Your asthma specialist can teach you.

Provided as a service by AstraZeneca
Asthma Rules of Two:

Your Asthma is not under control if . . .
You use a rescue inhaler more than two times a week.
You awaken at night with asthma symptoms more than two times a month.
You use more than two canisters a year of rescue medication.

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