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Asthma is a very common chronic condition affecting the airways which results in breathing difficulties. In the UK, about 5.2 million people are asthmatic. It is prevalent among children under the age of 10, but also among adults. Below is a brief overview of the most important key facts about asthma.

Asthma Treatments

What is asthma?

The word asthma is derived from Greek and translates as ‘panting’. It manifests itself as recurring episodes, so-called asthma attacks, the reversible obstruction of the airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing with mucus expulsion (especially at night), wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest and shortness of breath. Asthma is a lifelong condition and to-date cannot be cured. Fortunately, it can be managed well with the right treatments and there are a number of steps you can take yourself to improve you quality of life.

What causes asthma?

An asthma attack can be brought on by many different factors and it is yet not fully understood as to what exactly triggers asthma. Some people have a genetic predisposition which makes them more likely to develop asthma in conjunction with external factors such as cigarette smoke, allergies (dust mites, animal hair and dander, pollen or certain medicines such as aspirin. An asthma attack can equally be provoked by physical exercise such as running. Knowing what triggers asthma in you is vital for the successful management of the condition so you can avoid exposure to these factors where possible.

Child asthma has been linked to smoking during pregnancy or to babies and children being exposed to cigarette smoke. Adults may suddenly develop asthma symptoms following a viral infection or due to being exposed to airway irritants at work. The latter is being referred to as occupational asthma.

Extensive research has shown that certain lifestyle characteristics of modern civilisation account for a rise in asthma sufferes over the past couple of decades. These include changes in diet, environmental hygiene and indoors housing as well as smog and air pollution.

Asthma Treatment and Management

Asthma is commonly treated with inhalers which deliver the medince directly to where it is needed – the airways and lungs. Many different treatments and devices are nowadays available, generally speaking they can be divided into two groups – relievers and preventers.

Preventers are usually prescribed as part of a regular long-term regimen, which means they must be used daily to provide effective protection against asthma attacks. Preventer inhalers are usually oragne, brown or red. At Myonlinedoctor, the following preventers can be prescribed online: Serevent, Seretide and Plumicort/Flixotide. People who experience frequent asthma symptoms while performing everyday activities or when in an smoky environment or who need to use their relieving inhaler more than three times a week might require preventative treatment. Your doctor will determine which course of action is best for you.

Relievers on the other hand are used as and when required to, as the name suggests, relieve acute symptoms of an asthma attack. Every asthma sufferer should have a reliever which usually is blue in colour. The most popular inhaler contains the active ingredient salbutamol which is delivered directly to the lungs as a fine mist. It is sold under the brand name of Ventolin and available to purchase online at Myonlinedoctor.

Relievers are used to immediately treat an acute asthma attack and control the typical symptoms. If you find yourself using your inhaler three times or more per week this may means that your asthma is not controlled well. In this case it is advised that you consult your prescribing doctor to see if you could benefit from additional treatment, e.g. in the form of a preventer.

Self-help Measures

There are a number of things you can do yourself in order to manage your asthma and prevent attacks from occuring. For instance, if your asthma is triggered by an allergen such as pet hair, animal dander or dustmites try to minimise or ideally avoid your exposure to these substances. Keep your home clean and opt for allergen-friendly bedding. Ask about pets before visiting someone’s house. Physical activity is vital for your overall wellbeing, but if your asthma is brought on by exercise practise gently and do not force yourself. Most importantly, know what to do in case you have an attack. Have your medicines with you and let others know what to do in case of an emergency.

While asthma can have a serious impact on the individual’s life, it is important to know that it can be managed well to the point of barely impairing day-to-day activities. Myonlinedoctor is offering prescription-only inhalers via our convenient online consultation service which means you can now order you regular medicine from the comfort of your home or while on the go without a trip to the surgery.

Asthma Treatments