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What is asthma?
- it is caused by inflammation of the airways.
- muscles around the airways tighten and increase in mucus production
- less air can travel through the airways
What causes asthma?
- There is no single cause of asthma, certain things may increase the likelihood of developing it
- Exposure to the following (may increase your risk of developing):
- Family history of asthma
- Developing another condition (allergy) Having bronchitis as a child
- Being exposed to tobacco
- Being born prematurely
- Asthma trigger- fur, dust, pollen
Symptoms of asthma
- Tightness in chest
- Difficulty breathing
- May find it difficult to exercise
Types of treatment for asthma
- Medical interventions
- lifestyle changes
Medical interventions for asthma
- Preventers: relieve asthma symptoms quickly, used during an attack, relax the muscles
- Relievers: work over time to reduce inflammation and prevent an attack, used daily.
- Spacers: used to increase the amount of medication that reaches the lungs. Help people who struggle to use inhalers.
- Steroids: used for 1 to 2 weeks, for severe asthma and are usually taken orally. Reduce inflammation in airways.
Life style changes for living with asthma
- Stop smoking
- Take medications
- Avoid triggers
- Eat healthy
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
Councelling and asthma
- Usually for those where hospitals stays may be necessary due to severe asthma
- Patients who are prone to depression may require councelling
- Not relevant to most asthma patients
Physical impacts of living with asthma (6)
- Tightness in chest
- Gasping for breath
- May find it harder to exercise
- May find it difficult to sleep at night
Emotional impacts of living with asthma
- Embarrassment: of having an asthma attack, or having to use inhaler
- Worry/anxiety: of having condition
- Depression: time off work or school, being away from friends
Intellectual, social and financial impacts of living with asthma
- Intellectual: may miss school, learn about condition
- Social: may not go out, become withdrawn
- Financial: no major impacts
Physical impacts of the treatment of asthma
- Side effects of inhaler and preventer medication: mild shaking, muscle cramps, headaches
- Preventer inhaler can cause infection in mouth
- Side effects of steroids: high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes.
- May find giving up smoking dificult.
Intellectual, social, emotional and financial impacts of the treatment of asthma
Intellectual: will learn about asthma and how its treated
Social: may become with drawn, may not go out
Emotional: worry or stress about having to use inhaler
Financial: no major impacts, free on NHS