ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Do you have asthma? You are one of the estimated 136,000 adults with this most common chronic disease in New Mexico. It can lead to work absences and reduce your quality of life. But since it’s incurable, you can manage it.
- Prevention and management
- Biologics, Intravenous Injections, and Infusions
- Types of asthma
- Causes and triggers
How Do You Prevent And Manage Asthma?
Identifying your triggers can help you prevent having an asthma attack. You can do things at home, in your workplace, and outdoors. Moreover, you can modify your diet if ever experience triggers from food.
- Keep your home and office asthma-friendly
A clean house lessens your exposure to allergens or triggers. It’s advised to use alternative cleaning products. It removes dust, molds, and pet dander and kills cockroaches. Moreover, avoid lighting incense and inhaling perfumes.
- Mind what you eat
Remove triggers from your diet if your condition is food related. Eating a well-balanced diet also keeps your body healthy. Medical practitioners may suggest supplements like antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and choline. Avoid taking vitamins C, D, and E, which are thought to worsen symptoms.
- Try to stay away from outdoor irritants
You can usually catch pollen from grass in the morning. They persist in winter until early spring. Keep warm when it’s too cold outside. In contrast, pollen from trees and weeds peaks during the spring season. Other than nature triggers, refrain from getting exposed to gases and fumes.
- Exercise and keep a healthy lifestyle
Strenuous exercise may induce asthma in some people. But regular and mild physical workouts can provide benefits. Examples are breathing exercises, yoga, and biofeedback. Lifestyle change is also vital. For example, medical practitioners advise people to stop smoking and manage their weight and stress.
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What Are Therapies For Asthma?
A medical practitioner takes your comprehensive health history to find out the possible cause. You then undergo a physical exam. It includes listening to your breathing and a skin test to see if you have allergies.
Additionally, a medical practitioner gives you a breathing test. It’s also called a pulmonary function test to measure airflow from your lungs. The medical practitioner recommends various therapies depending on the results of your tests. There is no cure, but it can be managed through various therapies.
First-line therapies include bronchodilators and corticosteroids. Bronchodilators like salbutamol also help relieve symptoms and open the airways. There are many kinds of inhalers for asthma. For example, vasoactive intestinal peptide nasal spray also opens the airways. Montelukast is another kind of bronchodilator for long-term therapy.
Moreover, corticosteroids may be given during acute attacks, which prevents hospital admissions. They come in inhaled, oral, or intravenous forms. Examples are Beclomethasone, Budesonide, Ciclesonide, Fluticasone, and Mometasone.
Bronchial thermoplasty introduces heat energy into your airway wall to help open your airways. In contrast, a nebulizer transforms liquid medication into a mist. Inhaling it delivers the medicine quickly into the lungs.
Finally, allergen immunotherapy is novel yet controversial. You receive a tiny amount of an allergen through shots to help your immune system. It works by making you less sensitive to your triggers. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report recommends criteria for allowing it.
Before starting any therapy, it is best to talk to us for further evaluation. Like most medications, these therapies have limitations, precautions, and potential side effects.
Injection and IV infusion therapies work for various health conditions.
What Are Biologics, IV Infusions, And Injections?
Medical practitioners use biologics for severe cases that don’t respond to other therapies. These medications are injected or infused by a medical practitioner.
An example of biologics is MABs. They are used for severe cases that don’t respond to other drugs. Examples are Omalizumab, Mepolizumab, Reslizumab, Benralizumab, and Tezepelumab. A 2021 study shows biologic therapy for severe cases is effective. It improved exacerbations and lung function.
At the same time, medical practitioners use magnesium sulfate for severe attacks. It expands the airways to help you breathe easier. They are given through intravenous injection or infusion in an ER or clinic.
A 2019 American Family Physician Journal inquiry shows IV magnesium sulfate’s efficacy in acute cases. It also stated, "In acute care facilities, intravenous magnesium sulfate may be considered if the patient does not respond to intensive initial treatment.”
What Are The Types Of Asthma?
It’s a condition where the airways and lungs swell. As a result, the airways get inflamed and clogged with mucus. When this happens, the muscles around the airway squeeze and tighten. As a result, you experience the symptoms.
There are different kinds of asthma, affecting about 26 million Americans. In Bernalillo County, it is about 10.9% of adults. It can be intermittent, mild, moderate, or severely persistent.
- Allergic: It can be caused by allergens like dust, mold, pet dander, pollen, or smoke. According to a study, it accounts for 60% of all asthma cases.
- Seasonal: It occurs during a specific time of the year, like during winter or hay fever season.
- Work-related: For instance, people working in fabric manufacturing companies can be triggered by textile dust.
- Non-allergic: Allergic asthma is caused by specific triggers. In contrast, non-allergic triggers are things other than allergens like virus infections or exercise.
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What Are The Symptoms?
Some people are diagnosed with it during their childhood years. Others, though, may develop it in adulthood. However, wheezing or whistling sounds when breathing is the most common symptom regardless of age.
Symptoms may vary for every person. You may also experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty sleeping
Asthma can worsen into attacks, exacerbations, or flare-ups. Your mucus and coughing increase as muscles continue to tighten around your airways. As a result, you have a hard time breathing and feel faint. You need to seek immediate medical help if this happens.
What Are The Causes And Triggers?
Ten potential factors can cause asthma, which varies for every person. It’s essential to take note of the cause to help a medical practitioner give the right therapy.
- Family history, specifically a sibling or parent, means you have a greater chance of having it.
- People with allergic conditions like hay fever can develop it.
- People with severe viral infections during their youth may likely have them later in life. Similarly, babies with low immune function are more likely to suffer from it.
- Exposure to environmental irritants triggers it. Examples are dust, vehicle fumes, smoke, molds, and chemicals.
- Sulfites, a type of food preservative, can cause it. Dried fruits, pickles, shrimp, and beer contain it.
- It can be brought about by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin. Examples are ibuprofen or naproxen.
- Exercise keeps you healthy. But some people may suffer an asthma attack from grueling exercise in cold conditions.
- Anxiety, depression, stress, or strong emotions can kickstart it.
- Drastic weather and temperature changes can cause it.
- Adults and children who are overweight are at greater risk of developing it.
Asthma is a lifetime condition and can be mild, moderate, or severe. You can experience flare-ups when exposed to triggers. Bronchodilators and corticosteroids are first-line defenses.
Other than medicines, you can prevent and manage it. It includes cleaning your environment, avoiding triggers, and making lifestyle changes.
However, biologics, IV infusions, and injections can be used when other drugs don’t work for severe or emergency cases. It is best to consult us since all these therapies have their advantages and disadvantages.