Asthma is an allergic inflammation of the lungs, which is usually triggered by pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, air pollution, chemicals, exercise, temperature changes or ingestion of certain foods. During an asthma attack the walls of the lungs turn out to be swollen and the mucus membranes fill with fluid and thick, sticky mucus making it hard to breathe. Asthma symptoms can include a scratchy throat, coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight feeling in the chest. An asthma attack can be mild, moderate or severe and lasting for a few minutes, hours, or even several days. People with asthma should have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan lets you and your doctor to make a personalized plan for controlling your asthma.
The main key to understanding and controlling asthma is to know yourself. One person might get a severe asthma reaction from a minor whiff of perfume, whilst another asthma sufferer has no reaction at all to the very similar trigger. Everybody who suffers from asthma is unique and is affected differently so the asthma action plan should be tailored plan which helps you manage your asthma.
Knowing when to get emergency help for a severe attack can save your life. If you are experiencing the following, you should look for immediate medical attention:
you have intense difficulty breathing, talking and walking,
your chest feels tight and your ribs are pulled inward as you breathe,
your medication does not control your symptoms
your fingernails or lips are turning blue,
your nostrils flare when you breathe
Very often things that we have eaten, used or are a part of our surroundings for years can unexpectedly become asthma triggers. Because there are so many variables involved that affect getting control of your asthma, the first thing you should do is keep a notebook as a part of your asthma action plan. This will help you identify your triggers. Once you recognize what they are, you can either take away these triggers or reduce them as much as possible.