Asthma





Asthma is a problem for approximately one in ten Australians. It is believed that approximately 20% of children suffer from attacks of asthma. However, the attacks can be so trivial as to go unnoticed.

Asthma is basically an inflammatory process, complicated by spasm and hence narrowing of the airways and their blockage by mucus.

Asthma appears as a wheeze, a difficulty in breathing out. It is often associated with a cough, especially in children in whom a cough at night may be the only symptom of asthma. It is not so much a question of getting air into your lungs but the difficulty comes in trying to get it out which causes the wheeze.

We donít know what causes asthma. It certainly runs in some families so there may be a genetic basis. However, we do know what triggers it and we are able to divide sufferers into the allergic type and the non-allergic type, you get about half of asthma cases in each category.

In the case of allergies, the trigger factors include the house dust mite, various pollens, grasses, animal hairs, foods and drugs. The common privet hedge can be the villain, as can a variety of other shrubs, and flowers. Your general practitioner can arrange for an investigation if necessary. Once an allergen or substance is identified it is not considered wise to attempt to desensitise the person suffering from asthma, rather it is better to avoid exposure to those substances.

Non-allergic asthma sufferers can have an attack of asthma triggered by :

Foreign materials - dust and irritant gases perhaps

Upper respiratory tract infections.

Emotional factors.

Exercise.

Exposure to cold

Most of these attacks can be prevented by the use of an aerosol inhaler which helps to relax the air passages in the lungs.

Exercise can both help and hinder asthma. The cold air of a winters morning can trigger off an attack. A warm heated pool might be the answer to the asthmatic wanting to experience the benefits of regular aerobic exercise. If you use your inhaler just before you tackle your exercise programme, you may be capable of an aerobic session. You may have to use an inhaler during the session but be careful. Exercise within your limits. Do not go beyond that even with the use of medication.

Treatment for asthma can be divided into two types: Preventer and Reliever medication.

Preventers may be steroid or non-steroidal medication, and prevent the initial attack from occuring.

Relievers affect the airways directly once an attack is in progress to relieve spasm and open up the airways.

It is important for people who suffer from severe attacks of asthma to be in regular contact with doctor.

There are some important points to remember :

Asthma treatment is not addictive - if you are told to take it regularly you can do so safely.

Asthma can be a serious disease - if your attack does not respond to your usual treatment get help - see your doctor or go to hospital.

Attacks can often be prevented - keep an aerosol inhaler with you at all times.

Measure your progress, using a simple Peak Flow Meter and chart your progress.

Develop an Action Plan with your GP so you know what to do if your asthma worsens.

Asthma is a problem for approximately one in ten Australians. It is believed that approximately 20% of children suffer from attacks of asthma. However, the attacks can be so trivial as to go unnoticed.

Asthma is basically an inflammatory process, complicated by spasm and hence narrowing of the airways and their blockage by mucus.

Asthma appears as a wheeze, a difficulty in breathing out. It is often associated with a cough, especially in children in whom a cough at night may be the o0nly symptom of asthma. It is not so much a question of getting air into your lungs but the difficulty comes in trying to get it out which causes the wheeze.

We donít know what causes asthma. It certainly runs in some families so there may be genetic basis. However, we do know what triggers it and we are able to divide sufferers into the allergic type and the non-allergic type, you get about half of asthma cases in each category.

In the case of allergies, the trigger factors include the house dust mite, various pollens, grasses, animal hairs, foods and drugs. The common privet hedge can be the villain, as can a variety of other shrubs, and flowers. Your general practitioner can arrange for an investigation if necessary. Once an allergen or substance is identified it is not considered wise to attempt to desensitise the person suffering from asthma, rather it is better to avoid exposure to those substances.

Non-allergic asthma sufferers can have an attack of asthma triggered by :

Foreign materials - dust and irritant gases perhaps

Upper respiratory tract infections.

Emotional factors.

Exercise.

Exposure to cold

Most of these attacks can be prevented by the use of an aerosol inhaler which helps to relax the air passages in the lungs.

Exercise can both help and hinder asthma. The cold air of a winters morning can trigger off an attack. A warm heated pool might be the answer to the asthmatic wanting to experience the benefits of regular aerobic exercise. If you use your inhaler just before you tackle your exercise programme, you may be capable of an aerobic session. You may have to use an inhaler during the session but be careful. Exercise within your limits. Do not go beyond that even with the use of medication.

Treatment for asthma can be divided into two types: Preventer and Reliever medication.

Preventers may be steroid or non-steroidal medication, and prevent the initial attack from occuring.

Relievers affect the airways directly once an attack is in progress to relieve spasm and open up the airways.

It is important for people who suffer from severe attacks of asthma to be in regular contact with doctor.

There are some important points to remember :

Asthma treatment is not addictive - if you are told to take it regularly you can do so safely.

Asthma can be a serious disease - if your attack does not respond to your usual treatment get help - see your doctor or go to hospital.

Attacks can often be prevented - keep an aerosol inhaler with you at all times.

Measure your progress, using a simple Peak Flow Meter and chart your progress.

Develop an Action Plan with your GP so you know what to do if your asthma worsens.

- Anaemia - Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia
- Anxiety - Arthritis
- Asthma - Backache
- Blood Pressure including Hypertension - Boils and Carbuncles
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Chronic Bronchitis
- Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) - Colostomy and Ileostomy
- Constipation - Cramp
- Cystitis - Diabetes
- Diarrhoea - Earache
- Footcare - Gallstones
- Glandular Fever (Infectious Mononucleosis) - Gout
- Haemophilia - Headache
- Hepatitis - Hip Replacement
- Indigestion - Influenza
- Jaundice - Kidney Stones
- Legionnaires Disease - Low Blood Pressure
- Migraine - Nose Bleeding
- Osteoporosis - Peptic Ulcers (Gastric or Duodenal)
- Piles (Haemorrhoids) - Pneumonia
- Poor Circulation (incl Buergers & Raynauds Disease) - Prostate Problems
- Rheumatic Fever - Shingles
- Sleeping Difficulties (Insomnia) - Slipped Disc
- Spinal Injuries - The Common Cold
- The Overactive Thyroid Gland - The Underactive Thyroid Gland
- Thrombophlebitis of Superficial Veins - Thrombosis in Veins
- Tonsillitis and Complications


Did Heath Ledger Die of an Overdose?

1996 Immediate Assistants Pty Ltd.

These pages are optimized for 800 x 600/640 x 480 and
64,000+ colours and Netscape 2.0+ or Explorer 3.0