อาการ สาเหตุ การวินิจฉัย และการรักษาโรคหอบหืด (Asthma)

Asthma

wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma is more common in children than adults. People who had asthma in childhood may outgrow it when they are adults, or it may recur later in life.

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition that causes wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Asthma is more common in children than adults. People who had asthma in childhood may outgrow it when they are adults, or it may recur later in life. Others may have asthma for the first time as older adults.
You may start coughing or wheezing:

  • When you exercise.
  • When you breathe in something you are allergic to, such as dust, pollen, mold, or animal dander.
  • When you breathe in something that irritates your lungs, like cold air, viruses, and tobacco smoke.

When this coughing and wheezing happens, it is called an asthma attack.

An asthma attack may:

  • Last a few minutes or several days.
  • Be mild, moderate, or severe.
  • Happen anywhere, at any time.
  • Cause death.

It is very important to be treated for asthma so you can live a healthy, active life.

How does asthma happen?

If you have asthma, the airways in your lungs are always a little swollen. When you exercise

or breathe something you are allergic to or that irritates your lungs:

  • The muscles in the airways start to tighten.
  • The insides of your airways become more swollen.
  • They start to make extra mucus.

When this happens, your airways get smaller. It's harder for air to move in and out. You may:

  • Feel tight in the chest.
  • Feel short of breath.
  • Cough.
  • Wheeze

How do I know if I have asthma?

Your healthcare provider will:

  • Ask about your breathing problems.
  • Give you a checkup.
  • Give you breathing tests.

You may be tested before and after taking asthma medicine to find out if the medicine helps.

How is asthma treated?

With asthma treatment, you should be able to live a normal, active life. You will probably need to:

  • Take medicine.
  • Stay away from things that make It hard for you to breathe.

There are 2 main kinds of medicines for asthma: quick-relief medicines and long-term control medicines.

  • Quick-relief medicines help open your airways so more air can move in and out. Quick-relief medicines are used to treat asthma attacks. They are sometimes called rescue medicines because they act fast. Albuterol is the generic name for one of the quick-relief medicines that is commonly used.
  • Controller medicines help prevent the airways from swelling. They are also sometimes called long-term control medicines. These drugs cannot be used to stop an asthma attack after you have started wheezing. Instead, they are taken every day to prevent asthma attacks.

Quick-relief medicines are breathed in with an inhaler. Other medicines may be inhaled or taken as a pill.

Your healthcare provider will tell you what will work best for you:

  • You will probably need a quick-relief inhaler to abort asthma attacks. Always have the inhaler with you, in case you start coughing or wheezing.
  • You may need to take controller medicine every day as well.

Be sure you know how to use your inhaler the right way.

  • Ask your healthcare provider to show you how to use the inhaler. For some inhalers you close your lips around, but for others you hold away from your mouth.
  • Ask your pharmacist how you can tell when your inhaler is empty.

You may need a peak flow meter to check how well you are breathing.

  • You blow as hard and fast as you can into a peak flow meter to see how well you are breathing.
  • The peak flow meter will help you know when your asthma is getting worse. You will know when you should take more medicine to keep from having a bad asthma attack. You will also know when you need to see your healthcare provider right away. Your provider will tell you how to use the flow meter to help you take good care of your asthma.

How can I take care of myself?

It's important to:

  • Learn how to tell when you are starting to have an asthma attack.
  • Take your medicines exactly as your healthcare provider tells you.
  • Keep your checkup appointments as often as your provider recommends.
  • Get a flu shot every year.

Here are some ways you can keep your home free of things that could make it hard to breathe and stay healthy:

Take care of your bedding:

  • Cover your mattress, box springs, and pillows with zippered plastic covers.
  • Wash bedding in hot water and soap once a week.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry pillows once a month.

Having a pet is not a good idea. But if you do have a pet:

  • Have your pet bathed every week.
  • Vacuum your floors every day.
  • Use a HEPA air filter in your room.

Stay away from mold and other things that make it hard for you to breathe.

  • If you use a vaporizer, clean it often to prevent a build-up of mold.
  • Stay indoors when the humidity or PM 2.5 index is high.
  • Use air conditioning to cool your home instead of open windows.
  • Stay away from cigarette smoke.
  • Stay away from the fumes or vapors of harsh chemicals, such as bleach.

Tell your healthcare provider right away if:

  • It is hard for you to breathe comfortably even though you are taking your medicines.
  • You are having more coughing or wheezing than normal even though you are taking your medicines.

Get emergency help right away if:

  • You are having an asthma attack that is not getting better even though you have used your quick-relief inhaler. This may mean having someone drive you to the emergency room or calling 911 in the US, or 1669 in Thailand.

Article by

Published: 29 Apr 2022

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