Asthma – I never knew it could be fatal until just recently after finding out about the passing of a high school friend. After researching and talking with others, I’ve learned that asthma is a relatively common cause of death. So, for anyone else who is unaware the dangers of asthma, I wanted to take the time to educate you, so the proper pre-cautions can be taken if a life-threatening attack should occur.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes obstruction of the airways making it difficult to breath. Asthmas could be serious and, as mentioned, can even be life-threatening.
Common Types of Asthma:
Nocturnal Asthma: This type of Asthma occurs at night or at any time you may sleep. This is because of the horizontal position and that your pillows collect allergens. To reduce symptoms of nocturnal asthma, make sure to cover your mattress and pillows with a machine washable protector and be sure to wash bedding and protectors regularly. Do not allow pets in your bedroom, and try to keep your head up.
Allergic Asthma: Includes typical asthma symptoms and is triggered by allergens – e.g. pet dander, dust, mold, pollen. If you suspect you have allergies, get tested by an allergist to find out exactly what you’re allergic to.
Non Allergic Asthma: This type of asthma is due to more environmental factors like smoking, certain odors or sprays, a viral infection, or other medical conditions such as obesity and Acid Reflux.
Exercise-Induced Asthma: Triggered by strenuous exercise. Common symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath will occur during or after exercise.
Work-Related Asthma: Work related asthma is asthma that occurs from an asthma-prone work environment. Asthma may occur if you work in an environment with allergy causing irritants such as pet dander (veterinarians, vet tech), latex gloves (healthcare providers), or chemicals.
How to prevent Asthma:
To lessen the symptoms of asthma, make sure to have a current, filled inhaler. Dust and vacuum regularly, it may be helpful to wear a protective mask. Make sure to wash your bedding regularly. You may want to invest in an air purifier as they clean contaminants from the air. Natural remedies such as Himalayan salt lamps and beeswax candles also work as an air purifier.
Know the signs:
- Wheezing when breathing in AND out
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Chest pain/tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Turning Blue
- Inability to speak
** If you are experiencing these symptoms or symptoms are not responding to a rescue inhaler, seek medical attention immediately. **
This post is dedicated to the Memory of Kimberly Anderson who lost her life to an asthma attack on October 23, 2018. To support her family during this difficult time, please click here to donate.