Asthma Definition, Triggers, and First-Aid Treatment

Asthma Definition, Triggers, and First-Aid Treatment

Aug 06, 2021

Asthma can be defined as a chronic inflammatory illness of the airways. When asthmatic patients come into contact with triggers of an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed, filled with mucus, and narrow becoming difficult to breathe.

Asthma Triggers

According to modern scientific research, the following are factors that may trigger an asthma attack in asthmatic patients:

  • Smoking

Cigarette smokers have a high likelihood of getting asthma than those who don’t smoke. Smoking is also known to worsen asthma symptoms like wheezing and coughing. Expectant mothers are advised against smoking as this puts the baby at risk of developing a chronic lung infection. If you are asthmatic and you smoke, the most important action for you to take to save your lungs is quitting

  • Allergies

The link between asthma and allergic triggers has been studied, and about 80% of asthmatic patients are allergic to particles in the air like weed pollens, grass, animal dander, mold, cockroach droppings, and dust mites. One study revealed that children exposed to environments with high cockroach droppings were 75% more likely to develop childhood asthma than those who were in an environment with low levels.

If you suspect your child may be asthmatic or maybe having an asthma attack, take him/her to an ER near you that offers asthma emergency treatment or asthma treatment for kids for an evaluation and possible diagnosis and treatment.

  • Exercise

Statistics show that about 80% of asthmatic patients suffer from exercise-induced asthma after taking or when taking part in heavy workouts. The main trigger of an asthma attack episode is mainly exercising. People with exercise-induced asthma will experience cough, chest tightness, and troubled breathing. Asthmatic patients who exercise are advised to avoid outdoor activities during winter or cold weather as exposure could trigger an attack.

  • Medications

Most asthmatic patients are sensitive to some medications that could trigger an episode. If you or your child has asthma, you should be aware of the medications that can cause triggers and avoid them. If your doctor prescribes a medication that you suspect will worsen your condition, discuss your concern with the practitioner.

Some of the common medications that may trigger an asthma attack are Aspirin and general painkillers like ibuprofen which are classified under nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Attacks triggered by these medications are severe and sometimes even fatal. Therefore, it is important to share such information with your doctor so that he/she doesn’t prescribe them for you.

  • Certain foods & food additives

Food allergies are known to cause mild/severe reactions, which can be life-threatening. For example, an asthmatic attack can occur as a life-threatening body reaction known as anaphylaxis to people with food allergies. Some examples of food associated with this allergic symptom are eggs, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, cow’s milk, fish, shrimp, wheat, salads, and fresh fruits.

Food additives and preservatives like potassium bisulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium metabisulfite can sometimes cause isolated asthma.

  • Weather

Changes in humidity, temperature, and cold air can cause an asthma episode.

What to Do When You Have an Asthma Attack in the Absence of An Inhaler

The most efficient method of treating an asthmatic attack is using an inhaler containing muscle relaxers, which will make your airways expand. However, at times an asthma episode may occur when you don’t have your inhaler with you, and the following are the steps you should follow:

  • Sit upright –This will help keep the airways open. Lying down during an asthma episode can worsen the symptoms.
  • Remain calm – When having an attack, remain calm and avoid panicking or stressing as it will worsen the symptoms. You can try listening to some music or turning on the television to keep yourself calm.
  • Take slow and steady breaths – Steadying your breathingusing breathing exercises or techniques like the Papworth method or Buteyko breathing technique will help reduce the symptoms.
  • Move far away from the triggers – Asthma triggers will not only cause an asthma attack but also worsen the patient’s symptoms. Make sure you move away from the things that are triggering your attack, i.e., cigarette smoke. Other triggers are stress, allergens, respiratory infections, and anxiety.
  • Call an emergency room near you–If your symptoms persist after treatment, go to an asthma treatment urgent care/emergency room.

You can get urgent care near you at an emergency room in Harker Heights, TX, at Express ER. Our emergency room in 76548, TX, is well equipped and offers quality services.


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