Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Prevention of Asthma Triggers

Inflammation of the airways, otherwise known as Asthma, affects over 3 million individuals in Canada and has been steadily on the rise for the past 20 years. Inflammation of the airways happens when your bronchial tubes narrow, making it difficult to breathe. While asthma typically affects children in Canada, it can affect individuals of all ages and walks of life.

The severity of asthma symptoms vary from person to person, one suffering from this chronic condition may experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Known asthma triggers include allergens such as dust, mold, and pet dander in addition to cigarette smoke. Non-allergic triggers include viral infections (colds, flu), chemicals, odors (such as perfumes and household cleaning products) and certain medications. Pollen is also an asthma trigger, especially during the spring months, so you may want to limit the time you spend outdoors. You should also avoid planting trees, plants or other pollen-producing agents close to windows. If that is not easily avoidable, it is recommended that you keep windows and doors closed as often as possible and use air conditioners at home, in your office and in your vehicle.

Other common disorders such as anxiety have also been said to lead to asthma. Thus, it is imperative to keep your stress level down to avoid persisting asthma attacks by introducing low-impact exercise into your lifestyle. It is important to note that strenuous activity may actually worsen asthma in certain individuals, so it is always important to discuss your exercise regimen with your physician or a trained exercise professional.

At Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, British Columbia, Dr. Ali Ghahary treats asthma sufferers with different medications (depending on the individual and the symptoms presented) including corticosteroids. For those with asthma, corticosteroid medications help by significantly reducing inflammation of the airways, making breathing much easier and asthma attacks more infrequent.  Corticosteroids are generally given via an inhaler or nebulizer. These devices pass the medication through to your lungs and are said to be much more effective than medications that are given in pill-form. However, inhalers must be used properly in order to be effective. If you are unsure how to accurately use an inhaler, a physician or a pharmacist will be more than happy to show you. It is also important to carry your inhaler with you at all times in the case of an asthma flare-up. As is such with most medications, asthma-preventing medications also come with side effects, which sometimes includes a worsening cough as reported by some patients. If you find your symptoms worsen with these medications, consult your physician as soon as possible.