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Symptoms and treatment of asthma

Asthma, a long-term disease, constricts the respiratory system and makes it difficult to breathe. It can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Exposure to second-hand smoke. If a mother smokes at even the earliest signs of pregnancy, the child could develop asthma. Similarly, growing up in a smoke-filled house can lead to the onset of asthma.
  • If you have a family history of asthma, you're likely to get it. In fact, a family history of allergic diseases like eczema can also lead to asthma.
  • Exposure to air pollution.
  • Certain work environments, such as laboratories, can lead to the onset of asthma.

If you haven't been diagnosed with asthma but think you might have it, you must contact your healthcare professional immediately. If you don't, the results could be fatal.

There is no cure for asthma, but there are ways to manage it:

  • Communicate with your doctor. Be honest about the facts surrounding your symptoms and be sure to follow your doctor's advice. Your doctor can help you identify things that trigger asthma attacks. Make sure you understand these factors and what you should do if you have an attack.
  • Take your asthma medication. Always follow the instructions. Ensure you have your medication with you at all times in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid triggers. Examples of asthma triggers are cold air and smoke.
  • Avoid personal asthma inducers, such as allergens.

Even if you manage your asthma, you could still get an attack. Here are some steps to follow if it happens:

  • Stop whatever activity you may be doing.
  • Sit up and take your rescue inhaler.
  • Call 911 in case of emergency.

Asthma can be very dangerous, so it's up to you to make sure you take all necessary steps to control it. Do everything you can to educate yourself on the subject and ask all the questions you need to. Ask your doctor for pamphlets and check the Internet for further resources.

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