People who do not suffer from asthma may regard it as a fairly minor irritation, similar to an occasional bad cough. However, anyone who has asthma, or has a child with asthma, understands how serious the condition is, both physically and psychologically.
On the physical side, an asthma attack makes breathing difficult; during a severe attack, the ability to breathe is extremely impaired. Normal activities, or even normal bodily movements, become nearly impossible. Psychologically, an asthma attack can and often does induce panic. Over the long term, having asthma can cause sufferers and parents of asthma sufferers to constantly be looking over their shoulder, worrying about when the next attack will come. Put it all together, and asthma can easily turn into a condition that seriously impairs quality of life day in and day out, for a lifetime.
There are ways to make life with asthma easier. The infographic below, What Happens to Your Body During an Asthma Attack?, illustrates symptoms and treatments for the condition in everyday language. Many people will benefit by reviewing this information. If you are not sure that you or a family member has asthma, the infographic will help you understand what the condition looks like. Of course, if you even suspect asthma, step one is to see a qualified medical professional. For those who suffer from asthma, a review of treatments — there are many — may provide effective options you have yet to consider.
An important step in managing asthma is to identify the cause, something not always easy to do. Many times the culprit is allergies. The bad news here is that the allergen(s) may be difficult to pinpoint; the good news is, if allergens are identified, highly effective, preventive treatments become possible. Asthma attacks can be triggered by many other things, such as cold air, vigorous exercise, smoke, medications, stress, acid reflux and even certain types of food preservatives. Avoiding triggers is obviously an important step in managing asthma, but something that is often easier said than done, as for instance with stress or exposure to cold air.
The infographic highlights the impact of asthma on children. Many are not aware this condition is the leading chronic illness among Americans under the age of 18. Asthma in children can also be traced back to a respiratory virus, and can affect even infants. If you see any symptoms of asthma in your child, such as difficulty breathing or changes in behavior, or if there is a family history of asthma, take your child to a doctor as soon as possible.