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Cabarrus Magazine

Asthma: Know the Signs. Know the Treatment.

Apr 01, 2017 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

Asthma: Know the Signs. Know the Treatment.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell. Early warning signs of asthma can include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing or coughing. Many times, cold weather, exercising or viruses can worsen these conditions. Tim Morley, of Cannon Pharmacy, says that causes vary from person to person and they don’t always begin during childhood.

“Depending on the individual, asthma can be minor – more of a nuisance, or major, which can be life-threatening if an attack occurs,” Morley explains. “While a childhood diagnosis of asthma may seem more common, adults are also diagnosed with asthma. In many cases, for example, allergens that did not bother individuals as children begin to affect them as adults. This can lead to an asthma diagnosis.”

Treatments for asthma focus on prevention and long-term control. Medications are a popular part of an individual’s treatment plan. These products can include long-acting steroids, steroid tablets, short-acting beta agonists (rescue medications), long-acting beta agonists (preventative medications), and other tablets or inhalers that focus on prevention.

Because there are so many medication options, each patient may take multiple asthma medications, so they should have a written asthma action plan to make sure they understand what medications to take when. For example, if a patient were to have an asthma attack, certain medications will provide more immediate relief and should be used first.

Non-medical forms of treatment include avoiding triggers (such as exercise or allergens) and discussing your condition with family so they can help treat you in case of an emergency.

As with any condition, make sure to include your physician and your pharmacist in your treatment plan, as they are available to answer any questions you may have.

Remember, if you are experiencing worsening shortness of breath or wheezing, it is a good idea to consult your pharmacist or doctor to discuss potential treatment options.

 By Jason Huddle and Tim Morley

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