What if all of a sudden you weren’t able to breathe?
Sounds terrifying, right? Approximately 25 million people in the US have asthma, making every 1 in 13 people an asthma patient. According to a study, about 20 million people in America aged 18 and older suffer from this chronic condition.
Read on to learn more about asthma and how to craft a management plan that can help you manage your asthmatic episodes.
Different Types Of Asthma
Before we talk about a management plan for asthma, first things first: know about the type of asthma you may have.
Atopic asthma, also known as allergic asthma, is generally triggered by specific allergens such as pets, mold spores, dust particles, perfumes, pollen, etc.
That’s not all; if you’re suffering from atopic asthma, there’s a high chance you also have eczema, food allergies, or hay fever.
Seasonal asthma is tricky since it only appears during certain periods and under certain conditions.
Odds increase that seasonal asthma occurs during thunderstorms, extreme hot or cold weather, hay fever season when pollen levels are high, and winter. Most people with seasonal asthma are not even aware of it and often disregard it by calling it the flu or a mild fever.
Fifteen percent of Americans have occupational asthma, and the only way to figure out if a person is affected by it is to take time off from work.
Most people reported that after doing so, their symptoms lessened, and they realized that it was their work that placed them in harm’s way.
These items usually trigger occupational asthma:
- Paint chemicals
- Floor dust
- Latex gloves
There are thousands of other chemicals and products that can trigger this condition. Depending on the exposure, occupational asthma may show its symptoms in about 24 hours and may sometimes take months before it affects you.
Cough Variant Asthma
Cough variant asthma is the most common type of asthma and is also the one most people are affected by in the world.
Exercise, hay fever, respiratory infections, and coughing after awakening are all considered triggers of cough variant asthma. Seek immediate medical attention if your coughing doesn’t stop after a while or if you feel short of breath.
Nocturnal asthma, better known as nighttime asthma, often occurs due to the circadian rhythm. The symptoms worsen during sleep, and most times, you will wake up mid-sleep gasping for air.
The common symptoms are coughing, difficulty breathing and wheezing, which is especially dangerous at night since you start choking while trying to breathe.
Fifty percent and 10% of kids are diagnosed with nocturnal asthma.
Things To Look For In An Asthma Management Plan
Now that you know about the types of asthma and the reasons behind them, it’s time to develop a management plan that will help you deal with these episodes.
Since each person’s asthma is different, it’s hard to utilize a single asthma management plan. Here are some key points that you should consider for your asthma management plan:
- What medicines to take and when should they be taken.
- Your personal trigger list. Make sure your plan consists of every little thing that can affect you.
- Early flare-up symptoms and how to deal with them quickly before they worsen.
- When to get emergency care and when to wait it out.
Color-Coding The Plan
The most important aspect of an asthma management plan is the importance of color-coding. Not all episodes deserve a trip to the ER, and color-coding the symptoms can help one avoid that trip.
Here are some suggestions:
Green: Consider this the safety zone, highlight the minimal symptoms, and try to take medicines to stop symptoms from flaring up.
Yellow: This zone must consist of all the things that make you cautious. Highlight every aspect and symptom that you think might put you in the ER if not taken care of quickly.
Red: Use red to illustrate each part that consists of advice on what to do when a flare-up is severe.
Following the advice given in the action plan will help your flare-ups subside more quickly. Make sure you are familiar with them, and if you have a child with asthma, the school should have this action plan.
Let The Asthma Specialists Create A Comprehensive Asthma Management Plan For You
Knowing your type of asthma and having a plan to deal with the symptoms are the best ways to ensure that your asthma is manageable. Keep the plan with you at all times, and if you require medical advice or help to develop an asthma management plan, reach out to Imperial Center Family Medicine for more information or to schedule a consultation.