Over The Counter Asthma Medication
Over the counter asthma medication can help control asthma when it is mild and infrequent. Epinephrine in the form of an inhaler will open the airways and provide immediate relief for a couple of hours. Epinephrine is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland but in smaller amounts than what is taken in when using an inhaler. Other OTC medications that can help with symptoms are antihistamines and decongestants. Progressive symptoms should alarm the patient that prescription medication may be needed for allergy asthma relief. Side effects from OTC medication may include nervousness, anxiety, nausea, rapid heart beat, and sleeplessness. Patients should be under a doctor's care when using OTC medications because of the potential life threatening symptoms associated with the condition.
The cause of asthma is not generally known but abnormal conditions occur in the body that can cause the symptoms of tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Early signs may surface after a person has had bouts of reoccurring bronchitis. Onset can happen to any age group but is more common in children than adults. Allergy related attacks may include swelling of the throat and narrowing of air passage ways. Abnormal conditions associated with attacks are contractions of the muscles, as well as inflammation and fluid in the airways. Over the counter asthma medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation as well as opening the airways.
Epinephrine is a medication that relaxes muscles located in the airways making it easier to breathe. In addition to the epinephrine an expectorant may be included in some OTC solutions. Expectorants help to open the airway by loosening mucus. Loratadine or other antihistamines may provide allergy asthma relief but should be taken on a daily basis for it to work effectively. Antihistamines are often used as a preventive treatment and will minimize symptoms associated with allergens that lead to an attack. Nasal sprays that contain steroids are often prescribed to patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma to help prevent episodes.
Some medications can bring on an attack and should be avoided by patients. Others can react with over the counter asthma medication used to open the airways. Some of the main ones to avoid are beta-blockers and monoamine oxidase inhibitors normally prescribed for blood pressure patients and tricyclic anti-depressants normally prescribed to patients suffering from depression and anxiety. Some patients are sensitive to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and may have an attack after taking them. Children with the condition should be watched carefully after giving NSAIDs and other analgesics to make sure that the medication doesn't trigger an attack. Parents who have children that have the condition may worry and feel extreme stress. One important thing to remember is that God loves children and is watching over them. "But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14)
Management of asthma includes being aware of substances that trigger attacks. Common allergens are pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, cigarette smoke, latex, detergents, perfumes, dyes, cleaning solutions that contain toxic chemicals, and foods such as peanuts, dairy products, eggs, and wheat. Other triggers may include weather changes, indoor and outdoor pollution, exercise, changes in hormones, and stress. Attacks may be more prevalent in the morning or at night and during times of extreme stress. When a patient has frequent episodes finding out what is causing them should be paramount for allergy asthma relief.
Asthma is more prominent in children than adults and sometimes a child will seem to outgrow the bad symptoms by the time he or she reaches age 5 but that does not mean that it won't reoccur later on. The condition seems to run in families and oftentimes children who have it will also have other conditions such as hay fever or eczema. There are some disorders that have similar symptoms as asthma so seeing a doctor for a diagnosis is important even if over the counter asthma medication seems to help. Medical tests can help a physician rule out other possible causes for symptoms and make an informed diagnosis. Other conditions that have similar symptoms may include tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute bronchitis, and respiratory infection.
A physician may need to know a few details especially when the patient is being evaluated for the condition for the first time. Keeping track of symptoms for a short period of time before a doctor's appointment will be useful in the kind of treatment that is prescribed. Write down any over the counter asthma medication that were used to treat the symptoms and how often they were used. The doctor will need to determine the severity of the condition in order to determine how much medication may need to be prescribed. Pay attention to when episodes occur, if sleep is disrupted, if attacks have occurred during exercise, and any known triggers that seem to make attacks worse.
Treatment should decrease inflammation thereby making attacks less frequent and less uncomfortable when they do happen. Allergy asthma relief will also help the patient who is fearful and stressed over his or her condition to remain calm and composed. Current prescribed treatments usually include controlled drugs called glucocorticoids and bronchodilators. Both of these drugs can be prescribed to be given orally or by using an inhaler. Doctors often recommend that children use a breathing machine until they can learn to use an inhaler. The medication is put into the breathing mask and held over the child's face for optimal intake. Side effects of prolonged exposure to prescription drugs may include growth retardation in children, hypertension, diabetes, muscle weakness, and obesity.
Asthma ManagementAsthma management and asthma prevention go hand in hand, whether you are a patient or the health professional advising the patient about the best way to cope with this debilitating disease. Once the problem has been diagnosed, ways to prevent future attacks are paramount in the patient's mind. Prevention involves getting rid of or avoiding the allergens that trigger symptoms. Dust mites are the most common and prevalent causes of attacks, so measures to keep them at bay are foremost in the steps to be taken. Providing pillows and mattresses with protective dust covers is likely the first step in the process of making a home safer for the asthmatic. Then, replacing any dark, cotton, curtains or drapes with something made of polyester in a light color would be next. Removing stuffed animals or pillows and carpet is necessary, then banish the cat or dog from the patient's sleeping quarters, if not the house. Frequent bathing of a pet is a must, too. Any smokers in the house must be restricted to the outdoors if they are to continue smoking, because secondhand smoke can bring on an asthma episode too.
Keeping cockroaches out of the house is a necessary part of prevention as well, and that can be accomplished by frequent visits from the exterminator. Take care that the asthmatic doesn't come in contact with the chemicals used in pest-proofing the house by making sure he/she is gone when the exterminator arrives. Outdoor air pollution can also undo efforts at asthma management. It is important to keep up with environmental reports from the TV weather station, since pollens and other smog-producing stuff that gets into the air is dangerous, and counters a person's efforts at prevention.
Odd as it seems, for some asthmatics, exercise is a dangerous pastime. Vigorous exercise can bring on an attack, but if the patient starts out slowly, and takes preventive medication beforehand, the results can be quite positive. This is especially important for children. Of course, there are exercises that do not cause a problem. Most people can walk, play golf, or play cricket without any negative effects, so those sports are acceptable in their asthma management program.
It is probably clear by now that asthma prevention only refers to the measures taken to prevent an attack for the person who has been diagnosed with the disease. There is no way to prevent this severe breathing difficulty in the same way you can prevent measles, chicken pox, or the flu. It is the reaction some people have to certain allergens, so it is important in each individual case to determine which of the known substances and circumstances (cold air, or exercise) which bring on an attack are the triggers for that person, avoid those things as best one can, and thereby prevent the onset of an episode. Generally, the rules for asthma prevention are coincident with rules for good health for anyone, such as staying out of the cold when possible, avoiding exposure to colds and other infections that are easily transmitted from one person to another, and frequently washing one's hands.
So just exactly what is asthma? It's a chronic disease of the tubes carrying air to the lungs. In patients with this illness, those airways are swollen, irritated, and inflamed all the time, even when symptoms aren't present. The chest feels tight during an attack, and breathing is difficult. Wheezing with every breath is the most obvious symptom. It's a scary disease. In Biblical times, people often believed illness was caused by sins, either of the sick person or his parents. "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John 9:3)
Asthma management also includes medications that bring an attack under control, and some that keep an attack from happening. Quick-relief medications are used to relieve symptoms by opening up the airways so the patient can breath. They can also be used to prevent exercise-induced attacks. These medications are taken only on an as-needed basis. Then there are medicines used in asthma prevention, called controller medications. Taken on a daily basis, these medications reduce the frequency of episodes. Controller medications include the following: (1) inhaled steroids; (2) long-acting bronchodilators; (3) combination products that contain inhaled steroids and long-acting bronchodilators; (4) Leukotriene receptor antagonists (only available in pill form); (5) Inhaled nonsteroids; (6) Methylxantines (such as theophylline).
When parents are engaged in asthma management and asthma prevention for their child, it is important to have a written management plan that they can refer to frequently, and not trust to memory alone. Providing a copy of the plan to the child's school is a good idea, and a meeting with the child's teacher and coach would make sure they are aware of the child's condition. Since emotional stress and vigorous exercise can both create reactions in the delicate breathing apparatus of an asthmatic, anyone who might be around at those times needs to be aware of what to do.
Recent studies suggest that children in large families and living with pets, or spend a considerable amount of time in a daycare facility during the first year of life have less likelihood of developing asthma. This early exposure to common allergens may actually prevent the development of the disease. Also, some infections seem to decrease the risk of developing asthma; however, one infection, respiratory syncytial virus, increases that risk.