Unfortunately, many people suffer from respiratory illnesses, like asthma, that make this feeling an everyday concern.
Living with asthma, no matter how severe, can be a challenge. The best you can do, as an asthma sufferer, is know as much about your illness as possible. Here are five things every asthma sufferer needs to know:
1. What exactly happens during an asthma attack?
Many of us would be aware of someone suffering an asthma attack as the person struggling to breathe. However, an asthma attack is more than that, and can be quite severe and taxing on the person suffering through it. When one happens, the person experiences:
These three things combine to cause the person to experience an inability to breathe, and seriously impede the flow of air to the lungs.
As a sufferer of asthma, understanding what happens when an attack starts will allow you to remain calm and controlled as one begins. Arming yourself with knowledge and forethought is paramount to ensuring that you’re able to work through your attack clearly and confidently.
2. What causes an asthma attack?
Asthma attacks are very personal, and the triggers can vary from person to person. The most common causes of asthma attacks are:
If you do suffer from asthma, knowing the factors that could potentially set you off can be a lifesaver.
Ensure that your immediate surroundings are free of as many triggers as possible, and keep an eye out for any when you can’t be in control of your surroundings.
3. Have your medication with you at all times!
While you can often control your environment at home, the chance of an attack is less likely, but outside the home things become a lot more difficult.
Having your medication and/or inhaler with you at all times is paramount, especially if you’re entering an environment where you can’t be sure of what factors could be a trigger. This includes visiting friends or relatives, travelling locally or abroad, and eating out at restaurants.
4. Get to know YOUR asthma
Sadly, asthma affects each person differently. This means that you’re the best person to understand your asthma and how to handle it. The best way to start doing this is to monitor attacks and keep a record.
Write down when it happened, where it happened and any specifics of the attack, such as what you ate, how severe it was or how long it lasted. This information will help you learn the quirks of your specific asthma, as well as help your doctor when it comes to prescribing or changing your medication.
5. Have a plan!
This is a two-parter. The first part is making sure you’ve seen your doctor and have your regimented medication plan sorted. This asthma management plan is done with your doctor, assisted by your insights into your own specific asthma. It includes types of medication, dosages, emergency protocols and medications, and when you should seek direct medical help.
The second part is a financial plan. While some people outgrow asthma, for many it’s unfortunately a life-long condition controlled by doctors’ visits and medication. Both of these things can become expensive over time and it’s important to have some form of medical insurance to ensure that you don’t need to worry about your asthma causing financial strain.
GetSavvi Health members get access to Day-to-day Benefits that include unlimited doctors’ visits at more than 2 500 medical practitioners around South Africa, as well as Chronic Medication benefits, specifically designed for asthma, through leading pharmacies.
To find out more about these GetSavvi Health benefits, simply click here and complete an obligation-free quote today.