Asthma is a condition associated with inflammation and constriction of the lung’s air passages, possibly producing extra mucus. This introduces significant difficulty in breathing, with a particular whistling sound when the patient exhales.
Which will you be? Worried or surprised if I told you over 25 million Americans have asthma? This comprises 8.4% of the American child population and 7.7% of the adult equivalent.
Asthma is also prevalent in the Black American community, with an estimated 2.6 million non-Hispanic blacks having asthma. For asthma, the predominant risk factor includes genetic predisposition and exposure to triggers in your surroundings. Such triggers – as typical when an asthmatic patient inhales particles or substances – can irritate the air passage.
Some of these triggers include outdoor allergens like mold and pollen, indoor allergens like pet dander and house dust mites (customizing your bedding to their own Beverly Hills estate), tobacco smoke, and air pollution. Interacting with someone with asthma requires a reasonable dose of empathy. There is an unwritten code of ethics to operate around these patients as they are more sensitive, either physically and emotionally.
Let me tell you five things you should never say to someone with asthma if you genuinely care about them.
“Why don’t you just take your inhaler?”
There is no denying that inhalers can be a handful when those ugly symptoms of asthma pop up. But the best way to manage asthma attacks remains prevention.
It would be very careless of you to deliberately expose your friend to triggers trusting in the can-do-it-all power of inhalers. Inhalers are best used in emergencies, not as bulletproof resort against avoidable triggers.
Be emphatic to what your friend’s or loved one’s special needs. If they tell you to keep your dog out or stop wearing strong perfume around them, don’t try to convince them inhalers will get them just fine.
“Would you mind I just smoke?”
Come on, an asthma patient definitely minds if you smoke. Exposure to tobacco smoke is particularly dangerous for people with asthma.