While most people get diagnosed with asthma at an early age, that’s not the case for everyone. Some people can develop asthma later in life as all of the causes of this lifelong respiratory illness are not known, though it can be influenced by ethnicity and genetics. Asthma generally affects the lungs and can cause symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath as well as coughing at night. These symptoms will only appear when you’re having an attack. The important thing is that you learn how to manage your illness. Here are some of the things you need to know when living with asthma.
1. You’ll Need To Know The Type Of Asthma You Have
Asthma is not a one size fits all kind of disease. The illness actually falls into nine different categories. These are adult-onset, allergic, non-allergic, occupational, exercise-induced, nocturnal, aspirin-induced, cough-variant, and eosinophilic. Most of those names are self-explanatory, however, eosinophilic asthma involves a high level of white blood cells in the body. Your doctor will do additional tests to find out which one you’re dealing with.
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2. The Severity Is Important
Not only are there different types of asthma, but the illness can also have varying degrees of severity. This will influence the type of medications you’ll be given.
Mild intermittent asthma is characterized by few asthma attacks and having symptoms fewer than twice per week. People with mild persistent asthma can have symptoms up to six times per week and it might affect being physically active.
With moderate persistent asthma, you’ll have daily symptoms and up to five nighttime attacks.
Finally, severe persistent asthma means you’ll have ongoing symptoms.
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3. Not All Triggers Are The Same
Generally, asthma attacks can be sparked by triggers such as pollen, smoke, pollution, pets, or smoke. However, they don’t affect everyone the same way and you might not have the same reaction all the time. It’s best to be on the side of caution, though. Avoid the triggers that you can and take your medication as prescribed if you’ve been triggered by something before.
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4. Triggers Change Over Time
Just as triggers might not always affect you, it’s possible for something that never bothered you to make you ill. If you change your work environment or move to a different neighborhood, you may also discover new triggers.
In this case, make note of these reactions and let your doctor know. You may even need to use protective gear at work so be prepared to