There is no cure for asthma, a chronic lung disease that causes distressing symptoms and impairs one’s quality of life. Acute asthma attacks can interfere with daily activities and, in severe cases, may require emergency medical treatment.
Emergency treatment for an acute asthma attack is sometimes necessary to prevent respiratory failure and death.
Fortunately, treatment options are available to relieve asthma symptoms and minimize acute asthma attacks.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic medical condition that causes the airways to become narrow, inflamed, and filled with excess mucous. As a result, asthma sufferers experience troubling symptoms like difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Asthma can interfere with your ability to lead a normal, healthy life. Asthma can even lead to a dangerous and potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
Although there is no cure for asthma treatments are available to help patients manage their symptoms.
Asthma is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors.
Asthma symptoms can vary from one individual to the next. Some asthma patients experience symptoms constantly. Others suffer asthma attacks infrequently, or only experience symptoms in the presence of certain triggers.
For some patients, asthma symptoms are triggered by exercise, especially in cold weather. People with occupational asthma become symptomatic when exposed to environmental irritants in the workplace. Patients with allergy-induced asthma suffer flare-ups when exposed to allergens such as mold, pollen, dust, or pet dander.
Other possible triggers include cigarette smoke, air pollution, the use of certain medications, respiratory infections, stress, food sensitivities, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If you have asthma, it is important to identify and avoid the triggers that cause your symptoms to flare up.
What is an Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack is a sudden and pronounced flare-up of asthma symptoms. During an asthma attack, you might experience chest pain or a tight feeling in the chest; shortness of breath; difficulty breathing; gasping for air; feeling out of breath; coughing; wheezing; rapid breathing; pallor; fatigue; confusion; and anxiety.
During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways suddenly tighten, a phenomenon known as bronchospasm. Additionally, these muscles become swollen or inflamed, and the airways are blocked due to increased mucus production.
Dangers of an Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is a terrifying, potentially life-threatening medical emergency. If your symptoms persist or worsen despite using your medication, you should seek emergency medical treatment right away.
Acute asthma attack treatment is crucial to prevent respiratory failure and death. Call 911 if your lips or fingernails turn blue, or you cannot walk or talk because you’re so short of breath.
More than ten Americans die from asthma every day. Asthma-related deaths are highly preventable; the majority of patients who die from asthma develop symptoms progressively in the days or weeks leading up to their deaths. Fast acute asthma attack treatment can prevent asthma-related deaths.
Medications for Asthma Treatment
• Long-Term Treatment
Most asthma patients take long-term control medications daily. These medications do not provide immediate symptom relief. Instead, they are designed to prevent symptoms from developing in the first place.
Inhaled corticosteroids are the most widely used treatment for long-term asthma management. These medications work by reducing swelling and inflammation in the airways.
• Quick-Relief Treatment
Asthma patients need specific medications to treat the acute symptoms of an asthma attack. Quick-relief medication relaxes the muscles surrounding the airways to allow the passage of air. Quick-relief medication is inhaled directly into the lungs to relieve symptoms as soon as possible.
Short-acting beta antagonists quickly reduce swelling to open the airways and allow for breathing. Anticholinergics, on the other hand, act more slowly by relaxing the muscles in the airways. Anticholinergics also limit the production of mucus, which can block airflow.
Combination quick-relief medications contain both a short-acting beta antagonist and an anticholinergic. The medication is inhaled using either a traditional inhaler or a nebulizer, which delivers the medication in mist form.
Quick-relief treatment provides rapid relief during an acute asthma attack. However, fast-acting treatments will not prevent future asthma attacks, which is why long-term treatment is important.
Chiropractic Treatment for Asthma
Chiropractic treatment is designed to restore optimal spinal alignment and therefore enhance overall health and well-being.
Misalignment of the spine can exert undue stress on the nervous system, impair immune system function, and hinder the function of essential organs, including the heart and lungs. Chiropractic adjustments are performed to correct spinal alignment.
For many asthma patients, chiropractic treatment can help ease asthma symptoms and improve overall physical and mental health.
• Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is used to ease the joint pressure, relieve inflammation, and enhance nervous system function. During a spinal manipulation procedure, a trained chiropractor manually applies controlled force to specific joints.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments can also involve stretching, physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, electric stimulation, massage, and exercise.
Most people who have asthma also have allergies. Chiropractic adjustment of the spine, lifestyle changes, and an anti-inflammatory diet can help ease the symptoms of both conditions.