Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines asthma as “a chronic lung disorder that is marked by recurrent episodes of airway obstruction (as from broncho-spasm) manifested by labored breathing accompanied by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest, and that is triggered by hyper-reactivity to various stimuli (as allergens or a rapid change in air temperature.” Many people suffer from asthma, some only have allergic asthma, while others may have chronic asthma. Chronic asthma can strike at any time, while allergic asthma tends to be triggered by specific allergens.
Symptoms of an asthma attack can include a tightened airway, which is noticeable by coughing and wheezing. Other symptoms are a tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Symptoms are similar to the warning signs of an impending attack, which include coughing (mostly at night), a loss of breath easily, shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and weakness after mild exercise and also wheezing and coughing after exercise, as well as a hard time sleeping because of breathing problems.
Triggers of an asthma attack very from person to person. Allergens, like dander and saliva from pets, can cause asthma attacks. Keep fur and feathers vacuumed up, using a machine equipped with a hepa filter. Indoor molds can be trigger, so make sure to fix and clean up after leaks and to keep showers and shower curtains clean. Dust mites can be creeping around without you even knowing it, wash all bedding in hot water regularly. Cigarette smoke is a nasty trigger. Colds, flu and sinus infections can cause attacks. Exercise is something that asthma sufferers should really be careful with. Outdoor pollens and molds are also dangerous. Avoiding the last can be difficult, but you can keep windows closed during allergy season and stay indoors midday and afternoon hours when pollen counts are the highest.
Doctors can prescribe long-term medications and “quick-relief” medications for asthma sufferers. You can also try breathing exercises, just by concentrating on your breath and learning to calm yourself down you can help calm an attack. Take slow and deep breaths, in and out, being mindful the entire time.