Tests for Asthma
The doctor or nurse will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs. Wheezing or other asthma-related sounds may be heard.
Tests that may be ordered include:
- Allergy testing – skin or a blood test to see if a person with asthma is allergic to certain substances
- Arterial blood gas (usually only done with patients who are having a severe asthma attack)
- Chest x-ray
- Lung function tests, including peak flow measurements
What Causes Asthma?
The exact cause of asthma isn’t known. Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, most often early in life. These factors include:
- An inherited tendency to develop allergies, called atopy
- Parents who have asthma
- Certain respiratory infections during childhood
- Contact with some airborne allergens or exposure to some viral infections in infancy or early childhood when the immune system is developing. An allergen is any substance that stimulates an immune system response. We are exposed to more allergens now than at any time in history. When a substance that is foreign to the body enters, the body chooses as to whether it is harmful or not. If it deems X substance harmful, a reaction can occur which is the body’s way of “defending” itself. Notorious allergens are genetically modified foods, heavy chemicals found in personal care products, heavy metals such as mercury and aluminum, and even things such as the chemicals found in cleaning products.
According to mainstream medicine, no cure exists for asthma. Yet, at the same time, an exponential rise in cases of asthma has occurred within the last 20-40 years. This rise is due to the following factors:
1. Pollution. Our world is becoming increasingly polluted. The air we breathe is more polluted than ever and contains things that our bodies react to constantly.
2. Poor diet and health habits. The immune system needs nutrients to be able to manufacture the resources necessary to defend itself. Without good sources of food that truly nourish the body, we will continue to have asthma and other dangerous health problems. Unfortunately, most Americans have a very poor diet.
3. Vaccinations. Contrary to popular belief, vaccines actually can work against the immune system. They are filled with many harmful substances such as mercury and aluminum, which bring harm to the immune system in the long run.
Some factors may be more likely to cause asthma in some people than in others. Researchers continue to explore what causes asthma.
There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms can be controlled with effective asthma treatment and management.
The goals of treatment are:
- Control airway swelling
- Stay away from substances that trigger your symptoms
- Help you to be able to do normal activities without asthma symptoms
The most common asthma treatment is the use of controller medications such as inhalers to help control inflammatory responses, swelling, and mucus production in the airways.
Medicines for Asthma
There are two kinds of medicines for treating asthma:
- Control medicines to help prevent attacks
- Quick-relief (rescue) medicines for use during attacks
These are also called maintenance or control medicines. They are used to prevent symptoms in people with moderate to severe asthma. You must take them every day for them to work. Take them even when you feel OK.
Some long-term medicines are breathed in (inhaled), such as steroids and long-acting beta-agonists. Others are taken by mouth (orally). Your doctor will prescribe the right medicine for you.
These are also called rescue medicines. They are taken:
- For coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, or an asthma attack
- Just before exercising to help prevent asthma symptoms caused by exercise
Tell your doctor if you are using quick-relief medicines twice a week or more. Your asthma may not be under control and your doctor may need to change your dose of daily control drugs.
Quick-relief medicines include:
- Short-acting inhaled bronchodilators
- Oral corticosteroids for when you have an asthma attack that is not going away
A severe asthma attack requires a checkup by a doctor. You may also need a hospital stay. There, you will likely be given oxygen, breathing assistance, and medications given through a vein.
ASTHMA CARE AT HOME:
- Know the asthma symptoms to watch for.
- Know how to take your peak flow reading and what it means.
- Know which triggers make your asthma worse and what to do when this happens.
One of the most powerful ways that asthma can be eliminated is by changing your dietary and lifestyle habits. There were people detoxify, start eating lots of organic vegetables and fruits, eliminate their exposure to toxic chemicals and metals in their environment, drink lots of water, etc… and within 6 months 90% of asthma symptoms disappear. For many, the symptoms never appear again.
Outlook and conclusion
Asthma has no cure. Even when you feel fine, you still have the disease and it can flare up at any time.
However, with today’s knowledge and treatments, most people who have asthma can manage the disease. They have few if any, symptoms. They can live normal, active lives and sleep through the night without interruption from asthma.
If you have asthma, you can take an active role in managing the disease. For successful, thorough, and ongoing treatment, build strong partnerships with your doctor and other health care providers.
The complications of asthma can be severe, and may include:
- Decreased ability to exercise and take part in other activities
- Lack of sleep due to nighttime symptoms
- Permanent changes in the function of the lungs
- Persistent cough
- Trouble breathing that requires breathing assistance (ventilator)