Imagine that you feel like drowning, the air is trapped inside of you and you can’t seem to exhale and you are not getting enough air. It is definitely a horrible feeling. Certainly no one would like to go through this terrifying experience. But there are several people suffering from asthma, who when they have a severe asthma attack, go through this physically and psychologically traumatizing experience.
While every 1 out of 12 persons in the US may be suffering from asthma, there seems to be a lack of knowledge and understanding about asthma.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition where the air passages inside your lungs (bronchioles, if you would like to get technical) constrict and tighten due to inflammation.
Asthma can have varying severities in different people. Or the same person can experience mild to severe attacks at different times depending on the circumstances.
How to Know If Someone Is Having an Asthma Attack?
The person suffering from mild asthma would develop a light cough and wheezing sound when breathing during the time the symptoms start. The more severe the cough and wheezing become, the more severe the asthma attack. The difficulty in breathing also increases with the increasing severity of the attack.
A severe attack can be identified with an extremely heavy feeling in the chest. The sufferer may be unable to speak due to shortness of breath.
What do Asthma Patients Go Through?
Regular asthma attacks are tiring and frustrating. Just imagine how inconvenient it is constantly coughing and struggling for breath.
The symptoms tend to show up more frequently at night, seriously interfering with the sleep patterns of asthma patients. This can make them edgy and frustrated in the day too.
Asthma patients also have to deal with the embarrassment they have to face when a scene is created after a severe asthma attack in public, be it at their school or workplace. This constant fear, that they might get an attack, also adversely effects their self-confidence.
Misconceptions About Asthma
Many people assume that asthma patients are just overreacting and that there is nothing actually wrong with them. This is due to lack of information. Asthma is in fact a physical condition where the patients actually have to suffer from these uncomfortable and painful symptoms.
Another misconception people have is that asthma patients should not exercise. Asthma patients can lead a normal healthy life if they take a few precautions, and they can most definitely exercise. As a matter of fact, asthma patients need to exercise to keep symptoms under control.
Sadly some people have the very wrong misconception that asthma is contagious. This misconception needs to be eradicated and people need to be properly educated.
The lack of awareness on matters like asthma should never be taken lightly. The patients and their families do have a bit of knowledge on these matters from their doctors, but the general public still remains largely uninformed. There may be people suffering from mild asthma and not even be aware of it. In such cases, when a serious attack occurs, bad consequences are not too far away.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!