Annually, there are so many ‘special days’, each one of them with the purpose of making us aware and highlighting particular conditions. World Asthma Day is one of those ‘special days’, which is very close to a cause I champion every day in my role as Chair of Breathe Easy in Solihull.
I’m really keen for people to understand that we can all run out of breath when we are exerting ourselves, whether that is running in a marathon or running up the stairs in double quick time, this is our body adjusting to the need of more oxygen to fuel our muscles. It is a different matter if we are short of breath when the activity is low.
If you or those around you experience restricted breathing whilst at rest, it is wise to have a consultation with a doctor or a respiratory nurse to assess your lung condition and diagnose the reason for the problem. We are all different, and that is why a session with a specialist will pay dividends.
I can hear my Grandma now, saying “nip it in the bud!” And that is true; the earlier the diagnosis, the more likelihood there is of reducing the impact in the future.
So, what is asthma? It is a condition which involves the highly sensitive airways feeding air both in and out of our lungs. Asthma, a reduction in air flow, can be triggered by a variety of circumstances, such as an allergy, air pollution, stress, the common cold and increased activity in a cold climate, amongst others. Some five million people of all ages suffer from asthma in the UK.
Medication is available and can be prescribed by your GP to control asthmatic episodes, mainly via inhalers; most people have heard of the use of ‘puffers’ to relieve tightness in the airways.
Once diagnosed, your condition will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that the best is being achieved to maintain your quality of life. I recommend that you, a family member or a friend go onto the internet and visit the British Lung foundation or Asthma UK websites, where you will find pages of more detailed information to understand the condition and ways of achieving a good outcome.
There is plenty of help available, all it needs is for you to take that step and see a doctor, respiratory nurse and explain your concerns. Don’t forget what Grandma said: ‘nip it in the bud!
Breathe Easy - Solihull