Seasonal changes can be very exciting for most people. Each season brings with it a new set of colours and nature takes a new turn. However, for people with seasonal allergies, this change comes with a set of allergies. From skin rashes to wheezing to breathing difficulties, the list of symptoms can be quite long. Asthma is the most common problem, and the attacks can be quite bothersome with wheezing attacks and breathing troubles.
With advancements in the field of medicine, there is a lot of relief for asthma patients. A little understanding of how asthma attacks happen will help in understanding how to control it. Asthma is an allergic reaction caused by narrowing of the airway with thick mucus, which makes breathing difficult. During an attack, the person can have a dry cough or face shortness of breath and wheezing.
Asthma is often triggered or worsened by some factors, and being aware of these can help prevent or manage the attack:
Once you know the triggers, here are some common measures that can help prevent and relieve the wheezing.
The preventers reduce the inflammation in the airway tube and the swelling. While they do not provide immediate relief during an attack, using these in the long term helps avoid attacks. These are low-dose inhaled corticosteroids such as beclomethasone, fluticasone, and budesonide. Doctors would advise their usage even when there are no symptoms, as asthma attacks can be triggered when they are not taking these medications for a while. Newer drugs include leukotriene antagonists like montelukast and zafirlukast. Relievers are used for symptom relief and include Salbutamol (short acting) and Salmeterol/Formoterol (long acting). The peak flow meter may be useful in acute attacks, wherein the peak flow rates can be reduced.
A good strategy is to use preventers regularly and rely on relievers during an attack. The first one helps build resistance and so reduces the incidence of attacks. Reach out to a doctor if a severe attack ensues (lasts more than 3 hours).
A discomfort in the chest accompanied by shortness of breath and a tingling sensation in fingers or toes might be a sign of hyperventilation, more commonly known as panic attacks. This is the condition wherein you need more amount of oxygen than normal.
And, you need to be aware of the symptom, especially if you are suffering from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With COPD, experiencing symptoms of hyperventilation may turn adverse, and there are enough reasons to know the ways to manage it, which is indeed possible.
Hyperventilating or over-breathing can be accompanied by or can cause various symptoms in people. Apart from the common symptoms described above, some patients may also experience dizziness, palpitations, sweating profusely, wheeze, feelings of suffocation or choking, tinnitus, weakness, etc. Some may also feel highly anxious or tensed. Though very uncommon, still, one may suffer from loss of consciousness as a result of hyperventilating.
Dealing with hyperventilation
Depending on the severity and type of hyperventilation, the available treatment option may vary from person to person. From various home remedies to certain prescribed drugs, treatments are available easily. However, it’s through practising a few techniques on noticing the symptoms that can help one deal with hyperventilation. Some of those useful methods are, breathing through pursed lips, holding the breath for 10 to 15 seconds, trying to take deep breaths into the belly rather than in the chest and breathing slowly into cupped hands or a paper bag. These techniques will help regulate breathing.
In case, the episodes of hyperventilation last for more than 30 minutes, even after trying all the techniques mentioned above, one should not delay in seeking necessary medical attention.
Growing episodes of hyperventilation or over-breathing can leave one feeling breathless. Therefore, when people with COPD notice any symptom of hyperventilation, consulting with pulmonology specialist must be of top priority. Neglecting this particular condition for an extended period may end up causing further complications.