You don’t hear much talk about asthma after childhood, and even then it’s just in passing. Maybe one of your classmates has it, or maybe someone in your family has it. Regardless, it seems as though only the people who have asthma (and those close to them) really know about it outside of inhalers and feeling short of breath. Here are some facts about asthma:

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs. For someone with asthma, their airways are narrow and prone to swelling and will produce excess mucus. This makes it hard to breathe, and sometimes cause coughing fits in a person. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, tightness, or pain in the chest, trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath, wheezing, and asthma attacks. Asthma attacks are moments where someone may cough and wheeze uncontrollably, which happens most often when their lungs are irritated.

Asthma is not the same for everyone. For some people, they may only experience symptoms once in a while, while others live with symptoms all the time. The same can be said about intensity too—for some, asthmatic symptoms are just an annoyance. For others, it can be highly detrimental and affect their quality of life.

Spirometer Tests

There are many products people with asthma can use to help reduce symptoms of increase quality of breath. However, before anyone can use these instruments, they first need a diagnosis.

Spirometers are used by doctors to determine a patient’s strength and quality of breath. To complete the test, the patient breaths into a valve or tube attached to the spirometer, and their breath is used to lift a small weight inside the device. The doctor then records how far the weight traveled in the device, and how long the patient could keep it in the air. Usually, a doctor will conduct a few tests in one sitting, and the total process will last about twenty minutes.

The test itself is relatively non-invasive since patients only need to use a mouthpiece. This is a trend with most asthma and breath care devices as well.

Air Nebulizers

For people with asthma, medication in the form of an inhalant is common. For emergency doses, a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) works well to administer medication, but air nebulizers may work better for other people. MDIs and nebulizers have the same function: they both turn liquid medication into a fine mist so that the user can easily inhale it. The main difference? MDIs are pocket-sized and mechanical, while nebulizers are a bit larger, electrical, and can cover the nose.

PEP Devices

To help strengthen the lungs, positive expiratory pressure (PEP) devices can help users by creating resistance when they inhale and exhale. PEP devices can help increase lung volume and reduce mucus levels in the airways, making asthma attacks less likely to happen, and prepare users for them if they do. This, of course, is not instantaneous and users will need to use their devices as directed daily.

To browse other respiratory aids that may help you breathe better, visit Medical Supply Depot.

 

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