Control your Asthma
and Breathe with Ease
Asthma is a chronic condition that occurs when the the lungs’ main air passages, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. The bronchial wall muscles tighten, producing excess mucus and causing the airways to narrow. This constriction causes conditions ranging from minor wheezing to severely labored breathing.
Though asthma is not typically considered a life-threatening lung disease, each year, nearly 500,000 Americans are hospitalized for asthma-related conditions and more than 4,200 die.
Recognizing warning signs and treating symptoms early can help control your asthma and prevent it from getting worse.
You can help better manage asthma by limiting your exposure to environmental factors that aggravate the condition. The humidity, temperature, and elevation in Hawai’i provide an ideal habitat for mites and cockroaches, whose feces and remnants contain allergens that exacerbate asthma. Second-hand smoke is just as — if not more — devastating to people with asthma, but affects them slowly. Tobacco smoke contains nearly 400 toxic substances and carcinogens that irritate air passages but do not necessarily cause coughing or wheezing during exposure. It is particularly detrimental for children with asthma when an adult smokes in the home or the car.
See your doctor if you think you have asthma. Signs include:
- Labored breathing
- Chest pain or tightness
- Coughing without any other symptoms
If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, ask your doctor how to manage your condition. Together, you and your doctor can develop a plan to help control your symptoms and prevent attacks. If your prescribed medication does not alleviate your symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Asthma should not limit your activities or cause depression. You can still live an active life if your asthma is controlled by carefully following your doctor’s treatment plan. It’s also important to avoid certain triggers, such as smoke, dust, or mold. Once you understand how to manage your condition, you can breathe with greater ease.
MOST HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS COVER LIFESAVING PREVENTATIVE TESTS. USE THE HEALTH BENEFITS YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR TO GET SCREENED! As a community-based health center, Hamakua-Kohala Health provides comprehensive primary and preventative healthcare to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status.