Exercise, Allergies, and Asthma – Controlling Your Disease in the Face of Exacerbating Factors
Asthma literally takes your breath away, causing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and a terrible sensation of tightness in your chest. Defined as a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system and the airways, this condition can be difficult to live with. However, proper diagnostic care and medications to control symptoms can helps those with asthma to live a full and and active life. While medications are an important and integral part of asthma control, it is still vitally important to be aware of potential triggers that may lead to an acute attack of asthma that may contribute to developing increasingly severe symptoms.
Allergies & Asthma
All sufferers of allergies experience misery and discomfort when exposed to allergens, but for someone with asthma their discomfort is exponentially increased. Exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust or pet dander, evokes an inflammatory response that can exacerbate the already chronic inflammation experienced by asthma sufferers. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as inhalers or other medications, can help to control the increased respiratory distress often seen from exposure to irritants.
Exercise & Asthma
It is a well established fact that exercise and physical activity are an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. However, for those living with asthma, exercise can actually trigger some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of asthma. Whether you experience asthma continuously or symptoms are only induced by exercising, the wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath can become severe. The deep breathing that is associated with high levels of physical exertion actually cause a narrowing of the bronchial tubes, making it difficult to breathe. Fast-acting bronchodilators help to control immediate and severe symptoms, while good asthma care focuses on the overall control of symptoms.
Modern Approaches to Controlling Asthma Triggers
Modern medicine is always striving to better control the symptoms of asthma. Some newer methods of addressing triggers include:
- Improved anti-inflammatory inhalers and drugs
- Development of aerosolized inhaler delivery devices
- Advanced heat therapies to target bronchial inflammation
- Advanced allergy therapies to reinforce immune system strength to target inflammation
As the inflammatory and immune responses that cause asthma are increasingly researched and addressed, more options for treatment will become widely available for those who live with this chronic disease.