Asthma Symptoms and Treatments, How to Cope

Robin Wirth

Ask anyone who has any form of asthma and they'll tell you, it's not a comfortable sensation. The trouble is, if you have the condition all you can do is treat the symptoms and endure. This is because asthma is a disease, and as such it must be dealt with on a continual basis. In fact, it comes in several varieties, including allergy induced, non-allergy induced, exercise induced, occupational and nighttime induced. The latter can often be a side-effect of lying down in bed in an attempt at sleep. There are also several other conditions that can mimic asthma as well.

Most people characterize asthma with wheezing and coughing as the main symptoms of the disease, but not everyone has symptoms all the time. Many times asthma symptoms can be brought on or made worse by certain triggers. These may include food additives, or foods such as milk, eggs, nuts, soy, wheat or fish. Sometimes even fresh fruits and salads may be the culprit. Once the asthma sufferer is aware of their triggers, it is recommended that they avoid them. Although sometimes, like when the trigger comes from an external source, this isn't as easy as it sounds.

Some of the lesser indicators that a person has asthma could include frequent coughing, easily becoming short of breath, cold or flu symptoms that don't go away, or feeling tired and moody a lot of the time.

Doctors often measure the lung functions of someone who has or believes they might have asthma using different devices. One of these is called the peak flow meter. Explained below, this is a device that measures the ability of your lungs to push air out in one quick puff.

Sometimes people wonder why asthmatics become so tired and cranky. Generally speaking, the more air a person gets, the better they feel. This is because the body requires oxygen for its cells to stay healthy. Usually, this oxygen is taken in by the lungs and then passed to the bloodstream to be carried throughout the body. So, when someone has asthma, less of that oxygen enters the lungs and thus cannot saturate the body, causing it to work harder to get what it needs.

So remember, if you have asthma avoid those triggers, get plenty of sleep, and take your medications as directed. That should go a long way towards making you feel a bit better.