Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects over 25 million people in the United States alone, with 7 million of them being children. The numbers tell us of how many people are suffering from recurring periods of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, among others.
When a person has asthma, his or her airways are inflamed in a way that they become very sensitive to irritants or other foreign substances. Exposure to these will tighten the muscles, narrow the airways, and eventually trigger asthma symptoms—all of which can lead to terrible outcomes when not identified and managed promptly.
Coughing is a common symptom among asthma patients, which is often worse at night or early in the morning. Coughing is the body’s natural reflex to clear out irritants in the airways and prevent infection. Since the airways are swollen and more sensitive to such irritants, the body responds by coughing more frequently.
If you’ve been taking cough medications to no avail, there could be an underlying reason that your coughing has not subsided, which includes asthma. It is recommended to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor so it can be treated appropriately.
Tiredness and Fatigue
While you don’t commonly see fatigue as an asthma symptom, it can definitely happen to patients. Since the body is working double to breathe properly, it gets easily tired and weak. This feeling of persistent exhaustion may also be due to having low oxygen levels most of the time, especially when an asthma is poorly controlled. This often results to inadequate rest or poor quality of sleep during the night, affecting one’s daily functioning during the day.
Shortness of Breath
Since the airways constrict and narrow during an asthma attack, the patient experiences shortness of breath. This asthma symptom may be triggered by vigorous physical activity or an allergic reaction to an irritant. This difficulty in breathing may accompany other symptoms such as fast breathing or chest pain and tightness.
If you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath for a long time now, your doctor may perform specific tests to diagnose asthma, which includes chest X-ray, pulse oximetry, or an electrocardiogram using EKG sensors.
Flared Nostrils During Breathing
Some warning signs of asthma are more serious than the others, which require immediate professional care. Aside from difficulty in catching one’s breath or even in just talking, these serious warning symptoms include flaring nostrils as you breathe as well as sucking in one’s chest or stomach with every labored breath. In more serious cases, the patient may also experience a bluish or grayish tinge to the lips or fingernails, which means there is not enough oxygen circulating to the different parts of the body.
If you get any of these alarming symptoms, call 911 right away as these are clear signs of a critical asthma attack.
When to See a Doctor
The signs and symptoms of asthma may vary from every individual. They may occur only at certain times for some or occur all the time for others. Whatever the case, it is important to seek medical advice upon noticing these symptoms to have your condition properly diagnosed and get an effective treatment plan sorted out for you.
For people who are already diagnosed with the chronic respiratory condition, don’t hesitate to seek emergency treatment when severe asthma attacks occur or if your maintenance medications do not seem to ease such symptoms. Don’t use asthma medication more than what’s prescribed as this could make the condition worse.
Remember, warning signs are there for a reason, and that is to give you a heads-up that your body needs appropriate medical attention.
When it comes to finding an effective acne treatment, there are so many products out there. From creams and acne washes to skin therapies, options are overwhelming! Though some medications reduce the breakouts in the first place, deep painful pimples are harder to get rid of. Sometimes, you may require stronger prescriptions or dermatologist-approved skin treatments to fight acne. Here are some of the most effective topical, oral and cosmetic procedures to get an acne-free skin- Topical Medications To Fight AcneIt is the most common type of acne treatment. Some of these methods work by killing bacteria, while others help to decrease facial oil. Some of the ingredients used in topical acne treatments are: Benzoyl PeroxideThis antibacterial ingredient is quite effective at killing P.acnes bacteria that causes breakouts. But, the cleansing treatments and leave-on creams containing peroxide may dry out your sensitive skin. Stronger concentrations may be hard on your skin without being effective on bacteria. So, it is advised to go for the formulations that don’t have more than 2% of benzoyl peroxide listed on the ingredient list. Salicylic AcidIt is a beta-hydroxy acid that works on dissolving the excess oil and exfoliating the skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of this ingredient help with cystic breakouts. Though it’s fine to use salicylic acid in a face wash, you can find better results by using it as a moisturizer, toner, or leave-on acne treatment. RetinolYou might have heard about the effectiveness of retinoid creams for anti-aging. However, Vitamin A also works wonders in treating acne. It helps skin cells to turn over faster, decreases oil production, and exfoliates the skin. Oral Medications For AcneTopical medications are often taken in combination with oral prescriptions. The most commonly used oral medications are: AntibioticsFor severe acne breakout, you might need antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Tetracycline is usually the first antibiotic choice for treating acne. The use of oral antibiotics, along with topical medications (retinoids, benzoyl peroxide), reduces the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Anti-Androgen PillsIf oral antibiotics aren’t working, women and adolescent girls may consider anti-androgen medications such as Aldactone. It works by reducing the effects of androgen hormones in the sebaceous glands. Birth Control PillsIf you’re breaking out right around your monthly cycle, the acne might be linked to the hormones. Birth control or contraceptive pills contain progesterone and estrogen that lower the amount of androgens in the body. It further reduces sebum production and acne risk. Don’t forget to consult a doctor or a dermatologist before taking any of these medications. Effective Medical Procedures For AcneSometimes, acne breakouts are more stubborn, and there is no single treatment for everyone. If the problem is more severe, you might need to visit a professional dermatologist for effective medical procedures such as: Laser Skin ResurfacingThe laser skin resurfacing diminishes all the acne scars on the skin’s surface. It helps to restore a youthful glow, smooth skin texture, and stimulates the natural production of collagen. Besides acne, it also fights other common skin problems:• Lax Skin• Wrinkles• Skin Texture Irregularities• Pigmentation Steroid And Botox InjectionsCorticosteroid injections are used to treat nodular and cystic lesions. It is an anti-inflammatory steroid that shrinks the swollen wall of the cyst and reduces blemishes. Sometimes, the skin around acne scars gets puckered. Injecting Botulinum toxin (Botox) relaxes the area and helps improve the skin’s appearance. You might need to repeat the procedure periodically. Needling Or RollingIt is a safe and effective technique for acne scars. This procedure involves rolling a needle-studded device on the skin to stimulate the underlying tissue. It loosens the skin fibers below the scars and improves the appearance. These were some of the commonly used methods to fight acne. To determine which one is the best for you, discuss the severity of the skin problem with your doctor or dermatologist! Read more
Created by Dr. Richard Tan, the Balance Method is a specialized system of acupuncture within Oriental medicine using techniques to promote rapid healing. The Academy of Acupuncture provides training courses, online learning tools, certification, and internship opportunities with Dr. Eileen Han for those in Canada, the US, and nationwide interested in Ba Zi classes, acupuncture courses, and traditional Chinese medicine. Read more