asthma peak weak

asthma peak weak

What is Asthma Peak Week?

Most people assume that Peak Week would have something to do with Autumn and changing colors of the leaves, but it’s actually a specific week of the year where those with asthma and allergies suffer even more than normal.

The third week of September is traditionally one of the worst weeks for asthmatics. During this week, individuals with asthma and allergies undergo a significant impact on their breathing. The reason for this is the combination of cold and flu season, and the elevated pollen in the air. At the same time, children start going back to school and start to be exposed to contagious cold and flu symptoms. While all these flu symptoms are popping up is also when ragweed pollen is in its propionate blooming season, which can cause or trigger an asthma attack in many people. Click to read more about asthma peak week!

What is Asthma?

On average 1 out of 12 Americans have asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes the inflammation of the lungs. This can cause narrowing and swelling of the airways that makes it difficult to move air in and out of your lungs. The severity of the asthma differs across many people. It ranges from difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing and wheezing, and even the combination of a few of these. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the fall season is a time when many people tend to go to the hospital for asthma or breathing related complications.

There isn’t an actual cure for asthma, it is generally caused by environmental or genetic factors. The condition is treatable with a combination of medications and avoiding the elements that can trigger an attack. Unfortunately, there is not always a way to control the conditions that can cause these attacks in the first place.

Asthma appears when you have been exposed to a pathogen that can trigger an attack. A Trigger is something in the air that you are sensitive to that makes your airways inflamed and harder for air to get through. Common triggers for asthma include:

  • Pollen
  • Chemicals
  • Extreme weather changes
  • Smoke
  • Dust
  • Stress
  • Exercise

How do you Prevent an Attack During Peak Week?

Here are a few tips to help prepare for next year’s Peak Week and help reduce the risk of an asthma attack or allergy related issues during the fall:

Avoid causes of the common cold – Class is back in session and the classrooms are filled with cold-causing germs. Most might not think that catching a cold or flu can trigger an asthma attack, but it can. You should wash your hands regularly and avoid close contact to those that may be sick.

Limit exposure to air pollutants – Most asthma attacks are triggered by something in the home. Irritants include tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroaches, rodents, pet dander, and mold. Poorly maintained homes cause a higher risk of asthma attacks and can increase the intensity of the attack when they occur.

Breathe cleaner air – To make sure the air that you are breathing is clean, it’s suggested that you replace the air filter in your home with a HEPA Air Filter. A high-efficiency particulate air filter helps to remove airborne particles that may cause one’s asthma or allergies to be triggered.

Make sure you have an inhaler – Most individuals with asthma have at least two inhalers. One, that is taken daily as a controller medication to help prevent an asthmatic flare up. The second is a rescue inhaler. The rescue inhaler acts quickly and helps reduce the effect and problems breathing when an asthma attack occurs.

Have a plan in case of an asthma attack – You don’t plan for them to happen but if one should occur you should know the signs, and how to act quickly. The first signs of an asthma attack is a slight cough, a little tightness in the chest, and mild wheezing. These signs could mean that your emergency rescue inhaler is needed. If these conditions persist, breathing gets harder, or you are having difficulty speaking, seek out emergency medical care immediately. In either case as an asthmatic you should always have your emergency inhaler with you and some kind of medical alert document that states all medications you may be on, as well as an emergency contact phone number.

 

How do you Know if you Have Asthma?

A doctor can run a physical exam to determine if you have asthma. A lung function test will determine how well you can expend air from your lungs. Many times, they may run other tests to verify that it is asthma and not anything else. they may run x-rays of your lungs and sinuses to review how the air is exhaled from your body to help the doctor review your overall health.

Asthma has a variety of different severities that are broken into four different classifications:

Mild Intermittent –  is when your asthma affects you at most twice a week.

Mild Persistent – is when your asthma symptoms bother you more than two times in a week. With this in mind, a doctor may give the patient a long term controlling medication and a low dose rescue inhaler for when an attack occurs.

Moderate Persistent –  Is when you have symptoms every day. Most people with moderate asthma will be woken up at least once a week with difficulty breathing but may not need to use a rescue inhaler to control it. Most times this person has some limitation to their regular activity due to their breathing. Many time steroids will be needed to help control the asthma.

Severe Persistent –  is when you have symptoms of asthma or difficulty breathing throughout the day, evening and night. Many people with this severe version of asthma frequently need an inhaler that contains a steroid to help control their asthma attack. Even with this sometimes the asthmatic will need to go to the hospital to make the symptoms stop.

Many adults that suffered with allergies as a child tend to develop asthma as an adult. There is no clear-cut answer why some people get asthma and others do not. Or why for some asthma is more of a nuisance with slight asthma and for others having an asthma attack could be life threatening.

 

Final Thoughts

Being peak week has passed this year, you can start planning for next year! Make note of this week on your calendar and make sure to tell anyone you may know with respiratory problems to take precaution. You could also talk to your doctor about other ways to be prepared for the next asthma peak week. If you think you are having a hard time breathing or might have asthma call a doctor immediately.

 

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