Learn About Asthma and COPD

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by the inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which leads to difficulty in breathing. Common symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, especially at night or early in the morning. Asthma can affect people of all ages, but it often begins in childhood.

What Causes Asthma?

The exact cause of asthma is not entirely understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common triggers that can provoke asthma symptoms include allergens (such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold), respiratory infections, physical activity, cold air, air pollutants, and even stress. Individuals with a family history of asthma or other allergic conditions are at a higher risk of developing the condition.

How to Treat Asthma

While there is no cure for asthma, it can be effectively managed with a combination of medications and lifestyle adjustments. Quick-relief inhalers, often containing short-acting beta-agonists (SABAs), are used to relax the muscles around the airways and provide immediate relief from symptoms. Long-term control medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, help reduce airway inflammation and prevent asthma attacks. Additionally, avoiding known triggers, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and following an asthma action plan designed by healthcare providers are crucial steps in managing the condition successfully. Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional are also essential to monitor the condition and adjust treatment as needed.

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production, and wheezing. It’s a progressive disease, meaning it typically worsens over time, significantly impacting the quality of life.
woman using an inhaler outside

What Causes COPD?

The primary cause of COPD is long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs and airways. The most common irritant is cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke. Other risk factors include air pollution, exposure to dust, fumes, and chemicals, and a genetic predisposition such as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Prolonged exposure to these irritants results in the inflammation and thickening of the airways, leading to the breakdown of lung tissue.

How to Treat COPD

While there is no cure for COPD, treatments are available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These treatments include medications such as bronchodilators and steroids to reduce inflammation and open airways, pulmonary rehabilitation, and oxygen therapy. Lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and avoiding lung irritants, also play a crucial role in management.
For those needing home healthcare supplies, contact Lakeside Medical Supplies in Vernon and Salmon Arm, BC. We offer a range of products and services to help manage asthma and COPD effectively.

Home Healthcare Supplies in Vernon and Salmon Arm BC

At Lakeside Medical Supplies, we want to make home health care as easy as possible by providing the medical supplies you need at competitive prices.