Health Service - Nurses Clinic (Semester Time)
ASTHMA Asthma is a condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The small airways or bronchioles that carry air in and out of the lungs become narrow and inflamed and this obstructs airflow. This will lead to you experiencing symptoms such as:
- A feeling of chest tightening.
- Shortness of breath.
- Laboured breathing with use of the neck muscles and in drawing of the breastbone and gaps between the ribs.
Causes of Asthma?
Asthma can be inherited in families. Factors that can trigger an asthma attack are usually described as either allergic, or non-allergic. Some of these trigger factors include:
- Weather such as a sudden change in temperatures or cold damp weather.
- Air pollutants like cigarette smoke and car exhaust fumes release gases and particles into the atmosphere.
- Infections such as the common cold and flu.
- Allergens on animal's fur or skin.
- House mites in carpets and furnishings around the house.
- Medications such as certain drugs e.g. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. Aspirin.
- Conditions such as hay fever, itchy eyes and eczema. We know that smoking increases asthmatic symptoms.
- Certain foods.
How do you treat Asthma?
There are two main types of medication Preventers and Relievers inhalers used in asthmatics. Most asthmatics would have a reliever inhaler. This gives immediate relief during an asthma attack. Some asthmatics may need to take a Preventer inhaler. Their aim is to prevent long-term inflammation, which causes the wheezing or breathlessness. Their protective effect builds up over a period of time so they need to be taken every day. Very often, a combination of Preventers and Relievers are recommended. Preventers must be taken all the time, even if the person is not wheezy or in distress.
It is very important that asthmatics are frequently reviewed by their GP once on these inhalers. If students are concerned they may have the symptoms of asthma or are already asthma suffers please feel free to contact the Student Health Centre for advice and treatment.
For more information on Asthma: http://www.asthmasociety.ie/
Asthma help line:018788122