Asthma is a common chronic disease that has been suffered by more than 300 million people around the world. People with asthma feel a severe inflammatory problem in their airways that causes breathlessness and many other symptoms.
The greatest threat of asthma is it has no cure and permanent solution. It’ll stay with you till the end of your life. However, you can keep it under your control with the proper treatment medication, physical activity, and breathing exercise.
Therefore, you have to make a proper asthma action plan by consulting with your doctor. Based on the exacerbations of asthma, it’s categorized into two types: acute and chronic. If you’ve asthma, you must learn the difference between acute and chronic asthma to make your proper asthma action plan.
What Is Acute Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects 300 million people worldwide, and in every 250 patients, one died because of it. According to National Library Medicine, almost 12 million people in the United States suffer from this disease each year, and a quarter of them require hospitalization.
The most common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, chest discomfort, cough, etc. The exacerbations of asthma are mainly two types (acute asthma and Chronic asthma) exacerbations. When your asthma condition reaches a severe level, all of a sudden is considered acute asthma.
That’s why acute asthma is referred to as the worsening of the asthma symptoms experienced by an individual. Have a look at the following factors to identify the acute asthma condition.
- If the shortness of breath or breathlessness increasing progressively
- Wheezing or coughing increasing gradually
- Feeling chest pain or tightness in the chest
- A huge drop in lung function that requires medical assistance
There are a variety of things that can trigger acute asthma. To make effective asthma treatment guidelines or asthma action plans, you have to learn about those triggers. Below I’m going to list some of them:
- Dry & cold air, Colds
- Upper respiratory infections
- Allergens( dust, mites, pollen, mold, etc.)
- Tobacco smoke or secondhand smoke
- Cats & dogs
- Gastroesophageal reflux issue
What Is Chronic Asthma?
Chronic asthma refers to the intense condition of asthma symptoms. A person with chronic asthma suffers from inflammation and swelling in the airways due to the narrow down of the airways. Things that trigger chronic asthma is given below:
- Respiratory infection (Rhinovirus)
- Sanitizing agents
- Air pollution, strong perfumes, chemical fumes, etc.
- Allergens (pollen, weeds, animals, dust, mold, grass, etc.
- Stress & anxiety
- Medications like aspirin, NSAIDs, etc.
- Sinusitis, flu, heartburn, acid reflux, etc.
Difference Between Acute And Chronic Asthma
Most of the symptoms and asthmatic problems are almost the same but there are some significant differences between them. Below in this section, I’ll show you some common difference between acute and chronic asthma.
Acute Asthma: Acute asthma symptoms are not frequent, you’ll suffer from it all of a sudden and it goes to a severe condition when it gets triggered.
Chronic Asthma: Chronic asthma is a long-developing syndrome. It’s more frequent than acute asthma. With chronic asthma, you’ll suffer from swelling and inflammation in your airways as it narrows down.
When To Expect The Symptoms To Show Up
Acute Asthma: Acute asthma happens randomly without showing any symptoms before.
Chronic Asthma: Chronic asthma is a developing syndrome and it happens with the due course of time.
1. Core Features
Acute Asthma: The key features of acute asthma are given below.
- Mucus hypersecretion
- lgE production
- Airway hypersecretion
- Inflammation in the lung
Chronic Asthma: The key features of chronic asthma are given below.
- Goblet cell metaplasia
- Fibrosis & remodeling
- Changes in the epithelial cell
- Smooth muscle gets hypertrophy
Acute Asthma: The Primary symptoms of acute asthma are given below.
- Race in the heart rate
- Lung function get reduced
- Feeling difficulty in heart rate or breathlessness
Chronic Asthma: The Primary symptoms of chronic asthma are given below.
- Feeling tightness in the neck and chest muscles which is called retractions.
- Continuous coughing
- Feeling panic or anxiety
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling severe wheezing while breathing
- Feeling uncomfortable in talking
- Sweaty face, pale
Acute Asthma: Anybody who suffers from acute asthma, their overly sensitive immune system is the main cause. It helps the bronchial tubes get swollen and inflamed when triggered by asthmatic things. Asthma triggers vary person to person. The common asthma triggers are: dust, mold, pollen, pets, etc.
Chronic Asthma: There are a lot of things that might trigger your chronic asthma condition. Below I’m going to list some of them.
- Lung infections.
- High stress or strong emotions.
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Medications like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.
- The cycle of menstrual for some women
- Gastroesophageal reflux problem
4. Clinical Course
- In case of acute asthma you may have to visit the emergency department frequently and sometimes you may even require hospitalization.
- Oral systemic corticosteroids.
- By taking short-acting beta-agonists like levalbuterol and albuterol you can enjoy partial relief and comfort.
- Adjunctive therapies are highly effective and beneficial for acute asthma.
- When chronic asthma gets worse, you have to admit yourself to hospitalization, sometimes it even requires ICU.
- Intravenous corticosteroids. [Budesonide-(Pulmicort Flexhaler), Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler), Fluticasone (Flovent HFA), Ciclesonide (Alvesco), Beclomethasone (Qvar RediHaler)]
- People with chronic asthma get relief from adjunctive therapies.
Tips To Keep Your Asthma Under Control
Asthma is a very common long-time lung disease among us. More than 300 million people are suffering from this disease around the world. And, the saddest thing about asthma is there’s no cure for this but with the proper medication, physical activity, breathing exercise, and treatment, you can keep it under your control. Have a look at the following section to get some easy tips to control your asthma symptoms.
1. Identify Your Triggers To Skip Them
There are a lot of things that might trigger asthma symptoms and they vary from person to person. If you know your asthma triggers like allergens and irritants that worsen your asthma by irritating your airways, you can easily skip them. Knowing your asthma trigger is the best practice for controlling your asthma.
2. Strictly Follow Your Medication As Prescribed By Doctor
Either you feel your asthma symptoms or not, you have to strictly follow your asthma medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Many of us make this mistake by stopping the medications when we don’t feel any symptoms.
It’s a very bad practice that will worsen your asthma symptoms anytime when they get a trigger and you’ll have a sudden asthma attack. You should always remember that asthma is a chronic disease. Once you have asthma means you’ll have it all the time.
3. Learn The Proper Technique Of Using Inhaler
An inhaler is a powerful medical tool to control your asthma symptoms. The better you can use the tool the better it can help to reach the medication in your lungs.
If you’re going to use the inhaler for the first time, it’s better to learn the proper way of using this tool from your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will show you the right technique to use the tool so that you can get the ultimate benefit from it.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking can trigger your asthma problem to a severe condition. So if you have an asthma problem and you continue to smoke, you should quit smoking quickly. It’ll significantly reduce the frequency of your asthma symptoms.
Another thing you should remember is that smoking reduces the effectiveness of your asthma medications. On the other hand, secondhand smoke also accelerates your asthma symptoms. Therefore you must also avoid secondhand smoke as well.
5. Maintain Your Fitness Through Exercising
If you want to maintain a normal and healthy life then there is no alternative to exercise. But when you have an asthma problem you should do your exercise carefully as sometime it could trigger your asthma problem as well. So it’s better to make your exercise plan by consulting your doctor or health care provider.
With the right exercise you can improve your breathing muscles, promote your immune system, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Along with your physical activity you can use this Handheld Breath Training Device for an effective breathing exercise to improve your lung capacity.
For your safety precaution before doing any exercise, you need to make sure that your asthma is under control. Otherwise it may worsen your asthma symptoms.
6. Follow Your Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma action plan means a pre-planned activity that you have drawn upon by consulting your doctor to deal with your asthma problem. There are a lot of things that may trigger your asthma and fall you into an asthma attack. Your asthma action plan will tell you what action you need to take based on your symptoms and when you have to seek medical help.
7. Don’t Go Viral
Seasonal viruses like cold and flu can quickly infect your airways or lungs. Remember, viral infection is one of the common causes of your asthma symptoms. If you can protect yourself from catching viruses, you’ll have fewer symptoms of asthma. Look at the following tips to avoid viruses:
- Wash your hands frequently with sanitizer.
- Get your flu vaccination.
- Consult with your health care provider if you need any pneumonia shot
- Try to get a sound sleep. The better your sleeping quality the less you have to pay attention to your asthma symptoms.
- If unfortunately you are already affected with viral infections then pay attention to your symptoms and take the proper action according to your asthma action plan.
According to the exacerbations of asthma, there are two types of it. They are acute asthma and chronic asthma. However, most of us who suffer from asthma don’t know the difference between acute and chronic asthma. As a result, we can’t make the proper asthma action plan to control our asthma. Above in this article, I have briefly discussed acute asthma and chronic asthma.
Remember, acute means what is happening right now, and chronic means what happens all the time. When you have asthma right now and need immediate action means you have acute asthma. On the other hand, chronic asthma requires daily treatment, like medication, breathing exercise, etc.