Three Common Respiratory Issues and How to Treat Them

There are very few medical issues that are more terrifying than respiratory problems. Breathing is automatic; it’s something you don’t ever think about. But when you can’t get enough oxygen there’s little else on your mind. Many respiratory issues are easily managed, and won’t actually threaten your life. But they always require active treatment, and letting any of them go too long unattended can be seriously detrimental to your long term health. Here are three of the most common respiratory issues and how to solve them.

Asthma may be the most common of them all. It’s a chronic condition, meaning it is something that cannot truly be cured. When you suffer from asthma your airways are sensitive to a wide range of stimulus. Any negative trigger will inflame your air passages and potentially even obstruct them. Some asthma sufferers have it so severe that an acute asthma attack could kill them without treatment. For others it’s simply an uncomfortable situation that has to be managed for the rest of their lives. Treatment takes many forms, depending on the triggering factors and which type of asthma it is. Some people receive an inhaler they can use to spray medicine in a mist form into their lungs during an attack. In order to minimize your risks be aware of your particular triggers and stay away from them. This can include pet dander, mold, dust and pollen, smoke, air pollutants and even certain fragrances and foods.

Another of the most common respiratory issues is called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. This issue is seen most often in adults over forty-five, although twice the number of men suffer from it in than women. It’s basically a situation where emphysema and bronchitis come together to plague the sufferer with a vast reduction in breathing capacity. Most COPD sufferers were cigarette smokers for an extended period of their lives, but it can still develop even if you’ve never smoked before. You can expect to have trouble catching your breath, and to cough and wheeze quite often. You’ll need to see your doctor for a series of tests before the diagnosis can be given. Treatment involves daily use of an inhaler, as well as corticosteroids in the form of pills or injections. There is also a regimen of physical activity, oxygen therapy and even surgery for serious cases.

Bronchitis is another common respiratory issue, and the one that most people will experience first hand at one point or another. It’s an inflammation of the lung tissue that usually follows a prolonged cold. You’ll notice a persistent cough, an increase in phlegm and an overall sense of lethargy. Most of these can also be symptoms of other issues, so see your doctor to insure a proper diagnosis. It can take you as long as a month to get over bronchitis, so hopefully you don’t get it when you’re studying for exams at theĀ University of Cincinnatti. Unless you are very old or very young you will bounce back from this respiratory issue, but if you smoke cigarettes it could become a chronic problem, and a precursor to COPD.

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