Asthma is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. Although there are many different symptoms and triggers, the two main types of asthma are acute and chronic. It’s important to know the difference between these two types so you can take appropriate action when needed.
In short, the basic differences between acute and chronic asthma are the duration of onset & severity of symptoms. Acute asthma is more of a severe state of chronic asthma whereas chronic asthma is more of a long-term condition that stays throughout the lifespan. Both of them have their own symptoms and triggers that need to be treated on a regular basis.
- What Is Asthma?
- Acute Asthma
- Chronic Asthma
- Difference Between Acute And Chronic Asthma
- What To Do If Your Asthma Is Poorly Controlled?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Wrap Up
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes the airways to become inflamed. When someone has asthma, they are more likely to experience wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing when their exposure to triggers like allergens, pollution, and viruses increases. These symptoms typically make breathing difficult for them.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), asthma is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States. They say that about one out of every 13 kids has the illness. In most cases, asthma first appears in childhood, but it can also affect adults. The NHLBI report that over 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, and more than half of those are not aware they have it!
On the basis of symptoms and triggers, asthma can be classified into the following two types: Acute & chronic. Let’s take a closer look at both.
According to Asthma Foundation, asthma is considered acute when symptoms and breathing difficulties appear suddenly, usually during or right after exposure to a trigger. When this happens, the sufferer may only have mild symptoms at first but they can quickly become more severe.
Acute exacerbation of asthma can lead to severe conditions such as Status Asthmaticus, which is a medical emergency. According to the National Center For Biotechnology Information, the clinical criteria of this serious state include breathing difficulties to such extent that the patient cannot finish a sentence in one breath, respiratory rates> 30 per minute, heart beat> 120 beats per minute.
Acute Severe Asthma or Status Asthmaticus is considered a medical emergency. So it’s important to get the help of a doctor or go to an emergency room right away if you suspect that someone has this condition.
Unlike acute asthma, chronic asthma is characterized by symptoms and breathing difficulties that last for several weeks or months at a time. People with this type often experience flare-ups (also known as exacerbations) during which they have symptoms and their breathing difficulties worsen.
Chronic asthma sufferers may also take preventative medications to help reduce the number of flare-ups that they experience.
It’s important for people with chronic asthma to learn ways to treat or prevent acute episodes, according to Asthma Australia. This means they may need to use quick-relief (or rescue) medications, such as inhalers. They may also want to make lifestyle changes like avoiding triggers and treating their allergies.
Difference Between Acute And Chronic Asthma
The basic difference between acute and chronic asthma is that acute asthma is characterized by short-term, sudden attacks while chronic asthma is defined as a long-lasting condition with flare-ups throughout.
In both types of the disease, there are different symptoms and triggers, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with in order to get effective treatment.
The treatment of acute & chronic asthma is different because chronic asthma isn’t an emergency condition, and can be treated at home. The most common treatment for chronic asthma includes inhalers which contain a combination of drugs. Drugs like Salbutamol, Terbutaline, Ipratropium Bromide, or Corticosteroids are most commonly prescribed for chronic asthma.
These drugs induce bronchodilation, reduce allergic inflammation & increases bronchial secretion, which helps to suppress the symptoms and prevents acute attacks.
Other than drugs, the doctors also suggest following some breathing exercises with portable breathing machines such as AirPhysio. AirPhysio can effectively improve your breathing capacity by making you practice breathing techniques every day.
On the other hand, acute asthma is an emergency condition. It can be life-threatening, so it’s important to get the proper treatment right away. The most common treatment for acute asthma includes inhalers containing medications like Albuterol or Epinephrine which help open up the airways and provide relief from symptoms of shortness of breath & wheezing.
This type of medication also helps to prevent swelling & inflammation. It is given by an inhaler, through a nebulizer or IV/IO infusion in the hospital setting.
In both types of asthma, it’s important to avoid triggers and get proper treatment from trained doctors so that you can lead a healthy life!
What To Do If Your Asthma Is Poorly Controlled?
Asthma is a chronic condition and if it’s poorly controlled, you might experience acute exacerbations with more symptoms. Along with this, uncontrolled asthma can be life-threatening.
So how do you know when your asthma isn’t well controlled? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), you may have uncontrolled asthma if:
- You are using your quick-relief inhaler more than twice a week or at higher doses
- Your symptoms keep coming back
- Your peak flow readings are lower than 60% of personal bests
To know whether your asthma isn’t well-controlled, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your asthma should be checked regularly and monitored closely because poorly controlled asthma isn’t a stable condition.
When you visit the doctor, he or she will ask about your symptoms and how often do they occur as well as other issues like allergies that might trigger them! They may also check your peak flow to see how well your lungs are working.
If the doctor finds that your symptoms aren’t under control, then he or she might prescribe you more medications like long-acting beta-agonists (LABA) which help open up the airways, and corticosteroids which prevent inflammation!
In order to avoid such situations, you can try some effective regime that will improve your overall lung function. For example, you can try some breathing exercises with a portable breathing machine. OPEP devices, such as AirPhysio works excellent in this case. It doesn’t have any side effects like obesity or anything, so you can use this device without any tension.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have asthma, you must have come across many questions or queries related to your condition. That is why we are here to answer the most commonly asked questions about asthma-
What are some tips for coping with an asthma attack?
-During an asthma attack, it is important that you stay calm! If you feel anxious or stressed out, this can trigger your asthmatic condition which will lead to more severe problems. So try to relax and if possible, take a long deep breath. Also, stay away from triggers like allergens or dust particles which will further irritate your lungs.
How do I avoid asthma attacks?
-The best way to prevent an attack is by staying away from triggers such as pollen, pollution, or smoking! You should also get regular medical checkups so that your doctor can prescribe you the right medication and avoid complications like bronchial spasms.
Can breathing exercises help with asthma?
-Yes, breathing exercises can help you control and manage your condition. You can do deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing to relax and also reduce the symptoms of asthma. For this, you can use a breathing exercise machine such as AirPhysio.
How do I know if my asthma is under control?
-Usually, your doctor will prescribe you medications to help control symptoms. You can also monitor this by checking the peak flow rate which measures how well your lungs are working and tells about wheeze, cough, chest tightness, or breathlessness. If all the vitals are normal, you can say your asthma is under control.
What is the difference between pneumonia and asthma?
-Although both conditions affect the lungs, they usually have different symptoms. Pneumonia occurs due to an infection in the lung where asthma occurs due to inflammation in the lung due to an allergen.
To sum up, let me just say that asthma is a serious condition which requires proper care & attention! You should try your level best to treat it as soon as possible because this will help you prevent any complications in the future. And if you are looking to buy an OPEP machine, you can go for AirPhysio. Follow these tips to stay away from asthma! Happy breathing!