Asthma and the Importance of Wearing a Medical ID

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Image by Annie Spratt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that about 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. Moreover, asthma is the most chronic condition among American children. In fact, 1 out of 12 American children has asthma.

For some, this respiratory ailment can be tolerable. However, others view this condition as a major problem that stands in the way of performing their daily activities and might even cause life-threatening attacks. 

Overview

Asthma, sometimes called reactive airway disease or bronchial asthma, is a condition that causes your airways to narrow and swell. This might even produce extra mucus. Moreover, asthma can trigger coughing and may result in difficulty in breathing.

In order to understand how asthma affects the body, it is necessary to know what happens when we breathe. 

Normally, when we breathe, the air goes through our nose or mouth, then into the airways, leading to our lungs. However, if we have asthma, our airways will swell and tighten. Mucus will then fill up our airways, which lessens the air that can pass through our lungs.

Unfortunately, asthma is incurable. However, its symptoms can be controlled by breathing exercises, quick-acting treatments, and long-term asthma control medications like Symbicort. Furthermore, it is vital to know that asthma may change over time. Hence, it would be best to always report to your doctor, especially if adjustments in your treatment are needed. 

Symptoms

The following are the symptoms if you have asthma:

  • Wheezing;
  • Tightness in the chest;
  • Fatigue;
  • Difficulty talking;
  • Coughing;
  • Shortness of breath

Causes

According to researchers, a lot of factors can cause asthma. These factors include the following:

  • Genetics. If one of your parents or any of your siblings has asthma, you are prone to develop the condition.
  • History of viral infection. Those who have experienced severe viral infections in their childhood tend to develop asthma.
  • Hygiene Hypothesis. This theory implies that if a baby is not exposed to enough bacteria, especially in their early months and years, they won’t develop a strong immune system that can fight off asthma.

Triggers

Asthma attacks can be triggered by the following:

  • Illness. Respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, the flu, and viruses can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Exercise. Increased movement can lead to difficulty in breathing.
  • Irritants in the air. Those who have asthma may be sensitive to irritants like smoke, chemical fumes, and strong odors.
  • Allergens. Dust mites, pollens, and animal danders are some of the allergens that can cause asthma attacks.
  • Extreme weather conditions. Low temperatures or high humidity can trigger asthma.
  • Emotions. Laughing, crying, and shouting may trigger an asthma attack.

Prevention

The following are ways you can prevent asthma attacks:

  • Avoiding triggers. You have to refrain from getting close to triggers like pollen or strong odors that have caused your asthma attacks in the past.
  • Getting allergy shots. Having allergy shots can help you become less sensitive to allergens or any triggers you might encounter.
  • Taking preventive medication. Your doctor might prescribe you a preventive medication that can help you not have any asthma attacks.

Why Are People With Asthma Recommended to Wear a Medical ID?

Having an asthma attack can be very frightening. It may leave you with breathing difficulties. And explaining to another person that you are having an asthma attack while struggling to breath can be challenging or even impossible.

In a state of an asthma attack, there are cases that you will end up in a panic and will fail to remember the names of your medication. It is vital to know that the first few seconds of your attack is very critical for treatment. Hence, responders must know your current status and your medical information right away.

This is where wearing a medical ID saves the day. Your medical ID carries your medical information. This helps the responders know your conditions or other concerns relevant to your care if you become incapacitated, unconscious, or have any difficulties in explaining your condition.

Vital Information To Include In Your Medical ID For Asthma

Below are the pieces of information your medical ID for asthma should show:

  • Medical Condition. First and foremost, your medical ID should show that you have asthma;
  • Medications. It is vital to include the list of medications you are taking for asthma if there are any;
  • Medical Devices. For example, if you own an inhaler or nebulizer;
  • Blood Type. In some cases, listing your blood type is recommended;
  • Suppose you have missing or transplanted organs. Besides having asthma, it is also advisable to list these cases since you might be taking medications for these that responders should know about.
  • Communication/ Cooperation Challenges. You might have conditions that hinder or interfere with your communication skills, such as being deaf or autistic. This is vital to include so that responders will know how to take care of you properly.
  • Instructions. This may include a message that says “call 911” or the phone number of your emergency contact. Doing so can also be useful to bystanders.

Takeaway

Having asthma can be very challenging. In fact, this condition may lead to frightening asthma attacks that can leave you struggling to breathe. In case this happens, wearing a medical ID can help save your life.