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Yes, asthma is very real, and it is more of a threat to one’s health than many people think about. You need to breath to live, right? Well unless someone’s discovered a hidden pathway in the human body that can inhale and exhale fresh oxygen aside from the nose and mouth then this disease is important to know about. I’ve had asthma for most of my life, though it’s never really been known why or how it developed. I have gone through enough inhalers to build a small house, I have used a breathing machine called a nebulizer that helps to open the airways, and I have gone to the ER late at night when I couldn’t draw more than a single gasp of air at a time.

It’s not a joke disease, it’s not something that a person can “just get over”, and it’s not something that goes away. Wheezing as a child or an adult is not necessarily a sign of asthma, as this disease once diagnosed is something that will not be cured or just go away as one gets older. A healthy and active lifestyle will assuage the symptoms and make it seem as though the disease is gone, but if you’re born with it, then you’re stuck with it for life. It is a genetic disease, so if either of your parents had it then there is a good chance that you might get it during your childhood. It’s not fatal unless it’s allowed to progress to a level that it’s hard to manage. Air flow is of the utmost importance with this condition, and taking care of your body and learning how certain substances and situations can affect you is vital.

Try breathing through this. Or just try to imagine it.

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During an asthma attack the feeling of not being able to breathe is very real because quite simply, you can’t. the muscles that control the air flow to your lungs tighten, sometimes painfully, as they struggle to force each gasp of air in and out. In many ways it feels as though your body has simply close itself off and is attempting to keep anything from coming in or going out. The lining of your bronchial tubes will swell, and breathing will become nearly impossible. Eventually your heart begins to beat a little faster as it tries to work with the limited oxygen it has and you might even feel yourself blacking out. If you panic then the situation only gets worse, but there are ways around this.

There are several substances and techniques that can help an asthma attack.

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Though it’s not on the list, caffeine can also help to alleviate an asthma attack. It is not a cure-all and can’t replace an inhaler by any means, but it does give the body a nice jolt that opens the airways and allows the individual to breathe a little easier. From that point on however it will be necessary to relax, take deep, soothing breaths, and seek out medical assistance, or use a rescue inhaler if one is somewhere nearby.

There are medications that can help severe asthmatics with their symptoms, but a healthy lifestyle and certain other foods and liquids can help as well as they possess natural properties that can guard against the symptoms of asthma.

Believe me, this disease is very real and having gone through it for so long I’ve learned a great many tricks. In a pinch, putting some Vicks Vaporub into a pot of boiling water and holding your face over the emanating steam will do some good, as will sitting calmly and taking deep breaths to relax your airways. When nothing seems to work however it is time to head for the doctor, remembering to remain calm the entire way if possible. With kids of my own now I can only hope that the genetic probability will land in their favor and spare them this condition.

You can have a full life even with asthma, but as with any disease you’ll have to be on guard constantly.

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