Chronic diseases

Respiratory system

Asthma - Breathtaking

Chronic diseases

Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system that has no
cure but can be reversed if the treatment is followed.

During an asthma attack, the bronchial muscles contract, causing them to narrow, the tissues lining the airways inflame and mucus production increases. All of this causes the airways to narrow.


Factors that can trigger an asthma attack:

  • Exposure to allergens - dust mites, fungi, pollen, animal hair 

  • Pollution 

  • Tobacco smoke 

  • Physical exercise 

  • Stress 

  • Crying or laughing 

  • Medicines - anti-inflammatory drugs

Recognising an asthma attack:

  • Wheezing 

  • Cough, which gets worse at night 

  • Chest tightness 

  • Difficulty breathing 

Treatment is based on inhaled medications containing corticosteroids, which reduce the inflammatory process caused by the disease, and bronchodilators, which promote relaxation of the airway muscles.

Asthma without attacks - What should I do
Asthma without attacks - What should I do

What should I do in case of an asthma 

  • First of all, you should not panic because it can make the situation worse.  

  • You should always carry medication for quick relief with you - short-acting bronchodilators.   

  • Inhalers can be used 3 times, at 20-minute intervals, if necessary.   Attacks tend to disappear within five to ten minutes.   

  • If you are unable to control the attack, seek for emergency care. 

In well-controlled asthma, symptoms may appear up to 2 times a week. If you have to use “SOS pumps” (short-acting bronchodilators) systematically, it is a sign that your asthma is not controlled.

The correct use of inhalers is especially important because it will enable the medicine to reach the lung in the necessary quantities. 


How to use the SOS inhaler

  • Before using the inhaler, check if it is working properly or, if it has not been used for more than 5 days, release 2 doses into the air. 

  • Remove the cap  

  • Shake the inhaler well 

  • Hold the inhaler upright, between your fingers, with your index finger at the base of the inhaler 

  • Exhale slowly releasing all the air in the lung. 

  • Place your lips around the mouthpiece of the inhaler, between your teeth, and pucker your lips around it without biting. 

  • Breathe in through your mouth and press the top of the inhaler to release the adequate amount of the medicine as you breathe in deeply.  

  • Hold your breath for 10 seconds. 

  • Resume breathing normally.

When you start using this type of device, try doing it in front of the mirror to see if a “mist” appears on the top of the inhaler or on the sides of your mouth. If this happens, you must start again.

Asthma without attacks - Preventing
Asthma without attacks - Preventing

Preventing attacks

  • Avoid contact with the attack triggering agent 

  • Follow your treatment schedule strictly, obeying the doses and the frequency of the medication prescribed. 

  • Learn how to use inhalers correctly. When in doubt, ask for a demonstration on how to use the device. 

  • Assess your asthma condition from time to time, consulting a doctor when you feel that it is not under control. 


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