You may be living with asthma or know someone who does; that’s because asthma is a common lung condition that affects all ages across the globe. Often starting from childhood, asthma is known to affect more than 25 million people in the United States alone, with 7 million of them belonging to the younger age group.
This chronic condition works by inflaming and narrowing the lungs’ airways. When we speak of “chronic,” this means that the disease will remain with a person for life. While asthma is a long-term disease, many asthmatic patients are still able to live their lives normally. Simply by following your asthma action plan and your doctor’s instructions, asthma symptoms can be highly prevented.
During your doctor’s consultations, your condition will be assessed and treatment options will be discussed. Along the way, your doctor may enlighten you with some medical devices and equipment that you may use sooner or later as you live with asthma.
Asthma medications are essential in keeping your symptoms under control. There are various types of medicines that may be prescribed for you, but, in most cases, they have to be delivered through mist form, which is made possible through a good nebulizer.
A nebulizer changes liquid form medication to mist so that it can be easily inhaled into the lungs. Most infants and small children do well with using nebulizers when administering asthma medication. Since you can secure a home nebulizer with your doctor’s prescription, it is much more convenient for patients to treat their symptoms right away.
The most common device that asthmatics use to deliver medication are inhalers, which come in various types. Typically, a metered-dose inhaler, which has a canister with a propellant and a mouthpiece, can be used by pressing down the canister and inhaling the released gas through the mouthpiece. There are also alternatives to the metered-dose type, such as dry powder inhalers. This type delivers asthma medicine from a capsule to powder form.
Peak flow meter
Your doctor may require you to secure a peak flow meter, which is useful in determining how well your asthma is under control. Particularly, this portable device measures how well your lungs can expel air by blowing through a mouthpiece. The device will then measure the force of the exhaled air in liters per minute and show you a reading on its built-in scale.
A peak flow meter greatly helps in monitoring your asthma, as it can detect the narrowing of the airways even before the symptoms manifest, giving you the chance to adjust your medication before the symptoms actually worsen.
A pulse oximeter is a small device that is used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood. While there are portable types of this device, it can also be used in the clinical setting through Nihon Kohden SpO2 sensors and medical equipment. To obtain a reading, a small sensor is placed on the finger or toe and will light up in red when the device is on. This is a painless procedure that can take only a minute or two to get a reading.
While oxygen saturation does not indicate how bad an asthma attack is, downward oxygen levels for an asthmatic patient requires immediate medical attention, as it can be a sign of an upcoming respiratory failure.
Another medical device that you might need if you have asthma is a spirometer, which is used to assess lung function. Spirometry is a common lung function test that requires you to take a deep breath and to forcefully exhale into the spirometer. The device will then measure the amount of air that has been expelled and how quickly it has been exhaled.
You may or may not need to use these devices all throughout your condition, but it is best to talk to your doctor about them. One of the best things you can do to stay on top of your asthma is to be aware and knowledgeable of your condition as much as possible.
Article Submitted by Community Writer.