When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it. The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.
Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.
With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing the word(s) ‘Wheezing’.
What is ‘Wheezing’?
By its definition, ‘wheezing’ is “breathing with a rasp or whistling sound as a result from constriction or obstruction of the throat, pharynx, trachea or bronchi”.
Wheezing will occur when a person is trying to breathe deeply through air passages that are narrowed or filled with mucus, normally found as result of an allergy, infection, illness or irritation.
It is most commonly found when exhaling and will at times be accompanied by a mild sensation of tightness in the chest, while anxiety brought on by not being able to breathe can easily cause muscle tension that will the matter of breathing worse.
Wheezing is most commonly found as a symptom associated with asthma and can be caused by a variety of things such as exposure to allergens from food, pollen and other substances sometimes unique to each individual asthmatic. Other causes may come from fumes, ice-cold drinks, very cold air, medication, strenuous exercise, weather changes, foreign objects trapped in the airways, cystic fibrosis and other genetic disorders. Wheezing will also be found with such respiratory illnesses as pneumonia, bronchitis, congestive heart failure, emphysema and COPD.
Normally a diagnosis of wheezing comes when a physician, allergist or pulmonologist takes a medical history and then performs skin and blood tests to identify the precise nature of the problem.
Many times, a pulmonary function test may be ordered to measure the amount of air moving through a patient’s breathing passages and x-rays will sometimes be used to indicate wheezing caused by chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
In a case of mild wheezing, it may be relieved by drinking plenty of juice, water, weak tea and broth, while ice-cold drinks should be avoided. Many medical folks will have a patient with a wheezing problem, use a vaporizer or maybe a steam tent.
Bronchodilators (the meds used to widen narrowed airways) will many times be prescribed for patients whose wheezing is caused by asthma. Newer asthma medications taken daily can help prevent asthma attacks, as can avoiding the triggers that can set off allergies and asthma.
When wheezing is caused by an allergic reaction, physicians will give antihistamines to neutralize body chemicals that may be reacting to the allergen.
Other possible relief avenues from wheezing can be found in some yoga positions as they improve breathing control and reduce stress.
Those with emphysema, COPD and asthma know that wheezing and breathing problems can be life-threatening and those people and the people that travel within their world should know the symptoms to look for when fearing an emergency attack of wheezing. Among those symptoms would be a person turning blue or gray while fighting for a quality breath, the person becomes unable to speak, starts coughing up bubbly-pink or white phlegm, develops a fever over 101, and starts to constantly wheeze all the time.
With that, we ask a ‘QUESTION OF OUR READERS’ and today we ask, “How often do you, while fighting COPD and/or Asthma, develop wheezing problems and how long do they normally last?”
As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)
NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.
Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.
(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)