African American asthmatics are twice as likely to die from asthma than those who are not of African descent. The airways in the lungs of those who have asthma become swollen and inflamed, narrowing the passage of air. Inhaling the substance that irritates the airways causes the airway to enlarge, making it more difficult for the person to take insufficient oxygen. This situation has the effect of tightening the muscles around the airways, restricting the flow of air to and from the lungs. In turn, this can cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness.
It is common for African Americans to be over-diagnosed with asthma because they typically do not have good enough symptoms to let their physician know that something is wrong. Most physicians in general medicine will look at the symptoms of asthma and treat it with a variety of medications such as bronchodilators and then steroids. However, those who suffer from the chronic condition of asthma will need to undergo a more specialized treatment form. Doctors who specialize in this field are especially effective at helping those who have suffered from the effects of asthma. They are highly trained in using the breathing tools that they need to help patients avoid the complications that accompany long-term asthma.
Those who have been diagnosed with asthma may also suffer from depression as a result of the condition. Although this is not usually the case, African Americans are still twice as likely to suicide as those who do not have asthma. Asthma attacks can be fatal if they are not treated quickly enough. If you or someone you know has had an asthma attack, it is vital to immediately seek medical help.
Some African American individuals will attempt to hide their asthma symptoms to prevent anyone else from knowing that they suffer from the condition. However, being able to breathe in a typical fashion again is essential for any asthmatic person. The first thing you should do if you find out that you have asthma is to notify all of your family members. It would be best if you also let those closest to you know that you have asthma so that they can help you whenever possible. The worst part about an attack is that it can last up to 10 minutes, so having everyone around you know your condition can be beneficial.
It is also essential to keep your hands and feet clean and healthy. This means that you should always wear comfortable clothing to keep your hands and feet warm in cold weather. The best way to do this is to wear gloves or mittens covering the entire hand and foot, which are especially important in colder climates. It would help if you also tried to avoid sitting or standing for an extended period of time as this increases the chance of having asthma attacks. Sitting or standing in one particular position for too long is also another cause of seizures, so try to avoid this as much as possible.
The most important thing to remember about asthma is that it does not have to control your life. If you can stay proactive and careful, then there is no reason you cannot live everyday life as usual. Even though there is no cure for asthma, there are things that you can do that will help you manage the condition. Being prepared for an asthma attack and knowing what to do during one is also essential to feel safe and comfortable during times when you feel it coming on. There is no need to be afraid of living with asthma as long as you are informed and make sure that you are taking all of the necessary precautions.