Asthma at any age
Many people find out as a child or
teen that they have asthma but you are not immune from getting it as
an adult or even as a senior. What
kind of environment you live in can trigger an asthmatic condition,
especially where pollution is concerned.
When an asthmatic condition does occur, there are some
serious changes that should occur, not the least of which is
vaccination against various bronchial and lung related illnesses
such as the flu and pneumonia.
Like diabetes, people that suffer
from asthma also may suffer from other health conditions, some
related or complicating, and others that are not.
Because medicine has become so specialized, it is more than
likely if not guaranteed that you will be seeing more than one
Bottom line is
that if you suffer from asthma or any other, you should let each
doctor know what other doctors you are seeing for what conditions
and what medications you are taking for those conditions.
People also often make the mistake
of differentiating between prescription and over-the-counter
medications when discussing them with their doctors under the theory
that only prescription medications are serious enough to discuss.
This can have some dire consequences because herbal remedies
can have a serious effect on heart rate, blood pressure, and
respiratory rate. You
may also have mild to severe allergic or complicating reactions that
go unnoticed or misdiagnosed because the doctor was not aware of
everything that you were ingesting.
The effects of age on medical
As we get older, our metabolism
changes as does the efficiency and effectiveness of organs such as
the liver and kidneys. These
factors can reduce the rate at which you metabolize drugs, thus
leaving them in the system longer and ultimately, an overdose
that you general practitioner or family doctor has a copy of all
your records, but be sure that every doctor that is treating you
also knows what else that you are being treated for.
It would also be wise to have all your prescriptions filled
at one pharmacy.
no system is foolproof, there are significant chances that your
pharmacist and the software that he uses will notice any potential
drug interactions. Itís
just one more safety measure in the very complicated world of
Be sure to discuss all medical
conditions with any attending physician.
Little things like arthritis may be of significance to a
doctor that isnít treating you for that condition because it may
change the treatment method. For
instance, if you do suffer from arthritis, using an inhaler might
pose a problem from time to time.
Co-existing health issues
Be sure to discuss all the side
effects of any form of treatment with your doctor.
There are always potentially good side effects of course, but
in most cases, there is a risk for some negative side effects as
this with your physician, you become better informed and something
may surface in your family history that the doctor was unaware of.
Donít assume that your doctor knows everything about you or
that they are always correct, because they cannot possibly know
everything about you and your family medical history.
Surgical consideration for the
Under the best of circumstances,
surgical anesthesia has its problems and considerations.
Though advancements in medical testing, training, and quality
of the drugs have improved and continue to improve, application of
anesthesia during surgery carries no guarantee.
Physiological unknowns and surgical complications can lead to
difficult circumstances that may or may not be controllable.
There are however, additional circumstances that must be
considered for someone with asthma.
Drug interactions can often be
predicted but only if all the information is known.
Medications that are delivered by an anesthesiologist can
often interact with other medications that are used to treat asthma.
Before surgery, it is vital that you let your doctor and
anesthesiologist know about your asthmatic condition as well as the
prescribed treatment program. They
will want to do a full review of your condition before going into
the breathing tube, and the physical stress of procedure itself can
trigger an asthma attack and effect your respiration blood pressure
and heart rate, all of which the anesthesiologist is charged with
monitoring and controlling.
There are of course many other
things that you should do to prepare for surgery long before going
into surgery. To start
with, you should have a complete physical exam to make sure that
there are no other potential complicating factors.
Your doctor will generally make sure that this happens unless
the surgical need is an emergency.
Blood tests will be performed to make sure that you donít
have even a mild infection and several other tests will be
administered to make sure that either you are in the best possible
physical condition or they at least know what they are dealing with.
In addition to what the doctor
specifically orders, you should:
Plan to get as much rest as possible.
It is important that you are in the most rested condition
that you can be.
Continue to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Proper hydration is vital to the surgical procedure as well
as the healing afterwards.
If you smoke anything at all, you should stop as soon as you
can prior to the surgery. Your
lungs donít need the additional stress of not working properly.
You wonít be able to undo all the damage to the lungs in a
few weeks or even months, but even that amount of time can make a
substantial difference. Getting
through the stress of stopping smoking before going into surgery can
also help in post surgical stress or as it may otherwise be termed,
Stay away from people that have colds, flu, or other
Avoid allergic environmental conditions.
If you know you have allergies to pollen for example, stay
indoors and get a good air cleaner.