Why Do People With Asthma Need To Wear Medical ID Jewelry?

Asthma is a fairly common condition, slightly more prevalent in children than adults and more common in girls and women than in boys and men. Nearly 8% of the US population has asthma, although the severity of the condition varies by person. As well, the prevalence varies regionally and by ethnic group.

When someone suffers an asthma attack, there is an inflammation of the lungs’ airways, which swell up, causing constriction, and this causes coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. What this ultimately means is that less air is able to reach the lungs, and the patient is less able to breathe. Some asthma attacks are mild and can be treated with fast-acting inhalers, also called “rescue drugs.” Other attacks can be severe, causing the lips and/or face to turn blue due to severe difficulty breathing. Severe attacks are also sometimes characterized by sweating and an abnormally rapid pulse.

People who have asthma typically need to undergo allergy testing so they can learn which allergens are likely to trigger an attack and thus avoid those substances. As well, with asthma, most people take daily medication to help prevent attacks while still carrying emergency medications, such as inhalers, with them at all times.

Over time, people with asthma learn what triggers their asthma attacks and are thus better able to avoid having serious episodes. However, not all allergens are avoidable, and not all asthma attacks are caused by allergies. In fact, many asthma attacks are caused by other factors:

  • Chemicals
  • Exercise
  • Smoke exposure
  • Stress

While most asthma attacks are treatable with rescue drugs such as inhalers, sometimes an inhaler is too far away to be reached. Other times, the attack may be extreme. In both instances, those surrounding the person suffering an asthma attack need to know what to do and how to help. By wearing medical ID jewelry, asthma sufferers in the midst of an attack can show their medical ID to others who will gather the right information such as the diagnosis, whether to call 911, and whether the person carries an inhaler so someone can look for it. Additionally, if EMTs do need to respond, knowing immediately that someone’s inability to breathe has a known cause will greatly improve their ability to provide fast, appropriate treatment.

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