Asthma is a long-term lung disease where the lung airways become inflamed and narrowed, causing it hard to breathe.
Wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath are common symptoms.
When you have asthma, the airways of the lungs react to inhaling certain things. When this happens, the muscles around the airways tighten, constricting the passageway and causing less airflow to the lungs. Thick mucus can also form obstructing the air passageway.
If symptoms get worse and do not go away, you could be having an asthma attack. This is also referred as a flare up. In this case, it is important to treat symptoms immediately to prevent a severe asthma and emergency care.
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
It is important to remember that not all people who have these symptoms have asthma, and if you have asthma, you may not have these symptoms.
Causes & Symptoms?
- Allergens – Dust, animal fur, mold, pollen from tree, grasses, mold, flowers
- Medicines – Aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Irritants – Cigarette smoke, chemicals, dust, air pollution
- Sulfites in drinks and food
- Physical activity and exercise
The only way to truly tell if you have asthma is to have a lung function test, as well as have a physical exam from a doctor.
Is There a Cure?
There is no cure for asthma, and its flare-ups are unpredictable. However, most people are able to treat and manage it with today’s knowledge and treatments available.
Although the exact cause is not known, there are several factors that may come into play:
- If your parents have asthma
- Having an inherited tendency to develop allergies
- Have had a history of respiratory infection during childhood
- Have had viral infection or airborne allergy during infancy
The Hygiene Hypothesis
The Hygiene Hypothesis is the idea in our Western culture, that because we have an added emphasis on sanitation and hygiene, that our youth has less exposure to things in early childhood and therefore has not had the opportunity to build a wide tolerance against things. This may be one reason of an added risk..
- A good plan takes working with your doctor to discuss treating the conditions as well as managing and avoiding triggering things that worsen asthma.
- Quick relief medicines symptoms that flare up.
- Long-term medicines – inhaled corticosteroids help prevent symptoms and reduce inflammation in the lung airways. This inhaled version is the most preferred method for treating it long term.
Asthma can vary in severity with changing age, as well as with changes in your environment, including at work, at home, or at school. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication accordingly. If exercise brings on your asthma, or you are pregnant, your doctor may need to adjust your medication to meet your specific needs.
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