Asthma Part 1: An Overview

Asthma Part 1: An Overview

Welcome to the first part of a four-part series on asthma, in which we aim to understand what it is and how it can be treated.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Repeated periods of breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and cough are all symptoms of asthma.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it usually starts in childhood.

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Asthmatics have burned airways in their lungs. Inflammatory airways are narrower and more sensitive, thus responding more strongly to inhaled wounds.

When the airways respond, the muscles around them tighten, narrowing the airways causing airflow to enter the lungs. Inflammation can go away and will continue, further narrowing the airways. Accompanying this process is the increasing production of mucus, a thick, sticky fluid that further narrows the narrowed airways.

This reaction causes asthma symptoms – sneezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and cough.

Asthmatic symptoms are usually resolved gently and spontaneously or are easily treated with minimal treatment. However, in some cases, it can progress further and worsen, leading to what is commonly known as asthma attacks.

Therefore, early treatment of asthma symptoms is very important. During an asthma attack, urgent care is needed and if left untreated, asthma can be fatal.

There is no cure for asthma. However, with proper and complete ongoing treatment, asthma can be controlled and asthma sufferers can and will continue to live a normal and active life.

People at Risk

Usually, asthma starts in childhood but can affect every age.

Young children who regularly suffer from respiratory infections are at greater risk of developing asthma. Other risk factors that contribute to asthma development include atopic (multiple allergies), eczema, or, as mentioned above, having asthmatic parents.

Boys are at greater risk of developing asthma compared to girls. However, when a person reaches adulthood, there are more female asthmatics compared to their male counterparts. As a whole, many people with asthma have certain physical ailments.

Another number of people with asthma are industrial workers who come in contact with chemical or chemical pollutants in their workplace. This figure creates asthma at work, a label for a sexually transmitted disease.

Causes of Asthma

Many causes of asthma have been documented so far. These include:

Genetic causes, especially senior people or asthmatic parents

Child’s Respiratory Diseases

Numerous airborne allergens have been affected

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:

Chest tightness
Shortness of breath.

The cough caused by Asthma is usually worse at night, disrupting sleep. The tremors are a resounding, audible sound that resonates with each breath. Shortness of breath and shortness of breath can cause and often confuse heart causes and can lead to undue stress on the patient.

Having one or more of the above symptoms does not automatically mean asthma. Proper lung testing, history taking, and physical examination by a health professional are the only ways to confirm asthma.

The type and severity of asthma symptoms that patients experience despite determining the treatment of the disease. Because symptoms vary over time, asthmatics need to be aware of their symptoms and their variability and seek early treatment because while mild symptoms can be just as irritating, severe symptoms can significantly reduce daily routines and exercise, and more severe symptoms can cause death if left untreated.

Treatment is now available to prevent the onset of asthma in known asthmatics.

Causes of Asthma

These include:

Allergens – dust, animal fur, cockroaches, fungi, and pollen from trees, grass, and flowers, etc.

Chemical Irritants – cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, workplace dust, sprays, etc.

Medications – NSAIDs (eg aspirin) and B-Blockers (eg Atenolol).

High respiratory infections

Exercise – exercise can cause asthma.

This list is not exhaustive. Each asthmatic is different and it is best if you seek advice from your health professionals.

Preventing Asthma

Asthma is incurable. But you can stop it. Following these simple steps will go a long way in treating asthma.

Educate yourself about asthma. Empower yourself.

Have an Asthma Application and follow through with it. Follow your medical regime

Identify the underlying causes of your asthma and avoid them

Continuation of text for your asthma

Regular visits to your treating physician

In the next section of this series, we take a look at what we should prepare and expect during a doctor’s consultation.

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