Asthma is a condition that is associated with the airways that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the lungs. Asthma is sometimes also called bronchial asthma or reactive airways disease. It can be controlled through proper treatment and medication.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a lung condition that can cause serious breathing difficulties for patients. It is a chronic condition that does not currently have a cure. The symptoms of asthma, however, may be controlled through treatments and medication. With proper treatment, the symptoms of asthma may also reduce over time and most people suffering from asthma may go on for long periods without experiencing any of the symptoms associated with it.
Asthma can affect people of all ages but is usually detected in childhood. It can also appear in adults who face difficulties in high altitudes, population resistance, and sensitivity to strong smells. Asthma affects the airways or bronchial tubes that allow for air to pass to and from the lungs. Patients suffering from asthma have inflammation in the bronchial tubes. These tubes can get more swollen and can tighten when patients suffering from Asthma show pronounced Asthma symptoms.
What causes Asthma?
The exact causes of Asthma are still unknown. There is no definitive cause that can be attributed to Asthma. Many researchers feel there are environmental or genetic factors that cause Asthma in adults and children. People suffering from allergies relating to smells, dust, and pollen from flowers, strong smells like animal and pesticide smells, the smell of cigarette smoke or smoke from chimneys, cold air, exercise, chest infections, and skin allergies are more prone to Asthma. Children whose parents have Asthma and have had respiratory issues in childhood and infancy also tend to show symptoms of Asthma as they grow older.
Occupational Asthma is common in many cases where people develop Asthma due to gases, dust, inhaling fumes, and other harmful substances while at work. Another cause of Asthma is an excessive exercise regime that could affect otherwise-healthy individuals. This is called Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) or Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA). Staying healthy and exercising daily is important, but overdoing it may cause Asthma. Patients who suffer breathing or wheezing conditions before, during, or after exercise should speak to a physician and get appropriate treatment started.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma symptoms usually differ from person to person and not everyone shows the same symptoms. For many people, the symptoms of Asthma come and go, sometimes they differ depending on the activity or trigger present.
Some of the main symptoms of Asthma are:
- Wheezing (whistling sound in the chest while breathing)
- Tightness in the chest
Some of the symptoms of Asthma can get worse depending on the condition and triggers associated with it. The symptoms may come together or one at a time. In the event of an onset of all triggers in a short span of time, the asthmatic patient may be suffering from an Asthma attack and may need immediate medical attention to clear the airways.
What is the treatment of Asthma?
Since there is no cure for Asthma, there are several treatments and precautions that can be taken to control the symptoms of Asthma. Most asthmatic patients are required to use an inhaler (a small device that pumps medicine into the mouth). This medicine goes straight into the breathing airways and eases the strain as patients breathe it in. Some of the main treatments of Asthma are avoiding triggers to Asthma (if identified), reliever inhalers – to be taken at the onset of an Asthma attack, and preventive inhalers – to be taken once or twice a day according to the doctors’ prescription.
Most doctors will help asthmatic patients set up a comprehensive diet, exercise, and action plan to control and combat the symptoms of Asthma. Patients suffering from Asthma can lead regular and normal lives without interruption if they follow the instructions and diet and exercise plan given by the doctor.
How to ease Asthma?
One of the best ways to ease it is to avoid any triggers associated with Asthma. Visit the doctor regularly to check the medications and inhaler properties prescribed so that adjustments can be made according to the Asthma action plan set by the doctor. Eat foods that help ease the breathing passage and do not cause a stomach upset or ulcers. Avoid eating spicy and oily foods that might trigger a coughing bout. Make sure the house you live in is free of dust and animal hair and smells, and cover your nose and mouth if the weather changes or there is a dust storm.