Asthma Explained: What? Who? How? Why? Where?

,Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs that consists of the inflammation of the airways and their tightening. Airways are the tubes that carry the air from and to the lungs. Asthma also makes these airways very sensitive to certain inhaled substances. This sensitivity will lead to the contraction of the muscles around the airways → less air can pass. The airways can as well get more restricted due to the enlarged airways and the production of thick mucus.

What causes asthma?

Causes are not well defined by professionals. However, these latter are seeking to find the interaction of environmental and genetic factors early in life leading to asthma. These factors include:

  • The tendency to develop allergies to heredity,
  • Family history of asthma,
  • Some respiratory infections that occurred at a young age,
  • Exposure to some viruses and airborne allergens.

Who is at risk?

Most people who have allergies have asthma. It affects equally adult’s men and women; while it is more common in boys during childhood. Children who keep having recurring wheezing and respiratory infections are at higher risk of developing asthma after the age of 6 years old. There is also occupational asthma that can be due to the exposure to chemical irritants at the workplace.

How do we diagnose asthma and what are the signs and symptoms?

People, who have a terrible case of coughing that gets worse late at night and in the early morning, most probably have asthma. Breathing with a whistle and wheeze is another sign.  Finally, asthmatic people experience shortness of breath and chest tightening. Asthma is mainly diagnosed by checking the family history, doing a physical examination, and spirometry.

What causes asthma symptoms?

Several factors can result in a worsening of asthmatic symptoms, such as the exposure to

1) allergens from animal fur, dust, cockroaches, mild and tree/flower pollen;

2) irritants from cigarette smoke, pollution, hairspray, chemicals at work and certain substances in furniture;

3) medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin;

4) sulfites in food and drinks;

5) viruses such as cold, and

6) exercising.

So, what are the possible treatments?

Asthma does not have a cure, but instead, it needs a good control. A plan of action is a good topic of discussion with the doctor including preventing exposure to what triggers asthmatic attacks. Usually, there are two kinds of medicines: some that offer

Asthma does not have a cure; but instead, needs a suitable control. A plan of action needs to be discussed with the doctor including preventing exposure to what triggers asthmatic attacks. Usually, there are two kinds of medicines: some that offer long-term relief and some that provide short-term assistance. Long-term medications include 1) inhaled corticosteroids (most preferred) that lower the inflammation and sensitivity of the airways; 2) Oral theophylline; 3) Oral Leukotriene modifiers, and 4) Cromolyn using a nebulizer. Short-term medicines provide a quick relief by relaxing the muscle around the airways. These usually are inhaled, short-acting beta-2 antagonists.

New updates!!?? Just like for every disease, science is advancing. Bronchial thermoplastry is a unique introduction to the asthma treatment world. It is a treatment that does not involve drugs given to severe asthmatic individuals. It is meant to reduce the symptoms and the risk of asthmatic attacks.


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