Asthma is a life-threatening disease if not properly managed. When breathing is difficult and is always followed by coughing and shortness of breath, you are suffering from a health condition, asthma. What is asthma? What causes it? Are there treatments for asthma? And how can it be prevented? This article will outrightly give answers to those questions.
Asthma is a respiratory
disease in which the airways become inflamed, swell; thus, making it
complicated for the individual to breathe as he should. Asthma kills the
individual if proper measures are not put in place. Since the early 1980s, asthma has been on the increase.
In fact, according to the Centre for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26 million Americans die of asthma. In
2015, 3,615 people died of this disease. But what exactly causes the incurable
Let us consider briefly what causes this life-threatening disease.
Causes of Asthma
There are several known causes of the disease.
One of the causes of asthma is bronchiolitis—when your newborn or child (under the age of 2) has been infected with a virus. When this happens, the lungs and airways become swollen, making it hard for the baby to breathe. If your child is battling bronchiolitis, they will definitely develop asthma as they grow old.
The disease is also caused if you have a history of atopic conditions or family history of the disease.
Environmental conditions, like inhaling smoke from cigarettes, traffic fumes, and chemicals from power plants. In fact, a new study shows that children who live in a highly air-polluted environment can impact the development of asthma.
Pregnancy also plays a part in the development of the disease. If a pregnant woman smokes, the unborn child will be affected. When this happens, the baby will gradually develop asthma—which will be made manifest early in life or later in their lifetime.
Symptoms of Asthma
You have asthma if you notice these symptoms manifesting in you.
If you notice shortness of breath, you are likely an asthmatic patient.
A person who experiences chest pain or tightness in the chest has probably developed the disease.
Do you experience trouble sleeping because of shortness or difficulty in breathing? You may be an asthmatic patient.
Types of Asthma
There are different types of asthma, depending on when you caught it or when it showed up. Let’s now examine the types of cancer.
- Childhood Asthma
In some children, asthma shows up in their early life. This is called childhood asthma. Some causes mentioned above cause childhood asthma. That is why parents are advised to keep their children in check. When you notice that your infant or kid is wheezing, you are advised to take them to your family doctor for proper examination.
- Adult-Onset Asthma
Although, not all children who have asthma will the disease show in their early years. Some kids will grow to adulthood before the disease appears. This is called adult-onset asthma.
- Occupational Asthma
If your asthma is triggered by workplace irritants such as those chemical fumes you are exposed to, gases, or dust, it is referred to as occupational asthma. People with this kind of asthma are prone to runny nose and eye irritation.
- Allergy-Induced Asthma
Allergies such as pet dander, pollen, or dust mites might be just what trigger your asthma. But not everyone who is battling from asthma has allergies and not everyone who has allergies has asthma. However, allergy-induced asthma shows a relationship between allergy and asthma.
What about the treatment of the disease? Are there no treatments for the disease? Of course, there are treatments to help you manage your condition. Let’s now consider them.
Treatments for Asthma
There are two major types of treatments for asthma: long-term control medications and quick-relief inhalers.
Long-term control medications are those used on a long-term basis to control persistent asthma. Examples of these medications are Singulair, Advair, Symbicort, and Pulmicort.
Quick-relief inhalers are used to open the airways so as to relieve the symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Examples of these are albuterol and levalbuterol.
But can asthma be prevented? Yes, it can.
Prevention of Asthma
Asthma can be prevented. The following are ways you can help to keep yourself healthy, living an asthma-free lifestyle.
- Keep your breathing in proper check.
- If you notice that the way you breathe is not normal, you are advised to book an appointment with your family doctor, a pulmonologist, pediatrician, or respiratory therapist.
- Avoiding smoking altogether is another perfect way to avoid contracting the disease or help your baby stay far from contracting it.
- Don’t skip your medications; take them as prescribed by your doctor.