Asthma 101

Asthma 101

It’s not clear what causes asthma or why some people have inflamed and narrow airways and others don’t. It is, however, believed that genetics and allergies play a role. Asthma is a serious and potentially dangerous condition that affects about 25 million Americans. Although there is no known cure, asthma can be managed, Moreover, with proper treatment, you can live a productive life. In this post, we answer the common questions we get.

What is Asthma?

Asthma occurs when the airways get inflamed and narrow making breathing difficult. Wheezing, shortness breath and coughing are common asthma symptoms and sometimes these symptoms can make it hard to talk.

Asthma is classified based on its symptoms and it can either be intermittent or persistent. Intermittent asthma is mild and the symptoms can occur less than twice a week and have few asthma attacks. 
Persistent asthma, on the other hand, is severe with the symptoms occurring more than six times a week and have recurring asthma attacks.

Asthma Vs. Allergies?

Asthma and allergies are not the same but are close-related. Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to substances that are not harmless. Plus, they affect different parts of the body including the lungs. 
Lung allergies manifest themselves as asthma, but it is possible to have asthma without being allergic to pollen or other substances.

Who Gets Asthma?

Asthma can attack anyone at any age. However, the first symptoms in children appear between the ages of six and 10. Furthermore, women above 20 years are also at risk of developing asthma.

What Causes Asthma?

As aforesaid, asthma has no specific cause and it occurs differently in everyone. However, genetics and the environment are believed to be the cause of the narrowing of the airways. 
Moreover, several factors can increase your risk of asthma such as obesity, smoking, family history, allergies, exposure to chemicals and fumes.

What is an Asthmatic Attack and What to Do?

An asthmatic attack occurs when your airways swell, become inflamed, and produce excess mucus. As you inhale or exhale, your airways will become smaller and less air will get in and out of the lungs. Because of the excess mucus, the lungs will get clogged making it hard for you to breathe. You may experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

An asthmatic event can either be minor or minor. For minor episodes, an inhaler works great, but in severe cases, you need emergency care.

The best way to stop an asthmatic attack is to detect the symptoms and address them as soon as possible. The asthmatic attack symptoms vary from person to person but some of the mild symptoms include tiredness, cold, tickle in your throat and nasal congestion.

You should visit an ER near you when you experience shortness of breath, chest tightening, difficulty talking, coughing and wheezing. These symptoms if not addressed immediately can be life-threatening.

Various factors such as allergens, infections, cold weather, emotional stress, and humidity can trigger an asthmatic attack.

What is Nocturnal Asthma?

Nocturnal or nighttime asthma is when the symptoms are worse at night and can make sleeping impossible. The reason why asthma symptoms are worse at night is not known. However, some reports indicate that hormone secretion or sleeping in the reclined position can be the cause. Furthermore, air conditioning is also another cause of coughing at night.

How Can You Treat Asthma?

There is no specific medication for asthma and everyone uses different medications based on the symptoms. 
Asthma medications come in two forms quick-relief that control the asthmatic attack symptoms and long-term medication which reduces the severity of the symptoms.

Take Away

Asthma is a chronic lung inflammation whose cause is unknown and can affect everyone regardless of age. Although there is no known cure, asthma is manageable with medication and a changed lifestyle.

Remember asthmatic attacks occur when you are exposed to triggers, so avoid them. Plus, pay attention to the early warning signs of an asthma attack. If an attack occurs, they are sure to visit an emergency room near 79605.

Call Now Check-In Online