Facts About Asthma

What is Asthma?

  • Asthma is a chronic (meaning you have to deal with it everyday) lung disease characterized by an inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
  • The bronchial tubes is where air passes in and out of the lungs
  • Asthma can be fatal
  • Asthma causes severe breathing problems
  • Severe exhibition of symptoms is called an asthma attack, an episode or a flare up.

Symptoms of Asthma

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain (Tightness of Chest)
  • Different persons may exhibit different symptoms.

Causes of Asthma

  • The real cause of asthma is still unknown, however, symptoms are caused by different agents called triggers.
  • Triggers vary from person to person.
  • Triggers can be classified as either an allergen or non-allergen (irritants)

Allergens

  • Animal Dander
  • Molds
  • Pollen
  • Dustmites
  • Food (peanuts, Fish, Soy etc…)
  • Cockroaches
  • Fungi
  • Fule (Diesel, Kerosene)

Non-Allergens (Irritants)

  • Air Pollution
  • Drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Cold Air/Weather Chnages
  • Exercise
  • Cigarettes
  • Scented Products
  • GERD
  • Emotions (Crying, Laughing)
  • Paint, Deodorant
  • Night time

Treatment of Asthma

  • The cure for asthma is not yet known
  • Researchers are continuously working to discover the cure
  • There are 2 types of asthma treatment

Quick-Relief Of Asthma

  • Broncholidators – Opens up the airways by relaxing the muscles around it.
  • Corticosteroids – Reduces inflammation. Can be administered orally or intravenously.

Long-Term Preventive Medication

  • Leukotriene Blockers – Block leukotrienes to prevent symptoms. Leukotrienes and other chemicals are sent out by the immune system whenever asthma is triggered. This causes inflammation.
  • Nedocromil – Taken through an inhaler, nedocromil prevents breathing problems caused by asthma.
  • Inhaled Long-acting Beta 2-agonist – Prevents symptoms effectively if used correctly. It opens up the airways and lessens the need of quick acting inhalers.
  • Inhaled Corticosteroids – An effective medication that prevents symptoms. Oftne used together with inhaled long-acting beta 2-agonist.

Upon successful Treatment Of Asthma

  • Prevent symptoms
  • Function normally, including exercise
  • Prevent flare-ups
  • Maintain normal breathing (without the wheezing)

Preventing Asthma

  • Know your triggers
  • Keep your environment clean
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid polluted areas (air pollution)
  • Monitor the weather
  • No pets
  • Use hypoallergenic products (pillows, pillow cases, sheets etc..)
  • Clean your carpets and car upholstery

Even though asthma can not be cured yet, preventing attacks is highly possible and there are a lot of people who have been very successful in it. On the very first sign of asthma, consult your doctor immediately so you can prevent it from worsening. Asthma attacks can be frightening and everybody hopes that no one experiences it. Unfortunately, asthma is here to stay so the best way to fight it is through prevention. If your family have a history of asthma then you and your kids are likely to have it too. Don’t risk your health and start preventing it even if you’re not noticing any symptoms yet.