Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
1. What is Asthma
Asthma AZ ma is a chronic long term lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing a whistling sound when you breathe, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.
2. who gets asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammation and obstruction of the bronchial tubes, the airways that allow air to enter and leave the lungs. People often think of asthma in terms of episodes or attacks. Actually, someone with asthma always has it, but the symptoms may not appear until triggered by something that provokes a response in the body, such as exercise, cold air, stress, illness, irritants in the air, certain medications or an allergen.
Allergens are substances that cause no problem in most people but produce an abnormal reaction in some. When someone who is sensitive to an allergen is exposed to it, his or her immune system sees it as a foreign substance and releases chemicals to deal with it. For people with asthma, those chemicals can cause an asthma attack meaning that their airways become constricted, they find it difficult to breathe and they may experience coughing or wheezing.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways in the lungs. In the United States asthma affects an estimated 26 million people many of whom arent aware that they have it, especially if their symptoms arent severe.
The most common symptoms are:
Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or when laughing
Shortness of breath
Wheezing a whistling or squeaky sound in your chest when you breathe, especially when exhaling
Any asthma symptom is serious and can become deadly if left untreated.
Symptoms may be triggered by exposure to an allergen such as ragweed, pollen, pet hair or dust mites, irritants in the air such as smoke, chemical fumes or strong odors or extreme weather conditions. Illness particularly a respiratory illness or the flu and exercise can also make you more susceptible.
A physical display of strong emotion that affects normal breathing patterns such as shouting, crying or laughing may also contribute to an asthma attack. Panic can prevent a person with asthma from relaxing and following instructions, which is essential during an attack. Scientists have found that rapid breathing associated with strong emotions can cause bronchial tubes to constrict, possibly provoking or worsening an attack.
Like any chronic condition, asthma can cause emotional strain. As a leading cause of work and school absences, it can have a significant effect on livelihood, education and emotional well being. Depression may set in when people diagnosed with asthma believe that they are unable to participate in normal activities.
Asthma symptoms can happen at any time. Mild episodes may last only a few minutes and may be resolved spontaneously or with medication; more severe episodes can last from hours to days.
If youre experiencing breathing difficulties that interfere with your daily activities and decrease the quality of your life, see an allergist for diagnosis and treatment. An allergist can also help you recognize the early warning signals of an attack and coach you in ways to cope during an emergency.
4. what are the symptoms of asthma
Coughing. Coughing from asthma often is worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.
Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe.
Chest tightness. This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.
Shortness of breath. Some people who have asthma say they cant catch their breath or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you cant get air out of your lungs.
Not all people who have asthma have these symptoms. Likewise, having these symptoms doesnt always mean that you have asthma. The best way to diagnose asthma for certain is to use a lung function test, a medical history including type and frequency of symptoms, and a physical exam.
The types of asthma symptoms you have, how often they occur, and how severe they are may vary over time. Sometimes your symptoms may just annoy you. Other times, they may be troublesome enough to limit your daily routine.
Severe symptoms can be fatal. Its important to treat symptoms when you first notice them so they dont become severe.
With proper treatment, most people who have asthma can expect to have few, if any, symptoms either during the day or at night.
Encase pillows, mattresses, and box springs with allergen proof, zippered covers.
Wash all bedding in hot water once a week.
Dont allow smoking in your house.
Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming, or painting to limit dust and chemical exposure.
Vacuum twice a week.
Limit throw rugs to reduce dust and mold. If you do have rugs, make sure they are washable.
When possible, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting. If you must have carpeting, choose low pile material.
Avoid dust collecting Venetian blinds or long drapes. Replace old drapes with window shades instead. Washable curtains should be washed in hot water every two to four weeks.
Non carpeted flooring is best. If you cannot get rid of your carpeting, vacuum often with a multi layer, allergen proof vacuum bag. Wear a mask while vacuuming. If your child has asthma, do not vacuum while he or she is in the room. Products that eliminate dust mites from carpeting such as Acarosan can be purchased. Your asthma care provider can give you information about these products.
Dust all surfaces with a damp cloth often, including lampshades and windowsills.
Keep clutter under control. Toys and books should be stored in enclosed bookshelves, drawers, or closets.
Replace traditional stuffed animals with washable stuffed animals.
Keep all clothing in drawers and closets. Keep drawers and closets closed.
Cover air ducts with filters or cheesecloth. Change these when soiled.
Pillows and bedding should not contain feathers.
Keep indoor humidity low 25% 50%. Use a dehumidifier.
Regularly change filters on heaters and air conditioners.
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