A significant number of people suffer from a respiratory tract condition called asthma. What is asthma? Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. This inflammation thereby causes an increase in mucus production, mucosal edema, and airway hyper-responsiveness. The cardinal signs of asthma include wheezing, or asthma breathing, difficulty in breathing, coughing, and chest tightness.
This disease can occur in any age. However, it is most common among children. Despite new developments in the treatment of asthma, the death rate keeps on rising. Most asthmatics consider it a troublesome illness that interferes with their everyday living.
Asthma can be triggered by different factors. However, the most common is exposure to allergens. Allergens are airway irritants that can be found almost everywhere. Pollens from grass, trees, and weeds are one type of allergens.
Other forms include dust, molds, roaches, and pet dander. In addition, air pollution contributes to irritating the airway. Automobile emissions are not only a significant cause, but more importantly, an aggravating factor. Both smoking and second-hand smoke affects the respiratory tract.
Inhalation of cigarette or tobacco smoke has been associated with the further progress of the disease. Additionally, strong odors from perfumes can activate asthma. Extreme heat and cold could trigger asthma too, including sudden weather changes.
However, environmental factors are not the only cause of asthma. Exercise-induced asthma is also reasonably. Surveys have shown that asthma is a common medical condition for athletes such as cyclists, mountain bikers, and runners. On the other hand, some medical conditions can lead to an exacerbation of asthma. Examples of which are existing viral respiratory infection and gastroesophageal reflux.
Psychological stress and emotional adjustment has long been suspected in causing asthma. However, recent studies show that stress itself does not cause asthma. Instead of stress causing the symptoms directly, it has been known that stress alters the inflammatory response against allergens and airway irritants. Stress makes the airway inflammatory response hyper-reactive.
The best way to prevent the recurrence of asthma is to avoid what triggers it. A person with recurrent asthma must first be tested to determine the things that trigger the symptoms. Asthmatics are instructed to stay away from the causative agents, whatever they may be, whenever possible.
Keeping the home environment clean is one of the best ways to drive allergens away. Although allergens can not be completely eliminated, they can be minimized. Since strong odors can trigger asthma, it is advisable to choose unscented detergents and cleaners for home use. Smoking cessation is also a wise step in preventing an objection asthma attack. Lastly, stress reduction techniques are genetically advised for people suffering from asthma.
Medical treatment becomes necessary when the avoidance of triggers is insufficient or impossible. Treatment for asthma depends on the severity of the condition, as well as on the frequency of the accompanying symptoms. Taking the right treatment decrees the chance of having another asthma attack. Moreover, visiting the physician regularly is always advisable for people with asthma.