Have you been diagnosed with asthma? Or did someone have been diagnosed with asthma recently? If so, you probably have lots of questions. Even if you are not suffering from it, it is better to know about asthma, to stay protected from it. So let’s know what asthma is how to prevent it and how to deal with it if already affected.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the airways which carry air to and from the lungs. In people with asthma, the inside walls of airways are swollen. This makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases the susceptibility to an allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
The inflamed or swollen airways make them narrower and the amount of air passing through them is reduced. This results in the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Sleeping troubles caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
- Increased severity in coughing and wheezing by an attack of a respiratory virus such as cold or flu.
What causes asthma?
The underlying cause of asthma isn’t clear, but it is probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Asthma can be triggered when people are exposed to various irritants and substances. However, these triggers vary from person to person; some of the common factors are as follows:
- Airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander.
- Respiratory infections such as cold or flu.
- Cold air.
- Air pollutants such as smoke.
- Emotional stress.
- Preservatives added to some foods and beverages, including shrimp, processed foods etc.
What could be the risk factors of Asthma?
The symptoms of asthma can be worsened with a number of factors which include:
- Having a family history of asthma
- Being overweight
- Being a smoker
- Exposure to second-hand smoke and exhaust fumes.
How can Asthma be prevented?
It is unfortunate to know that there is no way to prevent asthma. But, people with asthma can get a step-by-step plan from their doctor to deal with the symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. This plan includes:
- Regular vaccinations to prevent flu and pneumonia.
- Identifying and avoiding the factors that trigger asthma.
- Monitoring the changes in the breath.
- Taking medications as prescribed.