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What You Need to Know About Asthma


Most people are diagnosed with asthma during the formative years of life; however, this chronic respiratory condition, which affects the lung’s lower airway region, may occur at any age. Asthma attacks happen when a “trigger” enters the airways; the lung’s passages then narrow to fight the “intruder”, making it much harder for the person with asthma to breathe. The narrowing of the airways is known as bronchoconstriction, and the feeling of having an asthma attack is unpleasant, as it brings spasms and tightening that are very uncomfortable (and sometimes quite frightening). The severity of asthma will vary from person to person; according to medical doctors, attacks may be ranked as mild, moderate, or severe. Viscous mucous is also produced during asthma attacks, and this thick substance contributes to even more breathing difficulties.


If you suspect that you suffer from undiagnosed asthma, it’s important to see a doctor right away. If you already know that you have asthma, you may be wondering how to cope with this chronic health issue. Typically, treatment for this type of illness begins with a prescription for an inhaler, which may be a “turbo” (not preloaded with medicine) or aerosol (preloaded water mist with active ingredients included) model. Since asthma attacks tend to feature a gradual buildup and intensity of symptoms, using an inhaler at the first sign of trouble can significantly lessen the duration and severity of an attack. Most people with asthma take their inhalers wherever they go, and they are careful to ensure that they have extras on hand. These inhalers deposit needed medicine right into airways and lungs.


What causes asthma? This condition is believed to have a strong genetic component…in other words, some people are simply unlucky enough to suffer from the disease due to heredity. Triggers for asthmatics include dust mites, dander from animals, pollution, fragrances, pollen, and other common allergens and irritants. In people with asthma, the lungs are much more delicate, and they react differently than “normal” lungs do. Certain segments of people with asthma suffer from attacks when they swallow a “trigger” food, such as shellfish. While the triggers for this respiratory illness may vary, the end result – bronchoconstriction and mucous – is always the same… unless medication is used to control symptoms. However, attacks may be mild and manageable, mid-level and treatable, or very dangerous (requiring hospitalization or other emergency health care)…


Making health lifestyle changes, such as dropping excess weight, quitting smoking, and doing cardiovascular exercise may have a beneficial effect on asthma; however, this illness is not curable at this point in time. Proper nutrition, diet, and rest will help to strengthen the mind and body between attacks. Augmented with professional medical care, healthy lifestyle choices are one of the most important elements in managing this health condition.

People with asthma should keep abreast of new technological and medical developments; from time to time, these advances in technology and medical care offer new treatments and new hope for asthmatics. One hot new potential treatment includes controversial “heat therapy”, which utilizes heat waves to reduce the amount of excess muscle growth in air passages. Seeing a doctor regularly is another practical way to learn about the latest treatments for asthma.