Are you Asthmatic?
If your chest normally makes a wheezy or a whistling sound as you breathe, you probably have asthma – a lingeringlung condition that results to the narrowing and constriction of the passageways or bronchial tubes that enable the movement of air in and out of the lungs. When asthmatic people are subjected to a condition that alters their normal breathing patterns or they’re exposed to an element that they are sensitive to, it can result to the asthma symptoms being more pronounced. In the U.S., about 7 million children and 19 million adults have asthma symptoms – making asthma be among the main reasons for absence in school and at work.
Causes of asthma
Asthma usually runs in families, and at least half of asthma cases can be traced to genetic susceptibility. The other half of the cases is mainly attributed to environmental factors. While there’s no cure, effective treatments for controlling asthma symptoms are available.
Asthma is of two types: allergic – results from exposure to allergen(s), and non-allergic –results from exposure to nuisances in the atmosphere, extreme weather conditions, certain medications, illnesses such as flu and cold, stress as well as exercise. People usually consider asthma about attacks or episodes. However, a person with asthma has it all the time, but the symptoms only appear when elicited by an irritant or something that causes the body to respond like allergens, some medications, stress, cold air, exercise or illness.
Common asthma triggers
Allergens are important asthma triggers. Allergens are elements that are not problematic to most persons but result to abnormal reactions in some people. When a person who’s sensitive to a certain allergen is subjected to it, his immune system considers the substance as foreign and secretes chemicals to fight the invasion. For persons with asthma, the chemicals can result to an asthma attack, where the air passageways are constricted; the persons find it hard to take breaths and may experience wheezing and coughing. Here are the common asthma triggers:
- Indoor triggers like mold, dust mites and pet dander,
- Outdoor allergens like pollens from trees, weeds, and grass,
- Weather conditions like cold air, windy, wet or extremely dry weather,
- Certain food additives and drugs,
- Exercise (Note: exercise can as well be helpful to persons with asthma),
- Irritants in the atmosphere like strong odors, smoke and chemical fumes,
- Illnesses such as flus and colds. Viral respiratory infections like flu are the most important causes of severe asthma attacks.