Asthma

Understanding What Is Asthma and It's Triggers

Asthma is a chronic (long Term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airway. Nearly 300 million people were affected worldwide and about 20 million of people suffer in USA suffer from asthma. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 22 million people are known to have asthma. Nearly 6 million of these people are children.

Asthma affects people of all ages but it most start during childhood. People who suffer from asthma usually have the following symptoms; breathing problems, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, allergies to dust and strong smell, coughing and also react very quickly to climate changes. Though the reasons have not been confirmed yet, it looks like both genetic and environmental factors contribute to this condition. One should also understand that the symptoms of Asthma differ from person to person. Similarly the intensity of the symptoms will also vary.

Asthma is classified into two types broadly; Atopic or extrinsic and non-atopic or intrinsic. The symptoms are usually caused or aggravated by allergens. People having extrinsic asthma get wheezing attacks rapidly as soon as they come in contact with the allergens that cause allergy or induce inflammation. The other type, intrinsic asthma or non-atopic is not induced or aggravated by external allergens.

The number of people suffering has increased dramatically over the past few decades around the world. Like stated earlier there are no specific reasons for one person to get this condition. But, there are certain conditions that cause Asthma in people. They are:

– History of asthma in family: if there is a history it is always better to get your children checked for the same.

– Lung diseases in early childhood- preterm babies or children who have had lung infections at a very young age have very sensitive airways which get inflamed very easy causing asthma attacks.

– respiratory infections in childhood

– Residing in our localities that have allergens that can cause irritation to airways causing inflammation.

– Contracting animal dander frequently might also induce asthma attacks.

– Active or passive smoking- it has been noted that people who are exposed to passive smoking are inferior danger of developing asthmatic condition.

There are certain known factors that triggers asthmatic attacks in people who suffer from it and these are termed as Asthma Triggers. Asthma triggers differ from person to person. In general, over periods of time people learn what factors trigger such attacks and try to avoid them. The most known causes are listed below.

Causes of Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs. This is termed a chronic illness because, people who have asthma will have this condition present their body but, asthmatic attacks occur only when certain things called 'triggers' initiate it. The reason why a person gets the asthma or what causes the condition is yet to be fully defined. Further this condition does not have a cure and can only be controlled using drugs and avoiding triggers.

There are certain known factors that triggers asthmatic attacks in people who suffer from it and these are termed as Asthma Triggers. Asthma triggers differ from person to person. In general, over periods of time people learn what factors trigger such attacks and try to avoid them. The most known causes are listed below.

Polluted Air:

Air pollution is one of the major triggers. As the airways to lungs are usually very sensitive, polluted air easily irritates causing inflammation and swelling. When the airways are swollen and very little or nil air reaches the lungs, it causes asthmatic attack. It is advisable that people who have asthma do not reside in localities that have factories or industries. It is also advised that people who travel to highly polluted areas always carry their drugs with them.

Active and passive smoking:

Smoking apart from being an injurious habit, is also a well know asthma trigger. It is suggested that people who have asthma quit smoking. It is said that passive smoking is worst than active smoking. Hence, people who have asthma are suggested to stay away from people who smoke or stay away from smoke region.

Pets:

Cats and dogs, especially the hairy ones are known causes of asthma. If you have a family member suffering from asthma it is better not to have any pets at home. If you still prefer pets, you should ensure that they are clean, bathed and spend most of the time outside the house. It should never be allowed to enter the bedroom or sleep on the bed. Cleaning and mopping the house frequently to remove pet's hair is a very important precaution.

Dust Mites, Mold and Cockroach Droppings:

Breathing-in cockroach droppings, dust mites and molds can trigger asthmatic attack. Cleaning, mopping and vacuuming frequently will clear out the cockroach droppings and even mold. Dust mites are very common and found in the pillows and mattresses. People who have asthma should always use pillow cover and mattress cover to avoid direct contact with dust mites. Molds usually grow in high humid climates, so using air conditioner or humidifier will control the growth of mold at home.

Climatic conditions

Drastic changes in climatic conditions also trigger asthmatic attack. Highly humid conditions, thunderstorms, drastic drop in temperatures, traveling to high-altitude or even breathing in cold air from air conditioners directly or dry air could trigger asthmatic attack.

Miscellaneous

Respiratory infections, acid reflux, breathing in pollen grains from flowers, breathing-in strong smell, sinus infections and allergies, exercising, breathing-in strong chemicals or eating food items directly out of the refrigerator can also trigger asthmatic attack in many people. Hyperventilation which is a condition of very fast breathing is triggered due to emotional turmoil and is known to cause severe asthmatic attack.

There is no cure for asthma, although symptoms sometimes improve over time. With proper self management and medical treatment, most people with asthma can lead normal lives.

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