Asthma is a disease of the lungs where the person finds it difficult to breathe. The channels that lead to the lungs are inflamed. They become narrow thus making it difficult to breathe. Sometimes the muscles go into spasm and as a result the channel becomes narrower. The production of mucus increases the breathing difficulty. A person suffering from asthma really finds it difficult to breathe when she/he suffers from the attack. Such a situation often demands immediate medical attention and unless that is provided to the victim it might often be a fatal condition.
What Causes Asthma
There are no definite causes of asthma. Researches have pointed out that it is a result of faulty genes and influence of the environment. The case becomes more serious if both the factors combine together. Apart from this the affected person may also suffer from various allergic diseases which may include eczema and hay fever. The breathing tubes become narrowed down as cells and chemicals enter the lung tissues inflaming the breathing tubes. When the tubes are narrowed down it is difficult for the air to move through the lungs and thus result in breathing difficulty.
Once the airways become hyper-reactive the lungs start to react in an abnormal manner thus leading to an attack of asthma. This leads to the infection in the respiratory tract. The infected person becomes allergic to house dust, smoking and chemical irritants. Emotional depression also aggravates the disease. A person suffering from asthma has to be really careful of all the allergies as well as the surroundings.
Some of the common symptoms of asthma are constant coughing, a feeling of tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing. These symptoms may not be continuous but become severe with the passing of the days. In some cases the symptoms may be mild while in some cases it is very severe. Medical attention is compulsory. Some patients need to be treated in the hospital. The symptoms become severe at morning and night. Sometimes a case of eczema may also be the reason behind asthma. Among the children the symptoms are severe during night. Asthma can affect anybody but it is found more among the children. If a lady smokes during pregnancy then the unborn baby runs a risk of developing asthma. Active as well as passive smoking leads to asthma.
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A person should be under proper medical care while suffering from an attack of asthma. Medication is given straight to the lungs with the help of inhalers. They help in opening the blocked airway and try to prevent any further attack of asthma. A person should also follow a self-management plan so that all the activities are based on it. Should attend regular asthma check-ups and try to control the symptoms of an attack. Exercise should be continued.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were an estimated 6.8 million Americans suffering from asthma in 1980. Statistics from the same organization say there were 22.2 million Americans suffering from asthma in 2005. Of these, 15.7 million or 7.2% of all noninstitutionalized adults suffer from asthma while 6.5 million or 8.9% of all children in the U.S. have asthma. This fast growing epidemic was also responsible for 13.6 million visits to office-based physicians, 1.8 million visits to the hospital emergency room as well as 3,780 deaths in 2004.
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