Asthma is a persistent disease involving the airway in the lungs making it difficult for someone to breath. It is the most common respiratory condition in the United States that over 22 million people have. There are a few people out there that might come to believe that asthma is contagious but it is not. People who have a family history of asthma are more than likely to pass it off to their children while others might develop it as they grow older. Those who grew up with asthma their whole life have more control of what to do to prevent them from having an asthma attack at home or out in public. Although there is no cure to asthma, there are several treatments to control the disease.
To have asthma, your primary care doctor will first to have to diagnose it based off of your medical or family histories, physical exam, and test results. A physical exam, would be the first step to take. In a physical exam the doctor will look for signs of asthma by listening to your breathing or signs of allergies. The next test would be your lung function test called spirometry to check how your lungs are working. In the spirometry test, you breathe into a small machine sitting down called a spirometer. This medical device records the amount of air you breathe in and out and the pace of your breathing. (Cirino 2017). Another test is an allergy test to see if anything triggers you to have difficulty breathing. Your doctor will ask you questions such as whether or not you have asthma symptoms and how often do you get them. The next step would be to pay careful attention as to when and where do you get these symptoms. Doctors ask these questions to see what are the things that trigger your asthma attacks in order to prevent them from happening, or see what types of medication you will need.
As of now they still don’t know why some people get asthma and others don’t. It is to say that the cause of asthma might be a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Things that might trigger an asthma attack are airborne substances, respiratory infections, cold air. Certain medications, physical activity, or even air pollutants. Allergies from airborne substances include such things as pollens, molds, animals, dust mites, and chemicals. These things make you sneeze or cough continuously causing mucus to accumulate in their airways.
While exercising, people with asthma get airway obstruction with colds respiratory viruses, and environmental triggers. This makes the bands of muscle surrounding the airways to tighten making air difficult to move freely. Once the person begins to feel short of breath not allowing air to move through the airways, that’s when they begin to do the wheezing sound. Inflammation in the airways results in breathing problems such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These problems have a few causes as to where the bands of the muscle that surround the airways tighten making it hard for one to breathe smoothly. Another cause is when the person’s airways become swollen or inflamed not letting air go through. Lastly, the most common one would be where the cells in the airway produce more mucus making it thicker than usual clogging the airways. If these symptoms start to get worst, then it is called an asthma attack. While having an asthma attack, the airways can start to get narrow not allowing vital organs to get the oxygen they need. Occupational asthma is blamed for about nine percent of all cases. It is a lung disease brought on by breathing in fumes, dust, animal dander, or chemical in a workplace. Even if you’ve never had asthma, working in places like farms, drug manufactures, or millers can give you that type of lung damage if not fully avoiding the irritants.
Asthma has two main kinds of medications. There are the rescue medications that help stop symptoms of asthma attacks opening up airways. These rescue medications help by relieving symptoms within minutes, but they do not prevent them from the swelling. The top three most common rescue medications are Albuterol and Pirbuterol. Another type of medication would be the controller medications. These medications help prevent any asthma attacks by relieving the inflammations in the airways. These medications are to be used on a daily basis to work effectively. Controller medications need to be used on those people who have severe asthma. This is when your ways are swollen up all the time causing you to have asthma symptoms twice or more per week. Asthma control medication includes inhaled corticosteroids such as Budesonide, Fluticasone, and Beclomethasone. There are also oral (tablet) leukotriene modifiers like Montelukast and Zafirlukast. Long-acting bronchodilators are the ones that should not be used without an inhaled corticosteroid such as Salmeterol, Formoterol with budesonide, and Formoterol with Mometasone. Most of these medications are to be used with an inhaler. It is important because many people can’t tell whether or not their asthma is not well controlled by their symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing.
Although asthma attacks to happen at random times of the day, it still doesn’t stop someone from living their daily lives. They are humans who are capable of also doing indoor or outdoor exercise, but of course at a steadier pace to prevent an asthma attack. For example, any of the more heavy exercises are the ones people with asthma have to be more careful with because it can cause them to run out of breath faster. The best exercise one can do is swimming. This is because of the horizontal position the body making it easier for one to breathe.
Over all having asthma is a big responsibility because you have to be able to distinguish your symptoms and know what to do in case of an emergency. Knowing the procedures to follow and what medicines to take at the right time is one of the most important parts about having to deal with asthma. Someone with asthma can still do what other people do, they just have to be extra careful and know when it is enough for their body to take in.
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