5 Facts You Need To Know About Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects so many people worldwide. If not managed well, it can be life-threatening and lead to several hospitalizations.

According to the World Health Organization, there are about 235 million people living with asthma globally, and it is more common in children than in adults.

Now, despite how common this disease is, it is sometimes poorly understood by members of the public, with many people believing several untrue statements about it. In this article, we will be discussing 5 facts you should know that will help you better understand this disease better.

Let’s dive right in.
  • It can run in families
Asthma can be linked to heredity, meaning that people who have asthma are more likely to have children with the same condition. So, if you are asthmatic, you need to take certain steps to ensure that you minimize the risk of your children coming down with the same condition.
  • It is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction
Asthma is termed a type of hypersensitivity reaction (just like an allergic reaction). What this means is that the body becomes increasingly sensitive to things that are not harmful, and causes the release of immune cells and certain chemicals that trigger inflammation in the lungs in response to these non-harmful things. This then leads to the narrowing of the airway and increased mucus secretion in the lungs. These are the events that lead to the classical symptoms of asthma.
  • It can cause difficulty breathing
When the airway becomes narrow, breathing usually becomes difficult and fast. This could be very dangerous, and if not attended to, may lead to a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen entering the bloodstream. If still uncared for, it can lead to respiratory failure and even death.

Other symptoms of asthma include a chest pain or tightness, and wheezing. Asthma does not cause fevers because it is not caused by an infective process but by a hypersensitive immune system. When a stethoscope is used to auscultate the chest, a high pitched sound called rhonchi is usually heard.
  • It has some triggers
In asthma, there are usually triggers that the body’s immune system responds to by causing an inflammation in the lung. Some of these triggers are:
  • Strong scents
Every asthmatic person needs to know the common triggers that lead to their own asthma attacks, and try to avoid them. For example, someone who knows that dust triggers his asthma should avoid activities like sweeping, and ensure that his immediate environment is well cleaned and properly dusted.
  • People with asthma can lead a normal life
If you are asthmatic, you can still go ahead and have a normal life. As long as you are able to identify your triggers and stay away from them, you should be able to minimize the frequency of asthmatic attacks. Also, your doctor should develop a custom asthma action plan for you that involves the use of inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled medications like Sabultamol, based on the severity of your asthma.

One thing though is that as people get older, the frequency of their attacks may get lower. Some people even stop experiencing asthma attacks completely for several decades.

Even if yours persist, you should be in touch with your doctor on how to properly manage it, and stay attack-free.

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