Asthma is something everyone has heard of. Either you have it or know someone who has it.
Television sometimes shows asthma always occurring in “nerds” or “geeks”, but in reality asthma occurs in 25 million Americans (CDC).
So what is asthma? and how is it treated? We are going to answer these questions and more.
Let’s get started
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic breathing issue.
Asthma affects people of all ages. Asthma makes it difficult to carry oxygen into and out of the lungs. Asthma is caused by reversible airway blockage. The airways usually become inflamed. This inflammation causes your bronchioles (airway tubes) to become inflamed and to spasm.
- Asthma affects 25 million Americans.
- It affects 300 million people worldwide and causes 250,000 deaths a year.
- Asthma usually causes 1 million emergency room visits a year.
Asthma can easily be controlled with education and the correct medications.
What causes Asthma?
Asthma is caused by a hyperreaction of the walls of your bronchioles (airway tubes). Asthma usually goes hand and hand with allergies.
Asthma is usually thought to be the final step in an “allergy march”.
- Step 1: Allergies in an infant (food or eczema).
- Step 2:. Allergies in childhood (seasonal, running nose, itchy nose and throat).
- Step 3: Asthma develops
Who is at risk for Asthma?
Family history. Family history plays a part in developing asthma. If one parent has asthma the chances of developing asthma is 25%. If two parents have asthma the chances are 50%.
Parent Tobacco use: If parents use tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, or vapes), there is an increase chance the child may develop asthma.
Aspirin or NSAID allergy: Kids who are allergic to aspirin or NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Advil) have an increased risk for asthma.
Heavy exercise in areas with heavy air pollution.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
- Hard time Breathing
- Nighttime cough
- Chest tightness
How is it diagnosed?
Asthma is not diagnosed until age 5 or older. The person must present with the above symptoms. Your provider will do breathing tests and depending on those numbers he or she may diagnosis you with asthma.
How is it treated?
Asthma is treated with “Action Plans” these plans are determined by your provider depending on your breathing tests. These plan are usually given to you after you have been properly educated on it.
Asthma medications are prescribed depending on the severity and frequency of your asthma attacks.
The medications often used include:
- Rescue inhalers (short acting and long acting)
- Inhaled steroids
- Oral medications may also be given.
Asthma can be life threatening if not properly handled. It is important to discuss your treatment plan with your provider. You must know the proper steps to take when having an asthma attack.
If you think you may suffer from asthma please see your provider.
As always this is for educational purposes only. Discuss your treatment plan with your provider.