Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways of the lungs and is characterized by:
• Airway inflammation
• Airway obstruction
• Airway hyper-responsivenes
Cause not really known, though we have distinguished factors that contribute to development of asthma such as:
Exposure to allergens
Exposure to tobacco smoke
Children: more common among boys
Adults: more common among women
Smoking during pregnancy however breast-feeding reduces risk
Respiratory infections as an infant
Occupational asthma – exposure to certain substances in the workplace
The most common triggers of asthma include allergies, respiratory infections, stress, exercise, and medications.
Allergies are the response of our immune system to enviromental allergens as
Pollen from weeds, trees, grasses ■ Molds ■ Cat or dog ■ Dust mites and cockroaches
Other common irritants are Dust particles ■ Weather changes ■ Outdoor air pollution including ozone, smog, and exhaust fumes ■ Chemicals, such as pest control sprays or indoor cleaning products ■ Odors from paint, hair spray, perfume or cologne ■ Smoke cigarette
Common signs and symptoms of an acute asthma episode include
• Coughing • Wheezing — may be absent • Breathlessness — while walking or while at rest • Respiratory rate increased • Chest tightness • Chest or abdominal pain • Fatigue, feeling out of breath • Agitation • Increased pulse rate • Inability to participate in sports
Asthma medications are essential to asthma management.Many of them are in the form of sprays or powders that are breathed in through the mouth. They work best when they can get deep down into the lungs.
There are controller medications that reduce inflammation and prevent episodes. They are taken on a daily basis, even when feeling well.
There are also quick relief medications that are designed for quick relief during an asthma episode. Quick relief medications are taken on an as-needed basis to relieve symptoms.
Oral steroids (taken in pill or liquid form by mouth) are taken short-term (3 to 10 days) to treat severe asthma episodes.
Everyone who has asthma can get and keep it under control. It is important to get a specialist’s medical examination ,to follow the treatment that is better for every patient, to avoid the factors that can trigger an asthma exacerbation and to work closely with your doctor to manage your asthma on an ongoing basis .