Asthma

Asthma: Introduction, Prevention and control, Allergens.
Image taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Introduction

It is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, usually associated with airway hyper-responsiveness and variable airflow obstruction that it is often go away on their own or after minimal treatment. Allergen sensitization is an important risk factor for asthma.

People having asthma have inflamed airways. The inflammation makes the airways swollen and very sensitive. The airways tend to react strongly to certain inhaled substances. When the airways react, muscles around them tighten. Tightening of the airways causes less air to flow into the lungs. Swelling can also worsen, making airways narrower.

Asthma symptoms sometimes are mild and go way some keep on growing worse. Most common signs and symptoms of Asthma are coughing (especially at night, during exercise or when laughing), difficulty breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound in your chest when breathing, especially when exhaling) Treating the patient as soon as you know its asthma is important.

 

Prevention and control of Asthma

As allergen sensitization is an important risk factor for asthma, you need to do what you can do to reduce asthma triggers. Some of the parts of asthma management plans are:

Know you asthma triggers and minimize contact with them.

Some substances that trigger asthma are.

  • Allergens: Substances that cause allergies can trigger asthma. Some common allergens are; dust mites, cockroaches, pollens, molds, pet dander, and rodents.
  • Irritants in air: these may not be allergic but can bother inflamed, sensitive airways. Some e.g. are; smoke from cigarettes, smog, air pollutants, strung fumes, chemicals, strong fumes, vapors or odors.
  • Respiratory illnesses like colds, flu, sore throats, sinus infections, pneumonia etc.
  • Emotions like anger, fear, excitement, laughter, and yelling, crying etc.
  • Some exercise that makes you breathe harder can trigger asthma.

Whatever the trigger is it is better to avoid them. After knowing what are the major trigger that causes asthma now here are some questions you need to know the answer to them. These are the questions that tell you more specifically about your trigger. Whenever you have asthma, have answers to all these questions.

  • Was I making bed or vacuuming?
  • Was I playing with pet animals?
  • Was I smoking Cigarette?
  • Was I playing or exercising?
  • What was my emotional reaction?

After all these answers you can visit your doctors and know about, what triggers your asthma and get medication accordingly.

Asthma medication should be taken as prescribed.

It is very much necessary to take the medication properly and timely. Asthma medication is usually inhaled. Asthma medicines are usually inhaled through nebulizer, inhaler, or through dry power inhaler. You must ask your doctor how to use them properly otherwise they may not work.

Get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia

As flu is a triggering agent of asthma, prevention measures for flu must also be taken. So vaccination for influenza can also prevent asthma.

 

Occupational Asthma

Who are at increased risk of developing occupational asthma?

  • Drug manufacturers
  • Vehicle spray painter
  • Bakers
  • People who uses Soldering machine frequently
  • Detergent manufacturers
  • Grain elevator worker
  • Millers
  • Plastic workers
  • Wood workers
  • People working with Laboratory animals

References

  1. American college of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  2. National Institute of health
  3. WHO
  4. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  5. CDC
  6. Mayoclinic

 

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