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What is Asthma?

February 15th, 2010 Posted in Asthma Info

Asthma is a lung disease that makes it difficult or even impossible to breathe. About 22 million Americans have this condition. It affects people’s lives & can even cause death. The condition comes in two different forms, with a variety of possible triggers & treatment options are available.

When allergies are the cause, a person’s immune technique overreacts to a substance. Also, in some people, exercise leads to symptoms. In some cases, workers breathe in substances at work that cause their breathing problems. Cough variant asthma is the second type. In this form, the person coughs in a non-productive manner & coughing is the only symptom.

It is important to understand what people with these lung problems must deal with. In order to get the oxygen our bodies require, people without breathing problems breathe air in to their open, healthy lungs. The lungs technique it & they exhale. With asthmatics, narrowing in the airways of the lungs makes it hard to breathe. This narrowing is caused because the lungs constrict & swell. When this happens, the person is having an asthma attack.

As with any medical condition, patients require to consult with their physician for diagnosis & treatment. This is important whether the patient has the more common form or the cough variant.

The cough variant of the condition can be more difficult to diagnose. This is because lung function can be normal. With this type, symptoms are often treated with similar medications as the more common constriction type.

There’s a variety of medications that doctors can prescribe for their patients. There’s medicines that reduce the frequency of symptoms & attacks. These are taken every day. Also, rescue inhalers are used when an attack occurs to provide immediate relief. Physicians will often prescribe both in order to manage symptoms. However, doctors sometimes require to try different medications & treatments to help each patient accomplish optimal results.

Treatments vary based on severity of symptoms & underlying causes. For allergic or occupational triggers, avoiding the things that cause the problem can help prevent it. Allergy testing can be used to choose what the person is allergic to. Also, treating the allergies themselves can result in improvement for the patient.

Asthma is a serious medical condition that can have a negative impact on the lives of people living with it. However, doctors can work with patients to choose the best treatment work & help them manage their symptoms. This means that people living with this problem can live full, healthy lives.

In an asthmatic person, the first stage is the same as in the healthy person. In the second stage however, the airway in lieu of relaxing to expel, suddenly constricts further provoking acute breathlessness & respiratory distress.

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