You may have heard the word “Asthma” before, but do you know what it means, or what someone who has asthma can do to manage the condition? Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects over 25 million people of all ages in the United States.
As you know, lungs help us breath, and provide oxygen to our bodies. Our lungs are made up of many tiny airways. When people have Asthma, the muscle around the airways tighten, which squeezes the airway and limits the amount of air that can enter the lungs. People with asthma, or asthmatics, may produce more mucus, which can make breathing even harder.
People with asthma have wheezing, breathlessness, tightness in their chest, and coughing. An asthma attack can make the person feel like they cannot breath, which can be very scary. These symptoms happen because their airways are very sensitive and react to things in the environment, such as smoke, animal dander, pollen, or infections. Sometimes even exercise can cause these symptoms in a person with asthma. These things that can cause someone to have an asthma attack are called triggers. Heredity, while not a trigger, can also play an important role in the development of asthma. If you have asthma, some of these triggers can be anticipated and/or avoided by planning ahead. Proactive and preventative treatments such as daily inhalers, and other medications can help keep asthma in check.
If you or someone you love has asthma, please make sure to follow up with your/their primary care provider and when necessary, see a specialist. If you don’t have one, Find a Doctor today!