Understanding What Asthma
Is Can Be Half The Battle
What is asthma? That’s a very important
question for asthmatics and their families to consider. Understanding the
definition of the disease and its common causes is imperative if you want to
treat it properly. The better you understand exactly what is happening
during an asthma attack, the better prepared you will be to respond to it
and make sure that the asthma sufferer gets the help he needs.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs. It involves various conditions
that combine to restrict air flow to and from the lungs. When the lungs are
not working properly, you are not able to take in enough oxygen or expel
potentially hazardous carbon dioxide. If enough carbon dioxide builds up in
the body, it can be poisonous. Since the various organs need a continual
oxygen supply to function normally, anything that limits that supply can
have a serious effect.
In asthma, several different conditions can occur that effect lung function.
The first is airway obstruction. There are thin bands of muscle around the
individual airways in the lungs. During normal breathing, those bands are
relaxed, allowing for easy oxygen flow. In asthmatics, those bands will
tighten up at times, restricting the ability of the lungs to move air.
When asking what is asthma it would be easy to stop there, but asthma
actually involves other issues in the lungs as well. The second, and most
problematic, is inflammation. The bronchial tubes, small airways that make
up the lungs, become inflamed in patients with asthma, further limiting the
ability to breathe normally.
The third condition common to asthmatics is airway irritability or
sensitivity. The slightest exposure to an irritant, which may include
anything from dust and pet dander to the stress of exercise, can cause the
lungs to react negatively. When this kind of irritation causes immediate
disturbance to normal breathing patterns, this is what is known as an asthma
These attacks can come on quickly or can build up gradually and may be
caused by any number of triggers. Certain individuals have what is known as
“exercise induced asthma”, which is asthma triggered by bouts of intense
physical activity. Others have “allergic asthma”, or asthma caused by
Unfortunately, the disease is quite common and can strike anyone from
children to adults. There is no cure for asthma, but there are a number of
treatments that can help individuals to manage their symptoms and lead full,
rich lives. What is asthma? That’s a good question to ask if you or a loved
one suffers from the disease. Only through a better understanding of it can
you hope to properly manage it.
Though asthma attacks can be frightening, proper treatment can help to
lessen them and in some cases, symptoms may disappear entirely after some
time. The key is to talk with your doctor and formulate a treatment plan
that works for you. If you can do that, than the one thing that asthma won’t
be is a hindrance in your life.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store