Things You Should Know about Asthma
In ancient society, people associated asthma with many superstitions that had no basis. But today scientists are able to explain its causes. Unfortunately, the prevalence of the disease is still increasing despite numerous advances in science. For example, 183 million people had it in 1990, but in 2013, there were 242 million asthmatics.
Asthma is still a potentially fatal illness unless managed properly. It caused 489,000 deaths in 2014 alone. These deaths are mostly attributable to the fact that many people do not understand the causes of asthma and how to manage it. If they did, then they would take the necessary precautions to avoid unfortunate events.
However, it is important to note that in some cases, even the best measures cannot prevent inevitable outcomes, but it is always good to take precautions nonetheless.
Here is some info about asthma that may come in handy.
The symptoms associated with asthma
The most noticeable sign of this medical condition is wheezing. It occurs when some parts of the respiratory system narrow causing the system to work harder to move air through it. The result is a coarse whistling sound produced during breathing. The chest also tightens and a person will experience dyspnea i.e. shortness of breath. One may also cough and produce sputum as a result of heavy coughing. The intensity of these signs varies depending on the environment as well as others individual factors. For example, the signs often intensify at night or during the early morning. The cold season also exacerbates the problem. Other triggers may be the presence of allergens in a person’s environment.
The causes of asthma
Scientists have narrowed them down to genetic and environmental factors, which also influence the intensity of the symptoms and the effectiveness of medical treatment. Currently, scientists have associated about 100 genes with asthma though they continue to find more of them that have a link to this illness. They have also determined that a history of asthma within a family dramatically increases the likelihood of an individual from that family developing this medical condition. For example, scientists found that the risk of an identical twin developing asthma is 25% higher if the other twin has it.
Environmental factors leading to the development of this illness include air pollution, chemicals in the air, and the presence of allergens.
Babies born by mothers who were smoking during their pregnancy are also likely to develop asthma. Scientists concur that the onset of asthma after 12 years and before 12 years is attributable to environmental and genetic factors respectively.
Asthma has no cure, but a person can at least minimize its symptoms. The best way of doing so is to avoid triggers such as allergens in the natural environment, cigarettes, pets etc. If it is not possible to do so, then medication is advisable. In fact, every asthmatic always has to keep a bronchodilator around in case of a serious asthma attack.