Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and the respiratory passageway of the patients. The airways inflame and fill up with mucus. They could constrict or dilate to an uncomfortable degree. Here are nine things to know about the disease:
- Anyone can get it at any point in life. There is no set age at which the disease manifests itself. Those who are obese are more susceptible to get it as are those who have someone suffering in the family from asthma. Genetic factors also play a pivotal role.
- If someone gets asthma in childhood, they cannot outgrow it as an adult. The condition is forever. One can learn how to manage it better but curing it completely is out of the question. The symptoms for children are intermittent while those for adults are more persistent.
- Nonasthmatics live as long as those who have mild asthma. This means that one must make every effort to not let asthma reach the more severe stages so as to live longer. Nip the situation in the bud to increase longevity and add to your quality of life.
- One of the biggest causes of asthma is cigarette smoke. So if there is someone who smokes around you or if you smoke yourself, that is a good enough reason to stop. Children are most vulnerable to passive smoke to ensure that no one lights up a cigarette around them.
- Boys are more susceptible to develop asthma. In fact, research says that they are likely to develop this condition twice more than girls. Tests for allergy and bronchial responsiveness show more positive results for them than for girls.
- Dust, molds, and pets are all triggers for asthma attacks. People who have asthma have to clean up their surroundings with more zeal and effort as the smallest of these allergens can have potentially fatal consequences. Some people who suffer from asthma also do not take to perfumes very well. This is because some of these perfumes or sprays, even of the household variety, can irritate their air passageways.
- Stress can worsen asthma. This has a very interesting explanation. Stress creates a physiological response in the body. When we have high-stress levels, the body directs all resources to help in survival so the first casualty is our immune system. Learn to manage your stress levels to reduce complications related to asthma.
- Coughs and colds have a more debilitating effect on asthma patients. Both the diseases, which do not put the rest of the population out of gear, can turn out to be battles between life and death for asthma patients. This is because their lungs are already weakened by recurrent asthma attacks and coughs and colds inflame their airways earlier than they would in nonasthmatics. Stock up on cough and cold medications to keep any emergencies at bay.
- Asthma patients must get their annual flu shots. Getting vaccinated against flu and other diseases like pneumonia ensures that one avoids serious complications. Viral infections can be a trigger for an asthma attack.