More than 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from asthma, a chronic disease that makes breathing difficult and, in rare cases, can be fatal. However, people with asthma can also participate in various sports and games once their symptoms are under control.
Experts and doctors do not yet know why so many people suffer from asthma, but genetic factors, allergies and environmental conditions may play a role, and it is clear that treatment is necessary to keep the symptoms of this disease under control.
Officials at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) say it’s time to see a doctor if breathing problems are getting in the way of your daily activities.
It is also important to look for triggers, for example, pollution or pet dander, which may trigger asthma symptoms.
Here are 6 important questions about asthma that experts answer, according to the Washington Post.
1- How does asthma affect breathing?
Asthma causes inflammation, swelling and increased mucus production in the airways. When the small muscles around the airways contract and compress, this narrows the airways and makes breathing difficult.
Asthma can be intermittent or persistent, according to experts at the cleveland clinic. Intermittent asthma comes and goes, but symptoms of persistent asthma generally reappear.
2- Who is most at risk?
Older adults, women, and children who live with someone who smokes or are in an area with poor air quality are more likely to develop asthma.
In addition, some respiratory infections, such as infection with respiratory syncytial virus RSV, in childhood, can damage the lungs and increase the risk of developing asthma.
3- What are the accompanying symptoms?
Asthma symptoms differ from one person to another. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, or you may have symptoms only at certain times, such as when exercising, or you may have symptoms all the time. Asthma symptoms include:
shortness of breath.
Chest pain or a feeling of tightness.
Wheezing in the chest when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children.
Difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
Coughing or wheezing spells that are aggravated by a cold or flu.
4- When should you see a doctor?
It is important to see a doctor if any of the above symptoms make it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities.
If you’ve been diagnosed and your inhaler is having little effect, or you seem to be using it frequently, that’s a sign that your asthma is getting worse, experts at the Mayo Clinic say.
5- Can asthma be cured?
Asthma is a chronic disease that cannot be cured, but it can be well managed, which means that people with asthma can participate in sports and other active activities once their symptoms are under control. Managing asthma may require medications and avoidance of conditions or allergens that trigger an asthma attack.
6- What are the best ways to control the disease?
The American Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) says that the first step to managing asthma is identifying and avoiding asthma triggers, which can vary from person to person.
The second step is to manage the underlying airway inflammation through pharmacological interventions.
There are asthma medications, which work to reduce and control inflammation, while others work to relieve airway pressure, which occurs during an asthma attack.
And the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation says: “When you or your child experience difficulty breathing that affects your daily life, you should consult your doctor to find out if you have this disease, and to learn how to control its symptoms.”
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► If you have difficulty breathing during your daily activities, you should see a doctor
► Children who live with someone who smokes or near a highway.. are more likely to develop asthma
► Asthmatic patients can participate in sports once the symptoms of the disease are controlled
► American Asthma Foundation: The first step to disease control is to identify and avoid disease triggers