According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 26 million Americans suffer from Asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that narrows the airways and causes inflammation in your respiratory tract. It causes several problems like wheezing, short of breath, tightness of chest and coughing. While it attacks people of all ages, the most often stage of its development is during childhood.
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease, the causes of which are not clinically proven. While some researchers think that it is genetic, others have cited different reasons. Some of the most common ones are
- Atopy or an inherited tendency of allergies
- Parents suffering from asthma
- Childhood respiratory infections
- Contact with allergens
- Lack of proper hygiene, especially with children
Symptoms of Asthma
Not always breathing problems are caused by asthma. Sometimes a simple panic attack can also seem like an asthma attack to the inexperienced eye. This is why you should know about the common symptoms of asthma. They are
- Coughing at early mornings or late at night, causing erratic sleep patterns
- Tightness in chest
- Shortness of breath
The best way to diagnose asthma is to do a lung test if you experience one or all of these symptoms. Remember, that asthma can be kept under control with proper medication and a healthy lifestyle.
Prevention of Asthma
Since it is a chronic disease with long-lasting effects, asthma cannot be clinically prevented or cured. However, once you or a person is diagnosed with it, you can try preventing its symptoms by
- Learning about asthma and what causes the stimulation
- Following a proper plan of action and using prescribed medicines
- Get regular checkups
- Avoid things that trigger an asthma attack
What Can You Do?
If you are a primary caregiver to an asthma patient, then you need to make sure that the patient gets ongoing medical support and care. If you are a parent who has a child affected with asthma, you should avoid smoking in confined areas or cars.
As for employers, having a healthy workplace with fresh air and ventilation is a must – have in the office space. Moreover, the employers should promote measures to counterattack the asthma attack by providing medical benefits, reimbursement for inhalers and any long-term medicines or promote educational sessions about the chronic ailment.
In order to provide care to the asthma patient everyone should be knowledgeable about the Asthma Action Plan Stages. It is divided into three stages
- Green zone meaning little to no symptom and the patient is doing well
- Yellow zone meaning moderate symptom and the patient is getting worse
- Red zone means that the patient needs medical intervention and it is an emergency
While asthma patients need to be handled with care under certain situations, they are not invalid, and it should be kept in mind. It is also the responsibility of an asthma patient to stay away from the sources that cause the attack, while it is the responsibility of the family members, friends and colleagues to not do anything to trigger the attack. Only through mutual work can everyone achieve a healthy lifestyle.