What Causes Asthma

Many want to know "What is asthma?" and how to get the help needed to effectively control this respiratory disorder. There are many different types of respiratory diseases, but asthma is one of the few that is directly linked to allergens that are found in common environments. This illness can also be the result of exercise and some viral infections. Knowing what causes asthma will help patients not only avoid the substances that pose problems, but will also help them in understanding what medicines are needed and how they can be helpful. This illness exists among the most common chronic conditions found in America, but yet most understand little about it and how to treat it.

Asthma is the leading chronic illness found in children and accounts for over five thousands deaths annually. This disorder is the number one reason that children miss school and are hospitalized. Respiratory illnesses are on the rise, too. In the past few years there has been an increase of fifty percent diagnosed cases. The truth about what causes asthma could lie in the increase in pollutants found in the air, because studies are showing that children that live in and near populated cities are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems. Asthmatics, by definition, are those who have chronic inflammatory disorders of the lungs. Inflammatory disorders are the results of Bronchospasms that occur in the passage ways and lungs when the body reacts to allergens found in the air, although there are other contributing factors. When the question, "What is Asthma?" is asked, the answer will usually include information about common, everyday allergies.

Allergens are substances that the body perceives as harmful. When the respiratory systems encounters harmful elements, it begins a process of trying to remove the elements and to protect the body against any damage that the element might inflict. Since some allergens are really harmless, the body's immune system is over-reacting by creating histamine which is the contributing factor involved with mucus build up. Though allergens are the most common trigger in what causes asthma, there are other factors that can initiate an attack. Exercise and emotions can be key triggers. Sudden environment changes, certain medications, food preservatives, occupational chemicals, and second hand tobacco smoke can all be factors that need to be considered. But, air pollutants, mold, dust mite, and animal dander are among the leading allergens that trigger respiratory problems.

Knowing what the symptoms of an impeding attack are will also help those who have this respiratory disorder or those who have children that suffer with breathing difficulties recognize when to take action. When researching "What is asthma?" investigators will find a host of ailments that point to an asthmatic attack or respiratory problems. Chronic coughing, or a night cough are classic symptoms of not being able to breathe correctly as the body attempts to get air ways cleared. Rapid breathing is another sign of not being able to take a deep breath. Tightness in the chest and wheezing are typical, as well. Common allergy symptoms can also be significant with itchy, watery eyes, stroking of the chin and throat, and sneezing indicating that the body is having an allergic reaction.

Because this respiratory illness has become so prominent, doctors and researchers in the medical fields are continually developing medications that will not only address what causes asthma attacks that come on suddenly, but also the prevention by treating underlying causes. Allergy medications can prove to be very effective in preventing an allergic response to the triggers. There are also medications now available that work as maintenance therapy to prevent symptoms. And, of course, bronchodilators are used as quick acting inhalers that relieve tightening by relaxing the muscles surrounding the airways. Most patients with severe cases will use a combination of all three levels.

The Bible can be a source of comfort and strength for people in all types of situations, including chronic illnesses. When researching "What is asthma?" turn to the Word of God as a means of hope for the future and perspective for the present. Though at times it may seem that this illness may be out of control, the Bible will assure you that it is God who has complete control of all things. "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:16)

The Internet has much information published by medical teams and associations that offer more information on what causes asthma and how to effectively control it. There are tips and suggestions on how to avoid the most common allergic triggers that can lead to an asthmatic attack. Though this is a serious disease, with medications and with slight changes in life-style, many traumatic attacks can be avoided and a normal life can result.

Symptoms Of Asthma

The symptoms of asthma are sometimes frightening, both to the patient and, especially in the case of a child, to the parents, because it makes the essential-to-life act of breathing so difficult. During normal breathing, the muscles around the airways are relaxed, and air moves freely in and out. For someone with asthma, those muscles tighten, restricting the airways. In addition, the lining of the airways is inflamed and swollen, and the irritation can cause the mucus membrane in the lining to produce excessive mucus, adding obstruction to the other symptoms that are making breathing very difficult.

Further, the airways of people with asthma are sensitive, and often react to triggers such as: Emotional upsets and stress, upper respiratory tract infections, breathing cold air, and even exercising too hard. The more common triggers that bring on symptoms of asthma are airborne. Dust, mold, animal dander, and bee pollen are among the "usual suspects" when an attack occurs. Food or medications can also be to blame. A patient soon learns what allergens he must avoid to keep from having attacks, and adjusts his life accordingly. Sometimes it'S hard to determine exactly what someone is allergic to, but it can be done. An allergist can do skin tests that will determine exactly what allergens are causing symptoms of asthma, and devise a treatment plan.

If dust is the culprit (and it is the most common one), the patient's home, and most particularly his bedroom, can be made relatively dust free, making the patient less of a target for symptoms of asthma. Pillows and mattresses can be encased in dustproof covers, and curtains that are dust magnets traded for those that are not. Stuffed animals must be washed frequently or discarded, while any real animals must either live outside or be bathed frequently to avoid having the patient exposed to their dander. Carpets are dust magnets, so should be removed from his environment and replaced with tile or wood floors. Since second-hand smoke is a big trigger for an asthma attack, any smokers who come into the asthmatic's home must refrain from lighting up inside. Food and medicine allergies usually get a quick reaction, so there is little doubt of the cause when it occurs.

When exercise is determined to be the cause of symptoms of asthma, then slowing down may keep symptoms from occurring. This is especially hard for children, but they can learn to pace themselves if they understand what's at stake. No one wants to invite an episode of illness, and even very young children can understand that concept. Since there is no cure, prevention is the best avenue for an asthmatic to take. There are, however, medications to alleviate symptoms. For those who prefer homeopathic medicines, Lobelia is known for relaxing respiratory muscles, and ginkgo biloba is a recommended treatment. Other herbs such s mullein, licorice root, marshmallow root or slippery elm is said to soothe irritated tissues, and fenugreek and thyme are recommended for loosening and removal of mucus and phlegm. More conventional treatments include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroid sprays.

Asthma is just one reaction to allergens. There are numerous other symptoms of allergies that people have to contend with, and they vary from mild to life threatening. The mildest reaction is hives that appear near the exposure site. This is accompanied by an annoying itch, but disappears fairly quickly and leaves no after effects. A more serious rash sometimes appears as large blotches or blisters that are painful, and sometimes are accompanied by swelling that is uncomfortable.

If you haven't experienced it, you have certainly seen people with hay fever type symptoms of allergies. Millions of people suffer with Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, etc. during the height of pollen seasons. Food allergies can cause vomiting, a rash, or even swelling of the throat, creating a very dangerous situation. Common causes of food allergies are seafood and peanuts. If the first reaction is relatively mild, further exposure could get worse, so a person who is allergic to a food will never knowingly expose himself to it again.

The wide range of symptoms of allergies is surprising, and for that reason they are not always immediately recognized as allergic reactions. Headaches, heart palpitations, and fatigue can be related to food or environmental allergies. Joint and muscle pains are sometimes related to substance sensitivity as well. Very often the reaction occurs so swiftly after exposure to a substance that there is no question in the patient's mind what caused it, but other times the reaction is either delayed or is so mild the connection isn't made until there are repeated occurrences. Once there is a suspicion that one is suffering symptoms of allergies, an expert should be consulted for a definite diagnosis and treatment. The most effective treatment for people suffering from symptoms of allergies is avoidance, but that is only possible when the allergen has been identified. Friends and family of people suffering from chronic allergy problems, will find the right words of comfort in scripture: "Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!" (1 Samuel 25:6)



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