is a predisposition to chronic inflammation of the lungs in which
the airways (bronchi) are reversibly narrowed. During asthma attacks,
the smooth muscle cells in the bronchi constrict, the airways become
inflamed and swollen and breathing becomes difficult. This is often
referred to as a tight chest and is a sign to immediately take medication.
asthma is a chronic obstructive condition, it is not usually considered
as a part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as this term
refers specifically to combinations of bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis
and emphysema. Unlike these diseases, the airway obstruction in
asthma is usually reversible.
is caused by environmental and genetic factors, which can influence
how severe asthma is and how well it responds to medication.
Underlying both environmental and genetic factors is the role
of the upper airway in recognizing the perceived dangers and
protecting the more vulnerable lungs by shutting down the airway.
Environmental tobacco smoke, especially maternal cigarette smoking,
is associated with high risk of asthma prevalence and asthma
prevalence and asthma deaths also differ by gender. Males are
more likely to be diagnosed with asthma as children, but asthma
is more likely to persist into adulthood in females
Asthma has been strongly associated with the presence of cockroaches
in living quarters, which is more likely in such neighborhoods.
incidence is relatively high in sports such as cycling, mountain
biking and long-distance running and a relatively lower incidence
in weightlifting and diving.
feeling in chest.
Dyspnea (Shortness of breath)
severe attack sufferer can turn blue black from lack of oxygen.
of the development of asthma is different from prevention of
asthma episodes. Aggressive treatment of mild allergy with immunotherapy
has been shown to reduce the likelihood of asthma development.
controlling symptoms, the crucial first step in treatment is
for patient and doctor to collaborate in establishing a specific
plan of action to prevent episodes of asthma by avoiding triggers
and allergens, regularly testing for lung function and using
preventive medications such as an inhaled corticosteroid, which
helps to suppress inflammation.
If symptoms persist, additional controller drugs are added until
almost all asthma symptoms are prevented. With the proper use
of control drugs, patients with asthma can avoid the complications
that result from overuse of rescue medications.
Patients with asthma sometimes stop taking their controller
medication when they feel fine and have no problems breathing.
This often results in further attacks after a time.
Allergy Desensitization, also known as allergy immunotherapy,
may be recommended in some cases where allergy is the suspected
cause or trigger of asthma. Allergy shots are dangerous in severe
asthma and in uncontrolled asthma.
If a patient is only allergic to one or two items, oral allergy
immunotherapy can be used. This is safe, much easier in young
children and is about half as effective. Unfortunately if a
patient is allergic to more than 2 or 3 items then oral therapy
cannot be given in a dose which is proven safe and effective.
If chronic acid indigestion (GERD) contributes to a patient's
asthma, it should also be treated, because it may prolong the
Chronic sinus disease may be a contributing factor in difficult
to control asthma and should be evaluated.