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What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a medical condition that normally affects passages that supply the lungs with air. This condition can be long-lasting or recurring depending on its severity. Asthma makes the inner walls of your air pipes to swell. The swelling makes these air pipes highly sensitive to irritation making you more susceptible to allergic reactions. Since the inflammation makes the air passages narrower, very little air can go through them. This is the reason why asthmatic patients produce a wheezing sound when breathing. This condition becomes more severe at night and in the morning. Learning about asthma is thus important.

What Are The Causes Of Asthma?

Recent medical studies have revealed that about 300 million people in the world are asthmatic. What is more, 22 million Americans suffer from this condition. Although asthma affects both young and the old, it is known to start in childhood. Currently, about 6 million kids in the US are asthmatic. It is also estimated that asthma kills almost 255,000 people in the world every year. Asthma is one of the most chronic diseases among children especially those that are very light in when during birth. Children can also develop asthma if they regularly come into with tobacco. Kids raised in poor living conditions are also at high risk of becoming asthmatic.  Children normally start to develop symptoms of asthma at the age of five. The most prevalent symptom is wheezing. This is also accompanied by a few other respiratory problems. Other factors that make children more vulnerable to asthma include asthmatic parents and allergy. It is also known that young lads are more susceptible to asthma than girls. However, this trend overturns during adulthood. This trend is mainly attributed to the fact that young boys have smaller airways compared to those of young girls. So boys are more likely to develop the wheezing infection after a slight viral infection.

  • Allergy

The most common cause of asthma in both young and old is allergy. This can be supported further by the fact that almost every asthmatic person has allergy. What is more, people with fever or the allergic rhinitis are likely to develop asthma. Allergic reactions caused by antibodies affect the airways and hence cause the patient to develop asthma. The most common sources of allergens are animal proteins, dust mites, fungi, and more. They can also cause a couple of other serious medical conditions. That is why it is important to protect yourself against these causes. However, the problem with most of these allergens is that they are inescapable. The increasing demand for energy efficient habitats has made it almost impossible for people to avoid these causes.

  • Tobacco

Tobacco smoking is generally risky especially since it is associated with a string of health complications including asthma. People who smoke are at a higher risk of developing asthma because it tends to reduce the amount air in the lungs. It is therefore common to hear smokers making a wheezing sound while breathing. Parents who smoke also put their children at a very high risk of developing asthma. You can also develop asthma through second-hand smoking. Studies have also revealed that most young people acquire asthma through adolescent smoking.

  • Environmental factors

Asthma and other allergic reactions can largely be attributed to air pollution. Staying in a dusty room for a long time can lead to asthma. It is also not proper to live in a house that has harmful fumes from paints. Such fumes will block your airways and make you breathless. Another environmental factor that is directly linked to asthma is the use of gas stove. Such stoves are known to produce nitrogen oxide gas that can really trigger asthma along with other serious respiratory problems. In times of serious air effluence, there are so many medical cases of respiratory complications. Smoggy conditions discharge a harmful ingredient called ozone that causes coughing, short breathe, and chest pain.

  • Obesity

Overweight adults with a BMI of about 30 are at a higher risk of developing asthma than adults who have normal body mass index. Medical research indicates that those overweight adults with BMI of over 30 are more susceptible to asthma. It has also been confirmed that such obese adults are more likely to suffer from non-allergic asthma.

  • Pregnancy

How you were brought to this world by your mother determines your vulnerability to asthma. Caesarean section delivery exposes the baby to risks of asthma than vaginal birth. Science has revealed that Caesarean section exposes the baby to bacteria that cause various infections including asthma. It is also risky for expectant mothers to smoke because the smoke lowers the baby’s pulmonary function. This, in turn, poses further asthma risk. It is also clear that premature delivery exposes the baby to risk of developing asthma. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma?

There are three main procedures through which you can diagnose asthma: medical history, medical examination, and breathing tests. These procedures are quick and very effective. However, you should seek assistance from a qualified medical professional. Again, if you have asthma, you have to determine the level of severity. It can either be intermittent moderate or severe.

A comprehensive medical history of your family with regards to asthma will help the doctor to make the right asthma diagnosis. Your history of allergy can also enable your doctor to determine if you have asthma. Most allergies are intimately associated with asthma. You can also rely on a few asthma symptoms to diagnose asthma. You should be ready to divulge when or how they happen. It is also crucial for you to understand the factors that exacerbate symptoms.  The following are some of the symptoms that are directly linked to asthma.

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Tight chest
  • Breathlessness
  • Worsening symptoms in the morning and at night
  • Worsening symptoms during cold seasons

It is also important to take note of medical complications that can hinder asthma control. Such conditions include sinus infections, psychological stress, runny nose and sleeping apnea. It is also very hard to diagnose asthma in children who are less than 5 years old. Asthma symptoms in such children are always confused with signs of other medical conditions. However, kids with frequent wheezing episodes in cold seasons are likely to become asthmatic once they reach 6 or 7 years.

 

Home Remedies For Asthma

For starters, it is important to note that the easiest way to deal with asthma is to control it. It is not very easy to treat asthma than it is to control it. This is especially true when you consider the fact that asthma is a chronic ailment. This basically means that there is no possible cure for asthma. So if you want to continue enjoying life with your asthmatic problem, then you have to rely on the available methods of controlling it. It is also important to use the available benchmarks to measure your progress. The following are some of the possible home remedies for asthma. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!

  • Omega Fatty Acids- The primary fats that cause inflammation of airways are known as the arachidonic acids. These fats are found in foods such as meat, shellfish, eggs and more. Try your best to avoid these foods. It will help reduce inflammation and other asthma symptoms. Study has shown that asthma is more common in children especially those whose arachidonic acid levels are beyond normal. You can also improve your condition by taking omega fats once in a while. If you do not know where to get omega fats, you can get them in capsule form from your pharmacist.
  • Fruits- Research has revealed that people with the tendency of taking vegetables such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes and fruits have a lower occurrence of asthma. Eating a couple of apples daily can also help improve asthma. You should also ensure that your children are well fed with fruits to reduce their risk of acquiring asthma.
  • Butterbur- Butterbur is highly effective in reducing muscle spasm. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties.     
  • Licorice Roots- These roots contain several important compounds that help to improve asthma conditions. This herb is commonly used in China where many people consider it the best detoxifier. It can be used for reducing the effects of other herbs. Licorice roots come with anti-diuretic properties. Thus if you have high blood pressure you should never use the herb. The good thing about this herb is that it has compounds that can increase the efficiency of cortisol, which enables steroids to be taken at lower dosage.
  • Ginger- This herb contains anti-inflammatory properties, and can therefore be used to lower the inflammatory process.

Diet For Asthma

The most common questions that most asthma patients ask their physicians is: Can you control asthma with food? The answer to this question is; yes you can. As aforementioned in this passage, asthma does not have a possible cure. It is for this reason that medical professionals argue that an asthma patient should always maintain a healthy diet. You should always eat foods that are rich in vitamin C, E, and B. Such foods include

  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits
  • Squash
  • Orange and more

Also, ensure that your meals are full of vegetables. Buy those that have enough coloring because they are normally rich in Vitamin C.

Prevention Of Asthma

To begin with, there is no exact age at which a person is highly expected to develop asthma. Thus, it is almost impossible to know when you are likely to get it. However, there are certain risk factors that can be controlled. These are some of the risk factors that you must always avoid;

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Molds
  • Dust
  • Strong perfume
  • Environmental irritants

If you are an expectant mother or you have already given birth, it is important to ensure that your child does not come into contact with some of these harmful elements such as tobacco, dust, strong perfumes and so on.

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