What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. At its worst, asthma can be fatal. The airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.

If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they get narrower, and less air flows through to your lung tissue.

What are the causes of Asthma?

Some of the causes of Asthma are-

  • Pollens.
  • House dust mites.
  • Cockroaches.
  • Viral respiratory infections.
  • Common cold.
  • Smoking.
  • Fumes.
  • Air pollution.
  • Exercise.
  • Yelling.
  • Crying.
  • Laughing.
  • Stress.
  • Weather changes.
  • Cold air.
  • Certain medications.
  • Pets.
  • Birds.
  • Car exhaust fumes.

What are the symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. They may include:

  • Coughing(which worsens at night and early in the morning, making sleeping difficult).
  • Wheezing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tightness in your chest.
  • Peak flow numbers may be in the caution or danger range (usually 50% to 80% of personal best).
  • Poor response to medicines (bronchodilators).
  • Difficulty while talking.
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic.
  • Pale and sweaty face.
  • Blue lips or fingernails.

These symptoms tend to be variable and may stop and start. They are usually worse at night.

What treatment can be done for Asthma?

Listed below are some ways to change the environment in order to lessen the chance of an asthma attack:

  • Clean the house at least once a week and wear a mask while doing it.
  • Avoid pets with fur or feathers.
  • Wash the bedding (sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads) weekly in hot water.
  • Encase the mattress, pillows and box springs in dust-proof covers.
  • Replace bedding made of down, kapok or foam rubber with synthetic materials.
  • Consider replacing upholstered furniture with leather or vinyl.
  • Consider replacing carpeting with hardwood floors or tile.
  • Use the air conditioner.
  • Keep the humidity in the house low.