Asthma is a reversible breathing problem caused from sudden or progressive narrowing and spasming of the smaller airways and includes mucus production, which interferes with oxygen exchange. People who suffer from asthma have sensitive airways. When exposed to certain triggers, their airways narrow, making it hard for them to breathe.
There are two main factors that can cause the airways to become narrowed:
1. The inside of the lining of the airways becomes red, swollen and inflamed, and mucus may be produced.
2. The muscles surrounding the airways constrict.
Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Moderate to severe breathing difficulties
- Shortness of breath – fast shallow breathing
- Wheezing – a high pitched sound when exhaling
- Tight chest – the chest wall is not expanding normally
- Coughing – usually occurs at night or in cold conditions
- Paleness, sweaty, blueness of lips, fingertips, or earlobes
- Quiet and subdued
- Possibly unconscious
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Some sufferers may present with all the symptoms, while others may only have the wheeze or the cough.
Triggers of an Asthma attack
- Colds and flu
- Animal hair and dander
- Changes in temperature
- Chemicals, perfume, scents
- Exercise – (can be managed)
- Dust Mites
- Alcohol or some soft drinks
- Some preservatives
- Some foods
- Pollens, mould and grasses
- Cigarette Smoke
- Certain Drugs
- Some Occupational hazards
Why do asthmatics get asthma in the first place?
Asthma cannot be cured but it can be managed. Good asthma management can lead to a productive lifestyle. The causes of asthma are not fully understood, but there can be a family history of hay fever, asthma, oreczema. Asthma can appear at any age and can affect all walks of life.