Even today, asthma remains an issue that is poorly understood
Often thought to be a childhood problem, the truth is that it can be triggered at any age. Statistically, the majority of people who suffer from asthma are adults.
Some think it’s no worse than a cold or the flu. For those who have experienced asthma, though, it can be a frightening and very uncomfortable occurrence.
Simply put, asthma is a condition that affects the airways and breathing of the person who has it. It is triggered when the airway comes into contact with something that irritates the lining, causing it to become inflamed and begin to swell. The airways narrow even more due to the eventual build up of mucus.
This narrowing has a constrictive effect on the airways causing the difficulty in breathing that we know as asthma. The wheezing, shortness of breath and feelings of tightness in the chest so common in asthma can easily fill the person with a sense of real fear, making them feel as if they are being asphyxiated.
The triggers for asthma vary from person to person, depending on individual sensitivity. What might irritate one asthmatic sufferer may be completely harmless to another. An important element in asthma control is learning about your individual triggers and then avoiding them as much as possible.
Sometimes the asthma trigger may be obvious – pet dander, cat or dog hair, for example – After exposure to such things, the asthma symptoms will soon follow. But often the trigger may not be at all obvious, only producing symptoms much later, in what is know as a delayed reaction.
The very first thing to do when experiencing any kind of difficulty with breathing is to consult a medical doctor. Nowadays, advanced treatments can offer the asthmatic person the opportunity to live a normal and full life. Following a diagnosis of asthma, an inhaler or nebulizer is often prescribed which can be used in order to calm inflammation and lessen the severity of the reaction to the trigger. Sometimes preventer medication and or steroids are advised in order to deal with acute symptoms.