What is Asthma? • Asthmais a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. During an attack, the muscles that surround the bronchial tubes constrict and narrow the air passages, thus making it extremely difficult to breathe. • Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory condition that can be kept under control with the right treatment and management. • Asthma is a global condition. Around 358 million people around the world suffer from this asthma. India itself has about 37.9 million asthmatics.
The most important facts to know about Asthma are as follows Asthma is not contagious • Asthma is a non-communicable disease. This means that it cannot be passed from person to person. • The main causes of asthma are genetics, allergens and environmental factors. • Those who have a parent suffering from asthma are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop asthma than those who have no family history of the same. • Allergens such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander are also major risk factors for asthma as they trigger inflammation of the airways and cause an attack
Asthma is not a psychological disease • Asthma is not a disease of the mind. It is caused by inflammation of the airways and leads to an obstruction in airflow to and from the lungs. • Fear, excitement, anger and laughter can affect the way a person breathes and may cause one to take in short breaths through the mouth, which can set off an attack.
Exercise is good for asthmatics • Many people believe that if you are diagnosed with asthma, you should avoid all forms of exercise. • In reality, regular exercise can help reduce asthma symptoms. The benefits of physical activity include improved efficiency of the lungs, a stronger immune system and increased stamina. • In addition, exercise can aid with weight loss, which is important for those who are obese. People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 have a much higher risk of developing asthma than those with a lower BMI. • For some people, exercise can act as a trigger for an attack. Exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is what happens when the tubes that bring air into and out of your lungs narrow with exercise, causing symptoms of asthma.
Asthma can be controlled • Asthma is a chronic condition, which means that it needs constant monitoring. • With the right medication and management, it can definitely be controlled. Simple steps such as avoiding your triggers can go a long way in preventing an attack. • If your asthma is under control, you should not have any breathing difficulties, cough or wheeze on most days. • Good asthma control will ensure that you can sleep through the night and exercise, without experiencing any of the symptoms.
Asthma is a lifelong condition • Asthma is a long-term disease and the tendency to develop asthma symptoms is probably lifelong. • However, the occurrence and severity of attacks can be reduced with an action plan. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack and following the advice of your doctor.