The Basics of Asthma
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates
As one of the country’s most common chronic conditions, asthma affects a staggering 26 million Americans, often resulting in frequent school and work absences. Though many patients find out they suffer from asthma at an early age, the condition may rear its ugly head later in life, potentially putting a wrench in your lifestyle or daily routine. If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing asthmatic systems, it’s time to get the facts and find a doctor with your best interests in mind.
What Is Asthma?
The lungs have a relatively simple, but positively vital job: shuttle oxygen from the air you breathe into your bloodstream for distribution to the rest of your body. In patients with asthma, however, the bronchial tubes (the channel through which air enters and leaves the lungs) can become inflamed and swollen, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Asthma is a chronic condition in which inflammation may come and go in episodes called “asthma attacks.” These attacks tend to have a particular lifestyle or environmental triggers, often unique to each patient, which can increase inflammation. What bothers one person may not trigger another. Typically, these triggers focus on allergens, pollen, exercise, cold air, mental stressors, illness or even some medications.
It is important to recognize that asthma and allergies are separate and non-exclusive. Although allergens are a common cause of asthma attacks, a person may have asthma without allergies, allergies without asthma or both at the same time.
Why Do People Get Asthma?
More often than not, asthma is diagnosed by the age of seven, allowing plenty of time for the patient to learn and adjust to having a chronic condition. However, asthma may subside during the teens or 20s, only to return again later in life. Doctors are unsure of the root cause of asthma but know that the inflammation may be closely linked to daily routines and lifestyles.
If you’ve only just discovered your asthmatic symptoms during adulthood or your childhood asthma has flared up again, it may be as a result of your work environment or habits. Smoking, frequent exercise, cold weather or suspended particles in the air may inflame your bronchial tubes. Workplaces such as construction sites, baking kitchens, smoky bars or clubs or heavily perfumed storefronts may contribute to the development of asthma in predisposed individuals.
Although doctors haven’t pinpointed an exact answer for why asthma develops at all, studies have shown a correlation between asthma and certain childhood triggers. Exposure to smoke during pregnancy or childhood, contracting allergies or breathing illnesses or premature birth may place patients at a higher risk of developing asthma during their lifetimes.
How Can I Treat My Asthma?
Although many asthma sufferers carry a quick-relief inhaler at all times in case of a flare-up, the best treatment for this condition is prevention. Learn to recognize your triggers and seek to avoid them to ensure your asthma stays under control. If this isn’t cutting it for you, however, a specialized doctor may provide you with asthma management medications tailored for your age, symptoms, triggers and most effective treatment options. Often, these medications are steroids taken through an inhaler.
Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy Services in Kingwood, TX
If you or a loved one suffer daily lifestyle interruptions because of asthma, it’s time to take control of your symptoms. Houston area residents can rest easy knowing their respiratory health is in the hands of the experts at Allergy & ENT Associates. Our compassionate and knowledgeable doctors and staff seek to understand your asthma so they can create the most effective, customized treatment solution for you.
Contact us online or call us at 713-MY-SINUS to schedule your next appointment today!