Published on May 14th, 2013 | by Tom


What Is Asthma Attack? Causes and Treatment

What Is Asthma?

Usually starting during childhood, asthma is a lung disease that causes an affected person’s airways to become constricted resulting in shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, severe coughing, and wheezing. If you suffer from asthma, you always have it; it’s only noticeable, however, when something triggers an asthma attack. These usually occur in the early mornings and late at night but can happen throughout the day as well.

The causes of asthma are relatively unknown but the disease affects 25 million people across the world with over 25% being children. While there are cases where asthma began in adulthood, the fact that it usually begins early in childhood has led many scientists to believe that there is a hereditary link—if asthma runs in your family, you’re more likely to have it.

What is an asthma attack?

An asthma attack is the time when symptoms of asthma are noticeable. As stated, most of the time those who suffer from asthma never show any signs of the disease; when an asthma attack is triggered, however, the airways that move oxygen from your mouth into your lungs begin to shrink, making breathing extremely difficult.

Asthma attacks can often be prevented if you know the common signs that lead up to an attack and stay away from any triggers that cause them.

What causes asthma attacks?

Commonly referred to as asthma triggers, the outside influences that can cause asthma attacks differ from person to person. There are common triggers, however, that anyone suffering from asthma should do their best to avoid.

Tobacco smoke is one of the leading causes of asthma attacks. If you suffer from asthma and smoke, you should quit immediately. If you live in an environment where smoking is prevalent, do everything possible to avoid second-hand smoke as well.

Allergens are also known to cause asthma attacks. During spring when pollen is heavy in the air, try to keep windows closed. Dust mites can also trigger asthma attacks when inhaled as they irritate the lungs. If you are looking to own a pet, choosing one with tight short hair (such as a poodle) may reduce the risk of pet dander inflaming your lungs and causing an attack.

How do you treat asthma?

There are two different types of asthma medicine available and, due to the nature of symptoms and triggers differing from person to person, medication should be specifically prescribed for you—never take someone else’s asthma medication thinking it will give you relief as well.

The first type of asthma treatment available is for immediate, short-term relief. These are in the forms of inhalers with special chemicals that will reduce lung inflammation and open up the airways. The other type of asthma medication is used to treat the disease long term. These can be often found in pill form and taken daily to reduce the risk of attacks and help sufferers lead a normal life.

While asthma can be a painful, alarming disease it can be managed with the proper treatment.



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