Asthma can develop at any age but most common during childhood. There are 25.5 million Americans living with asthma, one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases.
Although there is no cure, there are ways to manage the disease so living a healthy life is still possible. Learning more about the condition can help you and your loved ones learn how to control the disease, making the most of everyday.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is when the airways of the lungs are swollen or inflamed caused by “triggers”, making it difficult to breathe. Triggers can be smoke in the air or cold weather. When a person is having an asthma attack, the airways of the lungs is narrowed from extra mucus and that makes it harder for air to move in and out of the lungs.
- Genes. You can develop asthma if it’s in your family history
- Allergies. Some allergies can be triggers, such as pet dander, dust, or pollen
- Obesity. Overweight adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-30 and greater are more at risk to develop asthma
- Stress. People who have weak immune system caused by stress are at higher risk
- Tightness of the Chest. This can be the first sign of an asthma attack
- Shortness of Breath. When you feel start breathing in heavily and can’t get enough air into your lungs
- Wheezing. High pitched sound during breathing that occurs during physical activities or colder weather
- Avoid any triggers
- Take medication that can help control any discomfort
- Have Albuterol, an oral inhalation used to help prevent and treat asthma attacks, ready if anything does happen
- Monitor symptoms daily
Asthma is a serious health problem but it can be treated, so don’t let it get in the way of your life. It is still possible to stay active and healthy when living with asthma. In fact, many Olympic athletes have asthma!