Asthma is a disease that inflames the airways causing it to narrow. Asthma patients experience recurring periods of chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath etc. sinusitis also has the same symptoms. So most people are not able to distinguish between these two diseases when some symptoms are found. Only an allergist , will be able to correctly diagnose the disease based on the symptoms. Asthma affects people of all ages, though it is commonly found in children.
Before studying asthma or seasonal allergy one must have some idea about the airways and how they work. Airways can be considered as tubes carrying air to and from the lungs. Asthma patients have inflamed airways. This makes them unable to swallow and as it is always very sensitive. They react strongly to some substances if found in the inhaled air. During this reaction the muscles around them tightens narrowing the airway. The narrowed airways allow only lesser air to enter into the lungs. In this condition cells in the lungs make more mucus than usual. Mucus is sticky and it further narrows the airways. These chain reactions lead to asthma symptoms which needs treatment from an asthma clinic.
Asthma symptoms are generally mild and may vanish on its own or after undergoing minimal treatment. Sometimes they continue and become worse. When symptoms are severe the patient is undergoing an asthma attack. Such attacks are called as asthma flare ups. Getting treatment from an allergist immediately on seeing symptoms are very important. This will help to control the symptoms, avoid treatment in an asthma clinic and avoid an asthma attack. Well known allergists are of the opinion that asthma attacks required emergency medical care as it can become serious and fatal.
Asthma is not completely curable. Even when a patient feels he is not perfectly ok, he may still have the disease and it can flare up any moment. As the modern medical technology is well advanced most people are able to take active role in controlling the severity of the disease. Building strong partnership with your health care providers and asthma specialists can lead to successful and satisfactory results.
Causes of asthma
Nobody knows the exact cause of asthma. Medical practitioners feel that genetic factors and environmental factors play a great role in the formation of the disease. The factors that lead to the formation of asthma are discussed below:
- Inherited tendency known as atopy
- Parents who have asthma
- Respiratory infections during childhood
- Contact with allergens
- Exposure to viral infection in the infancy period
Some factors may be more likely to cause asthma in some people while other factors may cause asthma and allergy in some other group of people. Some researchers believe that the increased concern about hygiene and the improved living conditions have decreased the immunity of the children of these days. This has been attributed as a reason for the increase of child sufferers in seasonal allergy.