Do you ever think about your breath? Breathing is something you do 12-18 times per minute every day of your life. Most of us take this practice, which is essential for life, for granted every day.
For the 25 million people that suffer from asthmatic breathing, or the inability to breathe during an asthma attack, problems with breathing can be scary and life-threatening.
Asthma is a lifelong lung disease that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. It causes the lungs to be overly sensitive and to develop inflammation.
During an asthma attack the airways that lead into the lungs become smaller and narrower, making it hard for air to pass into the lungs. The muscles in the airways constrict and make the airways even smaller.
Finally any particles in the air cause the mucous cells to secrete mucus, which also blocks the airways from allowing air into the lungs. The combination of all these actions creates tightness and constriction in the chest, difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Asthma attacks or episodes can be mild or severe, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms listed above and make sure you are carrying appropriate medications.
The causes of asthma are not well known. There has been research on one possible cause which involves interaction with viral infections or allergens in early infancy while the immune system is developing. Parents that have asthma tend to pass it on genetically to their children.
While we don’t know all the causes of asthma we certainly can identify several triggers including:
• Viral infections
• Cigarette smoke
• Allergic reactions to environmental allergens
• Pollutants and air particle
• Sudden temperature changes
• Strenuous exercise
When using conventional treatments there are two general types of medications: controller medications and quick relief medications.
Controller medications help to manage asthma to prevent sudden episodes. The controller medication group includes corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation and mucus production.