The number of people suffering from Asthma, one of the commonest breathing disorders in the world is all set to amplify as the quality of air we breathe deteriorates each passing day. Stressful lifestyles is another key factor that is contributing towards it.
It is imperative that there be more awareness about the condition, its symptoms and its potential cures.
Here are 10 facts about Asthma that you may not be aware of.
#1 – Asthma can be triggered by multiple things. It can be intense exercise, stress, pollution, infections in the respiratory tract, allergens or smoke. In some cases, asthma attacks have also been triggered by certain medications.
#2 – A person cannot breathe during an asthma attack. The muscles in the airway gets constricted and the body starts to produce a thick mucus that produces a wheezing noise as the person breathes in and out. The person can also experience coughing, a tightness or severe pain in the chest.
#3 – More than 20 million people in the United States suffer from Asthma. It is predicted that almost 4000 people die each year from asthma related complications that can easily be prevented.
#4 – A child suffering from Asthma will most likely carry the symptoms into adulthood. There’s a misconception that the child may outgrow the symptoms. But that’s a myth.
#5 – Only 10% of people with mild asthma ever progress to a more severe and advanced stage of the condition. Also, mild asthmatics can have the same quality of life as a non-asthmatic. The condition can easily be managed with exercise and medication.
#6 – Cigarette smoke is one of the leading causes of Asthma. This includes second hand smoke by the way. So even if your partner is a chain smoker, you are at risk for asthma.
#7 – In extreme cases, Asthma can be fatal because the oxygen supply to the brain is cut off. Many people mistake this to be a cardiac arrest. But the two are completely different scenarios.
#8 – If you are the caregiver or live with a person suffering from asthma, it is crucial that you know about the basic steps to take in case of an asthma attack. If the central nervous system isn’t harmed during the attack until you get the person to a hospital, the chances of them surviving the attack increases manifold.
#9 – The rescue inhaler is only to be used in an emergency situation or as part of an asthma management plan. A lot of patients abuse the inhaler (typically Albuterol) due to the mild stimulant effect it creates in the body. But overuse can cause severe side effects including palpitations, panic attacks and flutter. Not recommended!
#10 – As children, boys are more prone to the condition as compared to girls. While the exact opposite occurs during adulthood when women are more likely to have asthma as compared to men. The reason behind this is unknown. But some studies attribute this to the different way in which the airway function develops in both sexes.