Repetitive coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness; these are all common symptoms of an Asthma attack. For people suffering from Asthma and experiencing major attacks (also known as flareups or exacerbations), it can prove to be fatal. In the US alone, more than 25 million people are known to have Asthma.
What Is Asthma
Asthma is a chronic long-term lung disease which inflames and narrows the airways (which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the lungs). Due to the disease, the above-mentioned symptoms usually plague an Asthma sufferer. Severe Asthma cases might even render the sufferers unable to talk or inactivity due to vicious symptoms affecting and preventing an otherwise healthy life. Asthma is characterized by 3 major features according to WebMD:
- Airway Obstruction – As the airways narrow, there is less transfer of oxygen to the lungs (caused by the tightening of muscles surrounding the airways)
- Inflammation – Inflammation is common for people with Asthma. This can cause damage to the lungs in the long term.
- Airway Irritability – People with Asthma respond relatively more sensitive to environment pollutants. They can be subjected to Asthmatic attacks once pollutants are absorbed into their body systems through air.
Is Asthma transmissible?
Asthma is not contagious. However, the exact cause of Asthma is not yet known. Even after decades, the medical community is still unable to pinpoint any specific reasons for Asthma but they do attribute it to both environment and genetics. Asthma is not a contagious disease, and just to dispel the myth, you cannot get Asthma from someone being near you.
What causes Asthma?
It is unknown why some people get Asthma while other do not. It is believed to be linked to history in the sense that if you have been subjected to past Asthmatic attacks, then you are more likely to experience it again in the future. There are however, certain triggers which have been observed, ranging from person to person. Some triggers include airborne substances (e.g. pollutants), physical activity, cold air, emotions and stress.
How can we fight against Asthma?
The best way to fight against Asthma is to get healthy. While Asthma is a chronic disease, it can be managed. Handle stress in the right manner, eat nutritious food, exercise plentily, and have the right amount of optimism. Many times, sufferers of chronic conditions get too caught up in the diseases itself then try to face the disease head on. The fact is, even without cures, there are many things individuals can do to fight.
Of course, given the nature of our mission, this is also a disease we want to eradicate. Many people around the world do die from instances of Asthmatic attacks and we believe medical care and cures should be open to most people.