Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the airways to produce excess mucus, becoming narrower and swollen.
This disease creates respiratory symptoms, limitation in physical activity and can be a serious issue that interferes with the patient’s daily activities by leading him/her to attacks or crises that may be fatal.
Although this disease itself cannot be prevented, it is recommended to identify and reduce the exposure to its triggers through general environmental control measures such as:
- Avoid any contact with cigarette smoke.
- Avoid all medications, foods and additives known as symptoms precipitants.
- Avoid the appearance of mites at home.
- Avoid all pets with fur.
- Avoid the presence of cockroaches at home. Clean efficiently every corner of the house on a regular basis. Insecticides can be used, but make sure the patient is not home when used.
- Avoid pollen and mold.
- Reduce humidity at home.
This disease is different in each case, usually characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways. The two main characteristics that define this disease are:
- A) History of respiratory symptoms
- Respiratory distress
- Difficulty sleeping due to cough, wheezing or feeling of shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- B) Variable limitation of airflow at the end of respiration
Also, the following symptoms may indicate that asthma is getting worse:
- When the frequency of symptoms and/or attacks increases.
- When breathing becomes remarkably difficult.
Asthma and its main Causes
Asthma is not caused by a single reason but it’s the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The most common triggers of asthma are as follows:
- Genetic predisposition.
- Particles suspended in the air, such as pollen, spores, termite-generated dust and organic insect debris.
- Previous respiratory infections.
- Conservatives contained in beverages and processed foods.
- Cold air and its pollutants that cause irritation.
The long-term goals of its treatment are to control symptoms and reduce the risk of exacerbations. It consists mainly of a continuous cycle comprising the patient’s assessment, treatment adjustments and the revision of his/her responses to it. Also, as part of the medical care, the patient has to learn how to recognize the triggers associated with his/her condition and to take the necessary measures to reduce or avoid them.
It is important to understand that event though this disease has no cure, but it can be controlled. We must discard the myth that asthma disappears at puberty, and be aware that it is necessary to start preventive treatment as soon as possible. To have good control of the disease and to have a good quality of life, the patient must: adapt his environment and his way of life. Reduce to the maximum the triggers and the substances that can cause you allergies. Clean house and work environment on a regular basis.