Chances are you either know someone who has asthma, or you suffer from it yourself. It is estimated that 1 in 13 (about 25 million) people in the U.S. have it; a chronic, long-term disease that causes inflammation and swelling of the airways. There is no cure; however, symptoms can be managed. In its severe stages, it can be life threatening. During an uncontrolled attack, one might experience a tight feeling in the chest, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. If you have experienced any of these symptoms of asthma in Helper UT, please speak to your physician.
There are several factors that can cause this condition. It can be genetically related and can run in families. Allergies are another common cause and can develop later in life. Adults who have never had an issue with it could possibly develop allergies as they age that can cause it to be triggered. Other environmental factors may play a significant role in creating it in adults, such as irritants, certain chemicals, and dusts. Children who developed certain respiratory infections in early youth were found more likely to develop it later in life. These infections cause inflammation and damage to the lung tissue and impact long-term lung function.
Once you develop asthma, you should work with your physician to identify what triggers cause your flare-ups. Common triggers include respiratory infections, allergens, chemicals, odors, physical activity, emotions, seasonal changes, and smoking. These can all irritate the lungs and cause (trigger) changes in the airways. Your physician will also help you to understand treatments available and the best way to manage your symptoms. Some medicines work to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the airways and to prevent symptoms while others work quickly to relax your airways and allow you to breathe easier. Most types can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators. More severe forms may require a daily, long-term control medicine, weekly injections, or IV treatments.
While there are numerous resources available to help treat and manage asthma, there is also on-going research into the causes and new treatments. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to ensure that your symptoms are managed and that you are able to live your best life.