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What is Asthma by Jenna Schneider

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Millions of people are affected by asthma each year. One hundred million people are estimated to have asthma by the year 2025. Knowing how to properly manage to live with asthma is very important. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma, but there are plenty of treatment options available for the patient seeking help from a doctor.  There are several different types of asthma symptoms. Some people may experience all of them while others will not. Doctors have come up with four different types of treatment for asthma victims.

What is asthma? Asthma is a long-term, chronic disease affecting an individual’s breathing.  It affects the airways of the lungs by making them sore, and swollen making it difficult for the person to breathe. For a normal person without asthma, the air can move in the airway more freely than those who have the disease. The two main causes of asthma are airway inflammation and airway constriction. They both affect how air moves in the lungs. Airway constriction is when the muscles tighten around the airways and this causes inflammation in the lungs. Constriction makes it extremely difficult for the person to breathe correctly. Sometimes some people can feel the changes occurring in their lungs, and other times they cannot tell the difference. This is why it is extremely important to not let this disease get out of control.  

There are several different signs that a person may end up with asthma. Some things to look for are coughing, wheezing, feeling tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. Even though some people already may have had those symptoms, asthma is not to be taken lightly. Asthma affects everyone differently, and sometimes people do not experience every symptom. When the symptoms become increasingly worse this is what is called an asthma attack. Sometimes severe asthma attacks may require emergency care and sometimes it can even cause death.  It is very important to schedule an appointment with a doctor if anyone has any of these symptoms. Letting it go will only cause more damage to themselves and possibly even damage their lungs. Unfortunately, this disease is not curable, but there are plenty of medications to help people cope with asthma. Folks who visit a doctor concerning this disease may be prescribed some medicine to help control the lungs.

            There are four major types of treatment for asthma patients. The four different types of treatment are quick relief, long-term control, combination medicines, and other types. Quick relief and long-term medicine are used to help patients deal with the symptoms. These kinds of medicines work by helping the muscles to relax around the airways of the lungs. This then allows airflow to move more freely in the lungs. Quick relief medications should be carried with the patient at all times, and they only help to relieve symptoms when a patient experiences their asthma acting up. Long-term medications are used to try and prevent asthma from striking. Long-term medications are given for patients to take daily. It does not matter if they are having any symptoms are not. Most of the long-term medicines are anti-inflammatory working by trying to reduce inflammation in the lungs. Long-term control medicines are used to try and help prevent an asthma attack from occurring. Sometimes asthma can be treated with one or more medications at one time. These combined medicines are often delivered in one type of inhaler. Typically when a patient is prescribed a combination medication, they are supposed to be taken daily to help prevent asthma symptoms from reoccurring. Lastly, there is a medication called long-lasting beta2-agonisits also referred to as LABAS. LABAS works by helping to keep the airway open in the lungs by relaxing the muscles around the airways. This type of drug is not used to treat the diseases. It has to be prescribed with another type of medication provided by the doctor. One of the scary things about this type of treatment is there is an increased risk of death from asthma complications. Children and teenagers who are using LABAS also have an increased risk of being hospitalized for their asthma problems. People need to realize that asthma is one disease not to mess around with.

In conclusion, asthma is a chronic disease with no cure, and if left untreated patients could possibly die. Asthma affects how a person’s lung functions properly. The two main causes of asthma are airway constriction and airway inflammation which both have a huge impact on the person dealing with the illness. Although there are several different symptoms, not everyone has asthma. There are several different types of medication prescribed to asthma patients. It is important to discuss with a doctor if the individual thinks they could have asthma.  If one goes to the doctor, it will allow someone to get the proper diagnosis and treatment they would need. Asthma can be considered a deadly disease if not properly managed right away.


“Asthma.com – Asthma Information.” Asthma.com – Asthma Information. GlaxoSmithKline, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.asthma.com/index.html>.



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