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Five Important Things to Know About Asthma

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways in lungs and causes shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. The disease can affect people at any age and it may change over time, although it has not been linked to heredity. It can be triggered by inhalation of irritating substances such as smoke and smells, cold air and allergies which cause the swelling and narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Most people with asthma usually avoid the trigger factors and carry their inhaler with them everywhere in case of an attack. Here are five more things most people do not know about asthma:

  1. It is a costly disease: Asthma is a disease that requires regular doctor’s visits and tests. The inhaler used by the patients is indispensable and it needs to be filled regularly. Medicines are also used regularly to help control the symptoms of the disease and stop it from affecting normal daily life. Asthma attacks can occur at any time and this is why is absolutely necessary to have the inhaler at hand.
  2. It has no cure: It is not a disease that can be treated permanently by taking drugs and medicines. Asthma is managed with the regular use of preventive and reliever inhalers which contain medicines in them. The attacks may occur randomly or as a result of exposure to risk factors during which reliever inhalers can be used to help normalize the affected airways. Preventive inhalers control the swelling of the airways and stop them from being so sensitive.
  3. It is more common in children: Asthma is more prevalent in children than in adults and this is why parents should be more careful and attentive to any symptoms shown in their children. The reason for this is still being researched as some scientists have argued that children today are being raised in a more sterile environment and it allows their immune system to become easily compromised due to environmental factors.
  4. It does not affect daily life: Although the disease has no cure and the attack can happen anytime, it does not need to affect normal daily activity. The attacks can be controlled by avoiding trigger factors, using the prescribed medicine and staying away from stressful and physically strenuous activities.
  5. Children with eczema are at higher risk: doctors have found a link between eczema and asthma and have termed it the ‘allergic match’. Research has shown that there is a strong connection between a condition that affects the skin and one that affects the airways. So, if your child has been evaluated with skin tests, the child has to be properly treated with allergy shots to lessen his of developing asthma later on.
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Jelifat Opoola

Opoola Jelifat is a young and passionate writer. She holds a B.Sc degree in Microbiology and enjoys reading, cooking and writing on real life issues. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at the University of Ibadan. Contact her on opoolajelifat@gmail.com, and via Twitter and facebook by clicking the icons below.

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