Asthma is a respiratory problem that affects your breathing passages, making it difficult for oxygen to move through the lungs. Caused by inflammation of air passages or airways, the disease creates breathing difficulties, coughing, and chest tightness. The inside walls of the airways become inflamed, which makes the passages sensitive to irritation. Such a condition increases the risk of an allergic reaction (Allergy Wiki Page). If left untreated, long-term inflammation may cause the airways to become constricted permanently.
Symptoms vary from person to person. While some people may experience asthma symptoms continuously, others may experience signs of asthma when exposed to various triggers. When swelling or inflammation of the airways is triggered, the passages are filled with mucus. The common symptoms include
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
Causes of Narrowing Airways
Bronchospasm: During an asthma attack, when you breathe in cold or dry air, muscles around the bronchial tubes become tight, causing the passages to narrow down further.
- Inflammation: Exposure to certain triggers, such as house dust mites, tobacco smoke, cold air, pollen, alcohol, animal fur, and chest infections, causes inflammation, redness, or irritation on the bronchial tubes. As a result of swelling, the thickness of the airway wall causes it to become constricted, which obstructs the airflow. The inflamed tissues cause greater mucus growth, resulting in plugging the passage further.
- Hyperactivity: Anyone suffering from asthma symptoms experiences greater triggers, causing the passages to become more sensitive and narrowing of bronchial tubes.
Collectively, these factors create greater breathing problems, making it difficult to exhale, which results in that wheezing sound. Asthma causes reduced inflow of oxygen in the body while also negatively affecting the carbon dioxide outflow from the lungs. The reduced amount of oxygen and increased level of carbon dioxide in the blood is a dangerous condition, which can cause serious problems for the patient. Due to this resistance or obstruction to exhaling, asthma is known as an obstructive lung disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Asthma is one of the major causes of absence from school and work around the world. Asthma treatment therefore becomes indispensable.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for asthma. However, there are certain ways you can manage asthma symptoms. Treating asthma involves making lifestyle changes (Superfood Alternatives Learn More), following a medicine therapy, and identifying potential asthma triggers and taking steps to prevent your exposure to them. If diagnosed early, you can better control the symptoms.