What is Asthma? Getting Help Children & Asthma Educational Video Medicine & Doctors Related Sites Home Page

Asthma is a lung disease. People have it for many years. There is no cure for asthma, but you can take charge and learn to control it.

During an asthma episode, the airways in your lungs get swollen. Your chest feels tight. You may cough, wheeze, or have trouble breathing. This happens when your lungs are exposed to somethinga triggerto which your lungs react. The swelling in your lungs can be occurring slowly, even if you don't realize it is happening.

The best way to take charge of asthma is to work with a doctor over many months to find the right preventive medicine for you or your child so that your asthma is under control.

If you or your child keep having asthma episodes, then your asthma is not under control. People can die of asthma if they do not take it seriously and work with a doctor to control it.

Stay away from smoke. Ask people not to smoke in your home or car. Get help to quit smoking.
Protect yourself and your child where you sleep if you are allergic to microscopic bugs called dust mites in beds and pillows by doing the following:
Put special dust mite-proof covers on the mattress and pillow.
Wash sheets, blankets, and the mattress pad in very hot water every week to kill dust mites.
Pick a stuffed animal for your child that can be washed with the sheets. Take rugs, soft chairs with cushions, extra pillows, and the other stuffed animals out of the bedroom.
Find new homes for furry pets and birds if you are allergic to them. If you cannot give a pet away yet, then keep it out of the bedroom at all times.
Make an extra effort to get rid of roaches. Many people with asthma are allergic to them.
When pollen or pollution is bad, keep windows closed and use the air conditioner if you have one.
Work with others in your building or community to improve the environment.






What Happens During An
Asthma Attack

During an asthma episode, the muscles lining the bronchi and bronchioles contract, causing the passage to narrow. Inflammation of the airway's inner lining and increased mucus secretion cause further narrowing.

Main Trigger Factors in Asthma
Any of the following Asthma triggers can lead to an asthma attack.
Every person has individual factors that affect him or her.
Allergens Pollen is the number one trigger for an Asthma attack. Animals are major triggers for an attack, especially cats and horses. Over exposure can result in more persistent symptoms.
& Air Pollution
Many Asthma symptoms are affected by specific climate conditions. Each person is or is not affected by different climate conditions. Air pollution can cause asthma episodes, especially in patients with severe asthma. No facts presently state that air pollutants can cause asthma in a non-asthmatic person.
Colds, etc. One trigger for asthma in people of all ages is a viral infection.
& Stress
Emotions act as asthma triggers, not as initiators of asthma. Stress for any reason can cause an asthma episode.
Physical Activity
Sometimes shortness of breathe is attributed to weakness or a person being out of shape rather than the person having asthma. Exercise is now recognized as a common trigger of asthma.
Fumes, Dust
& Odors
Dust and cigarette smoke are common triggers that patients may come across daily. Odors can also be a trigger for asthmatic people.