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WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Mya Care Guest Blogger 16 Jun 2019
WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

When compared to other chronic diseases, the fatality rate for asthma is relatively low, but unfortunately there no cure available yet, and is also under-diagnosed as well as under-treated, according to the World Health Organization. In turn, this puts a heavy burden on those who suffer from it, potentially restricting their quality of life.  Fortunately, there are some management methods which can provide a certain amount of help

Asthma stats (worldwide)

According to the 2018 Global Asthma Report,  affects up to 339 million people, andthe prevalence is also on the rise – with countries that are low-income and middle-income having the most amount of severe cases.

A survey conducted by the World Healthy Survey back in 2002-2003, asked over 178,000 individuals from a total of 70 countries to talk about asthma and its related symptoms. According to their answers, it was reported that (at that time) Australia had the highest rate of doctor-diagnosed, clinical/treated asthma, and wheezing.

Potential Threat

As with any disease, early treatment is important. Asthma that is left untreated can lead to various issues, from lifestyle restrictions to death. Asthma that is undiagnosed and untreated with medicine can increase the risk of lung scarring, which means permanent lung and airways damage. What this means is that breathing properly will become difficult without external help.

If the disease gets to this stage, the damage becomes irreversible and it is labeled COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Severe asthma attacks can also cause complete respiratory failure, which means that the airways are getting shut and medication can’t open them up. This can end up in fatality unless there is no immediate treatment available.

Triggers to avoid

There are a number of triggers that can lead to an asthma attack, which is why it’s important to be careful when dealing with asthma. People have different triggers – although some of them are common. Going to a pulmonologist can help determine which triggers to stay away from. A search for ‘pulmonologist’ in the area you live in – can help you out when picking a specialist.

The most common triggers when it comes to allergic asthma are dust mites. They can be found in anything from pillows and blankets to stuff toys and carpets. Washing bed linens and stuffed toys regularly can ensure to a certain degree that dust mites are avoided. Other triggers include cockroaches and their droppings, animals that have fur or feathers, mold, pollen, and smoking.

Smoking is not only linked to an increased risk of asthma, but it can also make its effect worse, by adding breathlessness, coughing and increase risk of infection to its list of symptoms. Secondhand smoke is also toxic – especially for young children, due to the fact that their lugs are not yet mature. This includes not only tobacco smoke but also smoke from wood fires.

Getting to the bottom of what is causing the asthma symptoms can be done by going to either a pulmonologist or even an allergist/immunologist and asking for an allergy test. The doctor will also look at the history of allergic reactions and will determine what triggers asthma. Thankfully, finding a specialist can be easily done with the help of the internet.

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