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What is Asthma by Kristeel Suleiman

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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lung’s bronchioles, in other words, the airways of the lungs. When asthma affects someone they call it an asthma attack, when someone has an attack they feel as though they cannot breathe. The person will start to have shortness of breath, their chest will start to tighten, and they will start to cough, and wheeze. The reason this happens is because asthma attacks make the bronchioles inflamed so they swell and the air pathway gets smaller. In response to this, the immune system will create extra mucus to try to clear a pathway for the air to get through. Unfortunately, the mucus causes the air pathway to get even smaller.

Once a person has an asthma attack one of the things that could help them is a quick relief inhaler. An inhaler brings the medicine through the bronchioles into the lungs. The medicine goes to work to reduce some of the mucus and reduce the swelling/inflammation so that the air paths are wider. This allows a person to be able to breathe easily again.

There are other methods of use when someone is having an asthma attack. Another method is using a nebulizer, which is usually used on small children; the nebulizer does the same thing the inhaler does. The only difference is that with an inhaler you inhale two puffs of mist like medicine every 20 or so minutes. With a nebulizer, it is a constant stream of misty medicine that a person would inhale.

There are some inhalers and nebulizers that people with asthma use when they’re not having an attack. These inhalers and nebulizers are used to prevent asthma attacks for a certain amount of time. Some prevent for 12 hours some for 24 hours. There are also medicines that people can take to reduce the chances of getting an asthma attack. Some other things people could do is boil water on the stove and breathe in the steam. After an asthma attack, the person is usually tired. Their chest and throats will hurt from the coughing and the tightening of the chest.

Asthma attacks happen because of some kind of trigger. These triggers are something that causes the bronchioles to be irritated which leads to an asthma attack. There are various triggers such as smoke, dust, outdoor air pollution, pets, mold, weather, and other things. Sometimes people don’t know what triggers exactly cause their asthma attack; it might not be one thing but multiple things. A word of advice for those who do know what triggers their attacks; avoid those things if you can.

For some asthma is an all-year thing. For others, asthma might only be a seasonal thing. In winter the cold weather could trigger an asthma attack from simply breathing in the cold air. To prevent an attack in the winter people are advised to stay warm and try to avoid being outside for too long. During spring an asthma attack can be triggered by pollen in the air. Even though it doesn’t sound fun, one of the things people could do to prevent an attack during this time is to stay inside and stay away from parks, or places with lots of plants. Also, people with asthma should avoid people who are sick.  The reason is that having a fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, or even getting the cold or the flu can cause an asthma attack. If you have asthma and it’s flu season stay away from sick people, wash your hands, and use other precautions.



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