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If you have ever seen someone experience an asthma attack, you know just how scary they can be. Wheezing, coughing, and the inability to breathe are just a few of the symptoms of asthma even when someone is not experiencing an attack. Attacks are more severe and require immediate attention. While many cases of asthma affect children and adolescents, often going away as the lungs develop, adults can also have this condition. Though the symptoms of asthma can be scary to witness or go through, there are treatments that can help manage the condition. A consultation with Advance Health and Wellness can attempt to get you or your loved one on the right path.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease causing the air ways to become inflamed and narrow. This condition causes reoccurring periods of wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. Often times, the coughing will worsen at night or early in the morning.

To better understand your asthma, it helps to understand how the airways function. Airways are the tubes responsible for carrying air in and out of your lungs. People who are asthmatic have inflamed airways. This inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive and swollen, and they can react violently to inhaled substances, like cigarette, cigar, or marijuana smoke, fireplaces, or pollution.

When this reaction of the airways occurs, the muscles in your chest tighten, narrowing the airways, and inhibiting air from entering the lungs. The swelling may become worse, making the airways narrow even further. Additionally, the cells in the airways responsible for mucus production may begin to make more mucus than usual to compensate for the airways quickly becoming dry. This mucus is sticky and thick and can narrow the airways further. The chain of events results in the common asthma symptoms, each and every time the airways become inflamed.

While the exact causes of asthma are still being debated and hypothesized, there are a few that tend to be agreed upon by the medical community. Different types of respiratory infections during childhood, coming into contact with certain allergens in the air, or exposure to viral infections during infancy or early childhood while the immune system is still developing are all thought to play a role. Certain genetic causes, such as an inherited tendency to develop allergies, are also thought to contribute to becoming asthmatic.

Another highly debated theory on developing asthma, is that a lack of being exposed to germs as a child can actually cause asthma, because the immune system does not get enough “practice” in fighting off infectious reactions.

The use of an inhaler and other medications are common treatments for asthma. It is also important to avoid environmental triggers that cause the inflammation of the airways, such as cigarette smoke, bonfires, fog machines, and certain allergens like pollen and extreme air pollution. There may be certain social events where politely passing would be beneficial.

While a regular medication in addition to your emergency inhaler are important tools for managing your asthma, there may be treatments and therapies available through Advance Health and Wellness’ practice that can help you manage your symptoms and even prevent attacks.