Kamis, 08 Maret 2012

Asthma - Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung condition. It can affect you at any age but most commonly develops at childhood. When asthma occurs, the airways in your lungs are narrowed down which unfortunately, limits the airflow to your lungs. The narrowing of the airways is caused by inflamed and swelled-up airway lining and is what causes the drastic effects of asthma.

Asthma has many easy to spot symptoms that may start appearing from the early years of childhood. They are well known and can show up in pretty much anyone. These symptoms usually include:

• Wheezing
• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Dry coughs

The actual cause of asthma is unknown but there are certain things we know that may increase the risk of asthma. These may include:

• If you have a parent with asthma, this may increase your risks of asthma itself.
• Exposure to certain environments
• Air pollution
• Obesity

There are various treatment options for asthma that usually depends on the severity of the condition. They include:

• Inhaled corticosteroids
• Long-acting beta agonists
• Combination inhalers
• Ipratropium
• Theophylline
• Leukotriene modifiers

Asthma is usually very common in children under the age of 5. If it is not treated from its early stages, children can be limited to all the fun they deserve I their childhood. There are signs you can look for in your children that may be symptoms of asthma. Usually, symptoms start to appear before the child reaches the age of 5 but there have been cases that have proved otherwise. Symptoms may include:

• Wheezing
• Frequent coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Tightness or pain in the chest area
• Laboured breathing
• Re-occurring headaches
• Loss of appetite

If your child ever experiences any of these symptoms, take them to your doctor as soon as possible as the symptoms tend to get worse over time. The doctor will create what's called an asthma action plan. The doctor will prescribe some medications to help decrease the symptoms.

There are many risk factors that can increase the chances of a child getting asthma. Some are listed here but these are not the only risk factors you have to take into consideration. Some of these risk factors may include:

• Exposure to allergens such as air pollution, dust and second-hand smoke
• Family history of asthma or allergies
• Low birth weight
• Exposure to smoke
• Parents who smoke
• Series of lung infections

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