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Asthma Essay Research Paper AsthmaAsthma is very

Asthma Essay, Research Paper


Asthma is very common, but it isn’t well understood. Current treatments for the disease are getting to be more effective. In the future, hopefully advances in medical research will lead to even better treatments then the ones we currently have. We use our lungs to breathe they work by taking oxygen from the air we breathe in and then disposing it as carbon dioxide; Carbon Dioxide is a deadly waste product made by the cells of the body. Once this exchange has taken place, Carbon dioxide is removed from the body by breathing it out, or exhaling.

Asthma is a disorder that interferes with the lungs and the airways to the lungs. It causes attacks of wheezing and difficult breathing. An asthma attack occurs when the airways respond to some kind of trigger, Some examples of triggers for Asthma attacks are dust, mold, pets, exercise, cold weather, and some attacks start for no known reason. The triggers may irritate the airways to the lungs, allowing disease-fighting cells to build up and causing the lungs to swell up. In addition, the airways could get blocked when the muscles surrounding the lungs tighten. This keeps air from circulating freely in the lungs. Or, mucus may clog and narrow the airways in the lungs, making breathing even more difficult.

During an asthma attack, the walls of the airways become irate, and the mucous membrane found on the walls of the lungs become swollen with fluid and mucus fills taking up the remaining space, making it difficult to breathe. *Because air cannot flow in and out of the lungs freely, a whistling or wheezing sound may be heard. During a severe attack, wheezing might stop because of the air moving in and out of the lungs are too weak to make any noise. Asthma attacks are known as three different levels they are mild, moderate, or severe, and they can last up too ass little as a few minutes, or as long as several days. Asthmas attacks can happen at any time and the can happen anywhere. Many attacks occur at night. There can be warning signs of an attack before it happens, but sometimes there aren’t any signs at all.

Symptoms of Asthma

The symptoms of asthma can different among people. Usually there is itchy throat, or tightness in the chest, followed by a cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath.

It’s time to get help if…

? Your symptoms do not get better with medicine Your breathing continues to get worse after treatment

? Your fingernails or lips turn grayish or blue

? It is difficult to walk or talk, or you have extreme difficulty breathing

? It feels like your neck, chest, or ribs are pulled in with each breath you take

? Your nostrils flare when you breathe

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Triggers of Asthma

Although the specific things that trigger an asthma attack can change from person to person, some common triggers are well known. These include the following:

Allergens (substances that people are allergic to)

Common allergens include pollen, mold, animal hair or fur, household dust/dust mites, cockroaches, and certain foods.


Both bacterial and viral infections can irritate the airways, triggering asthma attacks.

Sinusitis (inflammation of the nose and nasal airways)

During a sinus infection, mucus draining into the nose, throat, and lungs can cause asthma symptoms.


Examples of irritants to the airways include strong odors and sprays (perfumes, household cleaners, paints, and varnishes); certain chemicals like coal, chalk dust, and talcum powder; air pollutants; tobacco smoke; changing weather conditions (for example, cold weather).


Inhaling smoke from cigarettes or fires harms the airways and is especially hard on the airways of people with asthma. In fact, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than half of the cases of asthma in people over 40 years of age.


Although exercise is good for people with asthma, it can trigger an asthma attack. People with asthma need to work with their doctors to prevent asthma attacks due to exercise (certain drugs can help prevent asthma symptoms from occurring after exercise).

Exposure to irritants on the job

Many cases of asthma are worsened or even caused by exposure to vapors, dust, gases, or fumes in the workplace. This type of asthma usually improves when the person takes a few days off from work, such as on weekends and vacations.

Sensitivity to medications and sulfites

About 5% to 20% of adults with asthma have attacks triggered by sensitivities or allergies to sulfites and to medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and naproxen. People with asthma should consult their physicians before taking any new medication, including those available without a prescription. Sulfites are often used to preserve foods and beverages, including tuna, foods available at salad bars, dried apples and raisins, lemon juice, grape juice, and wine.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: In March, 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that people with asthma or allergies as to sulfites should not eat canned white (albacore) tuna or light tuna because most canned tuna contains sulfites, even though they are not listed on the label. If you want more information about the sulfite content of specific tuna products, please call 800-283-1112, a special number set up by the tuna industry.

Emotional anxiety

Strong emotions and nervous stress can trigger asthma in some people. This may be due, in part, to the ability of emotions and stress to weaken the body’s defenses.

Allergies and Asthma

Allergies are the one of the main leading causes of asthma. About 90% of children under the age of ten that are infected with asthma have allergies. Around 70% of people under the age of thirty have asthma and 50% of those over thirty. Allergies is likely to be a helping factor to asthma if:

? You have close relatives with allergy (that is, a mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, or child)

? Asthma begins at a young age

? Symptoms occur or worsen with different seasons (usually fall or spring)

? You have allergic symptoms like runny nose, hay fever, or a skin condition called eczema

? Tests show that your blood or saliva contains a higher than normal level of eosinophils, special cells that fight infection.



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