Asthma has a strong genetic component. If you have asthma, others in your family may have asthma as well. Allergens, irritants (such as cigarette smoke and pollution), respiratory infections, weather changes and exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. However, whatever one’s triggers are, the underlying lung problem of inflammation remains the same.
Allergic asthma is triggered by allergic reactions to allergens such as pet dander, dust or dust mite, mold or pollen. Sometimes the asthma may only occur during the pollen seasons. Identifying your specific allergic triggers is essential to managing your asthma.
Exercise-induced asthma is triggered by exercise or physical activity.
Nocturnal asthma can occur with any asthmatic. Asthma symptoms will often increase or worsen at night.
When you breathe in, air passes from your nose and mouth to your lungs through a system of tubes referred to as airways or bronchial tubes. This is much like a tree trunk and branches. The trunk is the windpipe, which branches off to smaller airways called bronchi. People with asthma experience extensive narrowing of the airways throughout both lungs, resulting in symptoms that often include:
Asthma symptoms can occur daily, weekly or infrequently, and can range from mild to severe. This can be very frightening to people with asthma as well as their families. There are an estimated 17 million people living in the United States with self-reported asthma. It is extremely important to seek medical attention for this illness. It is the most common chronic illness among children and if left untreated or under-treated, asthma may result in a significant reduction in quality of life, with potential loss of lung function, exercise limitation, difficulty sleeping, school or work absenteeism, costly emergency room visits and in a few cases, death.
The good news? Though there is no cure for asthma, when properly diagnosed and treated with medications, and when “triggers” are identified and avoided, the symptoms and permanent affects of asthma can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated.
A board certified allergy and asthma specialist will diagnose asthma after an extensive patient interview, physical exam and a lung function test. The allergists at ADAC are specially trained to identify the triggers of asthma and in prescribing a management plan that allows for a healthy, active lifestyle.