Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways in the lungs. It can cause shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. There are more than 25 million Americans living with asthma, according to the American Lung Association. If you or someone you love is one of them, here’s what you need to know about this condition:
There is No Cure For Asthma
If you suffer from asthma, you probably know that it’s a chronic disease. This is an important distinction to make because a chronic disease can’t be cured. What you can do is manage the symptoms and lessen their impact on your life. It’s important to have a plan and avoid triggers when possible.
You May Qualify For Assistance For Asthma
You may qualify for assistance if you have asthma. There are benefits for people through government programs for those who are disabled due to their asthma. In addition, there is a VA disability rating for asthma that helps the military determine how bad someone’s asthma really is. If the former military service member was involved in certain conflicts and got asthma as a result, there may be additional compensation for them as well.
Men and Women Can Have Different Asthma Symptoms
For men and women, however, asthma symptoms can be very different. Women are more likely to have an asthma attack during their menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Men are more likely to have an asthma attack during exercise. Some asthma symptoms are triggered by pollen while others can be aggravated by air fresheners and fragrances.
Asthma Can be a Serious Chronic Illness
Asthma is a serious chronic illness, but many people don’t realize just how severe it can be. If left untreated, asthma may even be fatal. However, with proper management and care from your doctor, you can live a long and healthy life with asthma.
Asthma Can Kill You
While most cases of asthma are mild and never cause any serious complications or hospitalizations, it’s important to understand the potential severity of this disease. While most people only experience occasional flare-ups or mild symptoms that last for only a few days before subsiding on their own, others have more serious complications that require treatment in an emergency room or intensive care unit.
In these cases, it’s common for doctors to prescribe steroids like prednisone which help reduce inflammation as well as bronchodilators such as albuterol which open up airways by relaxing muscles around them. These medications work together with lifestyle changes such as removing triggers like dust mites or cigarette smoke from the home environment so that they do not affect someone’s health any more than necessary.
People With Asthma Often Have Other Chronic Conditions
People with asthma often have other chronic conditions, such as allergies or hay fever. Chronic conditions are long-term illnesses that last for at least 3 months. As their name suggests, they don’t go away easily and can have a big impact on your life. These conditions can include eczema, autoimmune disease, and even COPD.
It’s Hard to Diagnose
If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, it may have taken a long time to finally get diagnosed. Many people do not realize that asthma can often go undiagnosed for years. In fact, more than half of all people with asthma don’t know they have it until adulthood. As many as 80% of children with severe childhood cases will grow up to be misdiagnosed as adults due to the difficulty in recognizing symptoms that vary from person to person and can be influenced by external factors such as weather or stress levels.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that childhood asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among children. As a chronic disease, asthma is often managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Children are more at risk for severe complications because their airways are smaller than adults.
Learn Your Triggers
It’s important to understand what triggers your symptoms so you can avoid them and live a healthy life. A lot of people think that exercising will make their asthma worse, but it can actually improve symptoms for some people. It’s important to start slow and be aware of how you’re feeling when you exercise as well as have an inhaler handy just in case.
Other triggers include cigarette smoke or campfire as well as certain perfumes. Many people with asthma end up switching to unscented household products to minimize the risk of an attack. People may also find that certain foods, like dairy or gluten, can trigger difficulty breathing. While it’s not an allergy, the reaction can be the result of inflammation in the body from these foods.