If bronchial asthma is left untreated, it can turn into a deadly condition that can have a serious impact on a person’s life. Because of this, it is important to understand what causes the condition and some of the most common ways to treat it. This article will also discuss some of the symptoms of the disease, so a non-asthmatic person will be able to recognize them in order to possibly save the life of someone who has an asthma attack.
When a person is healthy, air can easily pass through the airways that stem from their lungs. The main two airways are called the “bronchus.” The bronchus are not directly side-by-side as one would think, since the lungs are in this position. The right bronchus is situated slightly higher than the left bronchus is. Both of the bronchus are connected to the trachea, but the right bronchus is smaller than the left one. And it is closer to the trachea. There are smaller airways that connect to them called ”bronchioles.” Once someone breathes in air, it passes from their nostrils or mouth down the trachea and into both of the bronchus. Then, it branches into the smaller bronchioles, which fill the lungs with air. But this changes when someone becomes asthmatic. The airways become inflamed. They swell and fill with mucus, so breathing becomes very difficult. All of the bronchus and bronchioles begin to spasm, so the airways are constricted too.
Fortunately, there are several medications available that can be used to treat asthma. When they are taken regularly, they can help to control the symptoms of this condition. However, this doesn’t mean that an asthmatic person doesn’t have to carry an inhaler with them. An inhaler is an emergency device, which sends a puff of medication deep into the lungs to dissipate the swelling and relax the airways. Inhalers usually contain Albuterol and steroids. Without them, someone could die from the starvation of oxygen. Some of the most common medications that are given besides inhalers are bronchodilators. A few of them include:
- -Nucala (Mepolizumab) – Approved in 2015
- -Xolair (Omalizumab) – Approved in 2003
- -Cinqair (Reslizumab) – Approved in 2016
- -Breo Ellipta (Fluticasone Furoate and Vilanterol) – Approved in 2013
Asthma usually begins after a cold or virus that affects the lungs, but it can also be induced by environmental factors, such as being around cigarette smoke, black mold, or allergens. Some people develop the condition because of genetics too. And there have also been studies done that have shown that it is more common in children born to women who didn’t get enough Vitamin D while they were pregnant. Sometimes, people with nervous disorders have asthma attacks when they are upset because their central nervous system constricts their blood vessels and makes them breathe faster, so they don’t get enough oxygen.
Some measure can be taken to reduce the amount of asthma attacks that a person has, but the condition itself cannot be cured. A medical mask that fits tightly over the mouth and nose will lower the amount of allergens that reach the lungs, so this helps some. The home of an asthmatic person should have a heating and air conditioning system that has a HEPA filter to it, which will eliminate allergies from getting inside. And none of the people who live in the home should smoke cigarettes. That is because even if a person smokes outside of the home, they could still trigger an asthma attack in a person from the residue of the cigarettes that clings to their skin, hair, and clothing. All of the windows in the house should stay closed all the time, and the carpets and bedding should be frequently washed. Strong scents can trigger an attack, so perfumes or cleaning chemicals shouldn’t be used around them either. And exercise should only be done to tolerance.