Understanding Asthma

Asthma can be quite a common condition that afflicts a lot of people. And yet, there can also be confusion surrounding what would happen to people who may have asthma and what they can and can’t do. A little understanding of asthma is usually all it takes to make people a little less worried and concerned.

What is it?

Asthma is a condition where your lungs may react to certain stimuli and becomes inflamed. This will result in the narrowing of airways that can make it for asthma sufferers to breathe. The reactions can affect people in different ways. Asthma can be as little as an occasional chest congestion for some people while some attacks can be as serious as requiring emergency treatment in others.

What causes asthma?

Asthma can be caused by either genetic or environmental factors. Doctors so far do not know exactly what causes the condition. Even today it might not even be clear if asthma is a type of disorder or a group of disorders that show similar manifestations. But what doctors do know is that an asthma attack can be triggered by many things including environmental allergens, foods, smoking, stress as well as bacterial or viral infections.

Asthma Treatments

Ways of treating asthma falls within two basic goals- trying to prevent or reverse the bronchial muscle contraction or to reduce the inflammation of the bronchial tube walls. Relaxing the muscles of the bronchial tubes using a bronchodilator medication can take effect within minutes. Reducing the inflammation however using certain anti-inflammatory medication can sometimes take hours and even days. Doctors usually prescribe the right kind of treatment depending on what causes the asthma attacks and the degree of discomfort it may cause on certain sufferers.