Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease with symptoms that can range from mild to serious. Although it can become life threatening during a severe asthma attack, it is highly treatable. With the right combination of lifestyle, environmental and medical treatment, asthmatics can live healthy and active lives.
Asthma is different for many individuals but there are few common symptoms that might indicate that you might asthma: wheezing, chronic coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. After a complete medical history and a thorough physical exam, your doctor can make a diagnosis and determine a course of action to treat this chronic breathing problem.
If you have asthma, the right treatment will help you control your asthma attacks. To help diagnose the asthma the severity of symptoms, doctors usually use a device called spirometry.
The tool is also used to evaluate the function of the lungs. It measures the amount and flow of air that can be inhaled and exhaled into your lungs. This helps a doctor obtain valuable information about the condition of the lungs.
To further monitor the function of your lungs, your doctor will prescribe a therapy that uses a peak flow meter for you to use at home. This measures the lung's performance and determines the severity of your asthma attack.
Genes also play a role in developing asthma symptoms. This means that if you have asthma you probably have inherited genes which make it possible for you to get asthma. Studies show that children whose parents smoke are twice as likely to develop asthma as children of non-smoking parents. Children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy tend to be born with smaller airways. This greatly increases their chances of developing asthma.
The "westernized" environment and lifestyle in developed countries has a lot to do with the chances of whether a person will develop asthma. Even though air quality has generally improved there are more people than ever living in urban settings where they're overly exposed to the allergens that commonly trigger asthma symptoms - dust mites, mold and smoke.
Due to that the fact that children lead far more sedentary lives than ever and spend far more time indoors, they are more vulnerable to allergens. We can begin to see that another reason why asthma is on the rise.