As the title suggests, Asthma is a chronic condition involving the respiratory system. Asthma happens to be the most common chronic illness in children. In response to one or more triggers, the airways occasionally constrict, become inflamed, and are lined with excessive amounts of mucus. The trigger could be an environmental stimulant such as allergen, tobacco smoke, cold or warm air, perfume, pet dander, moist air, exercise or exertion, or emotional stress. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.Low income people are more likely to be affected by asthma than their high income counterparts. Those houses which have cockroaches are more likely to see occurrence of this malady. Experts attribute these findings to the fact that higher income people have access to better healthcare facilities.
The exact cause of Asthma is not yet understood by researchers. However, they do know that asthma is caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Studies have found correlation between increase in prevalence of asthma and and increase in use of antibiotics in developed countries.
Causes could be:
1)Environmental: Poor air quality, tobacco smoke, viral respiratory infections, excessive use of antibiotics, Caesarean sections and psychological stress.
2)Genetic: Over 100 genes have been found to be associated with asthma.
One curious finding has been that athletes are more likely to suffer from asthma than other average people. However, experts have questioned the authenticity of these findings. They attribute these observations to the fact that athletes have to exert much much more physically and are thus prone to asthma attacks.
There is no “cure” as such for asthma. Patient should identify triggers such as pets and avoid exposure to them.