The symptoms of asthma are usually detected in childhood. In
their children, parents should watch for:
The specific cause of asthma is yet unknown. Research concerning "candidate genes" is now being done, but the basic belief is that someone with a family history of asthma will have a greater predisposition towards the disease.(Bunch, Brian) Asthma is universal and can affect anyone, but there are also theories about whether environment, race, age, or gender effect a person's chances of developing asthma. Hispanic children, people who live in polluted areas, women, and people exposed to cockroaches are believed to be more likely to suffer from asthma, but these are only studies which haven't been proved yet.Asthma attacks are caused by various "triggers." These triggers can include:
Asthma is greatly on the rise. Some proposed causes of this
Asthma affects the respiratory system. Asthma causes a spasm and constriction of the bronchial passages and the swelling and the inflammation of their mucous lining. The body responds by activating defense cells from the immune system, which causes the airways to swell and the muscles surrounding the airways to contract. This cuts off the airflow. During an asthma attack, the asthmatic cannot breathe. This can sometimes lead to hospitalization and in extreme cases, death.(Gormon, Christine p.61-62)
No cure yet exists for asthma, but it can be managed through a
combination of medication and management techniques.
There are two types of medication. They are preventative and rescue
medicine. Preventative medicine consists of anti-inflammatory medications,
which when taken daily, can help. There are two types of anti-inflammatory
medicines: steroid and non-steroid inhalers. Current research indicates
that steroid inhalers provide the best long-term benefits without serious
side effects. Rescue medicine consists of bronchilators. Bronchilators
are medications that are used during attacks. They open up the bronchial
tubes when the asthmatic has difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
A great part of living a normal life with asthma is to be responsible
for managing it. It is important for the asthmatic to learn the ways to
avoid an attack. To manage their disease, the asthmatic should:
In school, asthmatics should be and usually are excused from physical exertion that could lead to an attack or discomfort. Other than that though the asthmatic is mostly responsible for the management of their disease.
1.Bunch, Brain. Diseases. Vol. 1. Danbury, CT:
2.Gormon, Christine. "Asthma: Deadly. . .But Treatable."
3.Parker, Steve. The Human Body: The Lungs and
Respiratory System. Austin: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1997.
4.Parker, Steve. The Lungs and Breathing. New York:Franklin
5.Persson, Carl G. A. "Centennial Notions of Asthma as
6.Sebel, Dr. Peter, et al. The Human Body:Respiration, the
Breath of Life. New York: Torstar Books Inc., 1985.
7.Silverstein, Dr. Alvin, et al. The Respiratory System.
8.Tzimopoulos, Ceanne. Biological Science: A Molecular
Approach. USA: BSCS, 1996.