World Asthma Day appeared 20 years ago, so that people knew more about this disease and knew how to take care of themselves and loved ones. There is something to worry about. According to the World Health Organization, 235 million people suffer from asthma. This is one of the most common non-communicable diseases. However, many cases are not diagnosed, and people in need of treatment do not receive it. Here's what you need to know about asthma.

Asthma causes inflammation.

Asthma causes chronic inflammation of the airways. During an attack, the tissues react to an irritant (smoke, dust, chemicals, even physical exertion and cold): smooth muscles contract strongly, mucus is released, so the gaps through which air goes narrow. Because of this, it is difficult for a person to breathe, he wheezes and coughs. In fact, asthma is the body’s immune response.

The prevalence of asthma does not decrease over the years and even increases. Medical scientists accumulate Asthma Treatment Practices and try to explain this using the hygienic hypothesis. Its essence is that if in childhood a person lives clean and rarely encounters bacteria and viruses, then his immune system develops incorrectly and subsequently reacts violently even where it is not necessary. Also, the development of the disease is affected by dirty air, heredity and the presence of allergies.

In severe or acute bronchial asthma, a person breathes through the mouth during an attack, using the muscles of the shoulders, neck and trunk to facilitate breathing through the narrowed airways. In addition, when the airways are narrowed, inhaling is easier than exhaling. This happens because inhalation is a routine for our body, and the chest muscles are trained on this movement.

Exhalation, on the contrary, normally occurs passively, i.e. without special efforts, so the muscles are not developed enough to remove air through the narrowed airways. As a result, air remains in the lungs and they become bloated.

By the way, in young people who have been suffering from asthma for a long time, it is because of this that the so-called “pigeon chest” develops. In severe acute bronchial asthma, the previously “wheezing” chest can become “dumb” without the sounds of a whistle. This is due to the fact that the amount of inhaled and exhaled air is so small that sounds cannot be heard.

Asthma slows down adolescent development
Scientists have long suspected that asthma affects the development of adolescents, but studies have yielded conflicting results, and in addition have not been conducted in the best way. In 2016, the connection between the disease and growth was tried to clarify by Australian scientists led by Maria Movin. To do this, they measured the growth of 316 children for several years, some of whom were diagnosed with asthma at the age of eight, while the rest did not.

The results are different depending on gender. Asthma did not affect the development of boys, but asthma girls, compared with healthy peers, were almost four times more likely to have stunted growth. True, the scientists themselves admit that the conclusions for the boys are not final: the children were followed up to 14 years old, and by this age guys, unlike girls, often continue to grow, so the delay may occur later.

Asthma Increases Risk of Mental Disorders

A recent study by the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan showed that asthma and seasonal allergies increase the risk of mental disorders. Scientists processed the data of more than 186 thousand patients. Among those who had allergic diseases, mental disorders developed in 10.8% of people, and in the control group only 6.7% gained them. In other words, the risks for asthmatics and allergy sufferers were 1.66 times higher.

Why asthma and allergies are associated with mental disorders is not completely clear. This is probably the immune system. The inflammation caused by the disease increased the concentration of protective substances, but these substances could harm the brain and lead to mental problems. At the same time, asthma medications reduced the risk of mental disorders.

Asthma May Lower Potency
Doctors have long noticed that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are often worried about erectile dysfunction. Presumably, the reason lies in the ongoing inflammation. Asthma is also an inflammatory lung disease, so scientists from the Taiwanese Institute of Clinical Medicine decided to check if it leads to problems in the male part.

Researchers selected 3466 recently diagnosed adult asthmatics from the national medical records database. Then they looked at how many people had a record of erectile dysfunction over the years. There were about 1% of them, almost twice as many as in the control group. The more often men went to the doctor because of asthma, the higher the risk of encountering problems in bed.

It’s impossible to recover from asthma
There is no remedy that would completely relieve asthma. True, if the disease began in childhood, the symptoms may disappear over the years (and then come back again - here you are lucky). Adult hopes for this are less. However, the disease can be controlled. Rescue Inhaler Use in Your Asthma Treatment Plan helps: some use during an attack, others regularly, so that the attack does not start.

There are also several types of supportive medications, special breathing exercises. In recent years, in severe cases, an operation is performed, bronchial thermoplasty: a tube is inserted into the airways and heated to allow heat to penetrate into the lungs and dry the tissues. This method is new, so the long-term effects are unknown. In Russia, it is not used.

It is better not to neglect treatment. According to the WHO, only in 2015, 383 thousand people worldwide died from asthma.

Author's Bio: 

Writer