World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma which is observed on every first Tuesday of May to create awareness about the chronic disease asthma . Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs.
If you have asthma your airways are always inflamed. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something triggers your symptoms. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs, causing symptoms such as
shortness of breath
One of the interesting facts about asthma is that a person with a family history of asthma is more likely to develop the disease himself. If one parent has the disease then the person has a 30% chance of developing it whereas if both parents suffer from asthma there is a 70% chance the child will develop asthma.
Asthma symptoms may be triggered by exposure to an allergen (such as ragweed, pollen, animal dander or dust mites), irritants in the air (such as smoke, chemical fumes or strong odors) or extreme weather conditions. Exercise or an illness particularly a respiratory illness or the flu can also make you more susceptible.
A physical display of strong emotion that affects normal breathing patterns such as shouting, crying or laughing can also act as an asthma trigger. Panic can prevent a person with asthma from relaxing and following instructions, which is essential during an asthma attack. Scientists have found that rapid breathing associated with strong emotions can cause bronchial tubes to constrict, possibly provoking or worsening an attack.
Asthma symptoms can appear at any time. Mild episodes may last only a few minutes and may be resolved spontaneously or with medication; more severe episodes can last from hours to days.
People with asthma, like those with any chronic condition, may experience significant stress. Because it is a leading cause of work and school absences, asthma can affect a personâs livelihood, education and emotional well-being. Depression may set in when people diagnosed with asthma believe that they are unable to participate in normal activities.
Is asthma contagious?
For those who are keen on knowing if asthma is contagious, they should understand that although asthma is a chronic disease of the airways and lungs, it is not contagious and it is not spread by any close body contact .
Prevention and long-term control are key in stopping asthma attacks before they start. Treatment usually involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking steps to avoid them and tracking your breathing to make sure your daily asthma medications are keeping symptoms under control. In case of an asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol