Education on "What Is Asthma?"

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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 4/19/2007 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Asthma is a disease that inflames & narrows the airways in your lungs.  When you have asthma, the airwys are sensitive to allergens (triggers).  The muscles that wrap around the airways start to tighten when you come in contact w/triggers.  The airwys also become inflamed.  The lining swells & produces excess mucus.  Then the airways get blocked.  You have a hard time getting air in & out.  This is called an attack/flare-up.  It can last a few min or a few hrs.  Signs of a Flare-Up: Coughing, Wheezing, Shortness of breath, faster breathing.  REMEMBER:  If you are a true asthmatic you DO NOT OUTGROW the disease.  You may become immune to the triggers which previously set off an attack, but new triggers can always raise it's ugle head.  Some people go yrs w/o an attack.  During springtime, many pts are seen because they're asthmatic, traveling to new areas on vacation, become exposed to new triggers & are not prepared.  Please don't be one of these infortunate pts... be prepared - always carry an inhaler (in your pocket/purse -- not in your suitcase).  I had a pt whose wife died on Christmas Day from an attack -- the last attack she had was when she was 12 (she was not in her early 30s).  I've forgotten his name, but I'll never forget his face or his words "No one ever told her".  That is why I strongly believe in asthma education.  Please read some of the other educational postings and the American Lung Association has numerous free info at your disposal.  Thank you for reviewing the material -- I hope this helps.
Respiratory Therapist & Asthma Educator
Info meant for educational purposes only & not as medical advice -- seek MD attention ASAP for any problems.
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