Do you have asthma?
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It is estimated that there are 22 million people diagnosed with asthma in North America; nearly nine million of them are children.
More than 5000 North Americans will die from an asthma attack this year. It is believed a large percentage of those deaths could be prevented through understanding and preventative actions.
WHO IS AT RISK
- Asthma is common, affecting 5 – 10% of the population.
- Asthma is one of the most common conditions of childhood.
- Asthma is closely linked to allergies.
- Asthma can run in families.
- Most but not all people with asthma have allergies.
- Children with a family history of allergy and asthma are more likely to have asthma.
- Although asthma affects people of all ages, it most often starts in childhood.
- More boys have asthma than girls.
- In adulthood, more women have asthma than men.
- Although asthma affects people of all races, African American are more likely than Caucasians to be hospitalized for asthma attacks.
WHAT ASTHMA FEELS LIKE
We will try to demonstrate and explain what asthma feels like.
First, make a tight fist and press it firmly to your lips. Then try to breathe in and then out through your mouth. You should find it very difficult to breathe. That is exactly what asthma is like.
Another way to describe it is to breathe through a straw–you should be able to breathe easily. Think of the straw as one of the airways to your lungs. Now pinch the straw, so that it becomes narrower. Try breathing in and out through the pinched straw. You will find breathing again much harder – that, too is what asthma is like.
Everybody’s asthma is unique; some people may have annual asthma attacks (sometimes called episodes) each year, when they have real difficulty breathing and have to go to Emergency. For others, who never have an attack, asthma is merely an inconvenience.
Up to 10% of North Americans will suffer from asthma symptoms in their lifetime. For some, it can be a chronic respiratory condition, an issue they have to deal with most of their lives. On the other hand, children with asthma often lose their symptoms as they grow older.
In spite of the number of sufferers, the increasing numbers of new cases and the constant threat of attacks, asthma is still one of the most misunderstood health issues of the day. False claims about asthma abound: people believe it’s contagious, or is caused by anxiety, bad parenting, etc. This book dispels these myths and provides you with a positive, controlling outlook on this condition.
Read more: How does asthma work?
GOOD NEWS ABOUT ASTHMA
Unlike other respiratory diseases like bronchitis and emphysema, asthma does not tend to cause permanent damage.
There are excellent prescription medications available from your physician and pharmacist to treat asthma either by relieving symptoms (reliever medications) or by controlling them on a long term basis and preventing attacks (preventer medications).
You can learn to monitor and predict asthma attacks or prevent them altogether.
You can find out what there is in the environment or in your lifestyle that might bring on or trigger an asthma attack or symptoms and take measures to minimize it.
Asthma is not contagious; you cannot pass it on to someone else like the flu or a cold.
Understanding this health condition and working with your physician on a treatment and prevention plan will give you the power to take part in your own treatment and enjoy a healthy, active life without fear of disability or being hospitalized.
The bottom line is that what you thought was a frightening condition can become nothing more than an occasional inconvenience. All the good news above will become more meaningful as you continue reading the information in this site.