The term asthma might be familiar to Burmese people because it is quite common in Myanmar. It is a medical disease that causes chronic bronchitis.
Why do people suffer bronchial asthma?
To be simplified, the cause of asthma is an allergic reaction.
The allergens that can cause allergic reactions are
- 1. Dust and smoke in the environment
- 2. Pollutants from the cars, motorcycle and industries
- 3. Pollen from the flowers
- 4. Pesticides and insecticides
- 5. The allergens such as the fur of the pets
- 6. Others
When we inhale allergens, our bodies respond to those allergens by producing a chemical transmitter called histamine.
Histamine can constrict the bronchi and also increase the rate of respiration so that the inhaled allergens can be flushed out of the body and not to inhale any further allergens.
But the bronchi and bronchioles along the air passage overreact to histamine and that can lead to inflammation of the bronchi and bronchioles. Besides, histamine can trigger muscle construction around the bronchi and so it can also lead to reduction in the size of the airway.
We inhale allergens such as dust, pollutants, gases, smoke, pollen and the fur of the pets etc. but not everyone suffers asthma. This is because of the normal defence mechanism of the body that is different from person to person. When the normal person inhales the allergens, the body prevents itself from entering those allergens,foreign bodies, by one or two times of sneezing as an automatic self defence mechanism.
In people with asthma, when they are exposed to allergens, they get serious reactions by the body.
So, whether or not getting those kinds of serious reactions depends on genes that we have in our cells.
What causes asthma?
When the respiratory tract is narrower than normal, the symptoms such as
- 1. a whistling sound when breathing (wheezing)
- 2. difficulties in breathing
- 3. dry cough
- 4. a tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it may occur.
When do these symptoms happen?
You may already know if there is an asthma patient in your vicinity. The asthma patient may feel the symptoms such as breathlessness on and off. This is why asthma is far different from any other respiratory diseases. Asthma patients may feel normal most of the time but sometimes, the symptoms suddenly get worse. Asthma symptoms can be worse in the early morning, at night and in the winter season.
What are exaggerating factors?
When we inhale the allergens, the body responds to it. So we start feeling the symptoms. If we keep inhaling the allergens, the symptoms will be exaggerated over time.
The severity may vary from person to person.
Severity depends on how our bodies react to the allergens. The more severe the reaction, the worse symptoms the person may suffer.
The following are some exaggerating factors for asthma patients.
- 1. Doing exercises in the early morning
- 2. Catching cold or flu
- 3. Infection such as bacteria and virus like Covid-19 that can attack the lung
- 4. Stress
What are the ages that are prone to asthmatic attack?
People of any age can cause asthma. In some cases, the symptoms may begin at very young ages. And asthma is more common in women than men.
How to treat asthma?
If you suffer the symptoms that I mentioned above, you should see the doctor nearby.
To be summarised, asthma is a chronic disease. So you need to treat that disease regularly. In asthma patients with severe covid-19 infection, the symptoms of asthmatic attack and covid-19 the symptoms are quite serious. So if you think you have the symptoms of asthma, you need to
- 1. Go to hospital immediately
- 2. Take the medicine as doctor prescribed
- Use inhaler if needed
- 3. Avoid the allergens that can cause
- 4. asthmatic attacks.