Asthma is a chronic, reversible inflammatory airway disease. It is one of the most common chronic diseases seen in children. It is more common in women though in children it is more frequent in boys. Asthma is of two types; allergic and non-allergic. The allergic type is more common and occurs after exposure to inhaled allergens like pollens, animal dander, and dust mites. The non-allergic type is related to stress, anxiety, cold air, smoke, and viral infections. In this disorder there is swelling of the airway that restricts the flow of air. The associated muscle spasm further narrows the airway. Breathing becomes difficult and a wheeze can be heard.
The prevalence of asthma in the US in people more than 65 years of age is 5.3%. More than 20 million people in the US suffer from this condition including 9 million children.
Episodes of asthma occur that last for minutes to days. The features include breathlessness, wheezing, tightness in the chest and cough with or without production of sputum. The cough is worse at night. A person may have associated rhinitis, nasal polyps and skin eczema. Other features include cyanosis or bluish discoloration of lips or face, anxiety, rapid heart rate, sweating, and drowsiness or confusion.
The goal of treatment is to control fast worsening symptoms and low oxygen spells. Over the long term, the aim is to keep the inflammation under check to prevent permanent lung damage.
Recommended USANA Support for Asthma
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