Spring is a season when asthma attacks are common for those who suffer from it. High levels of dust and pollen in the air tend to cause inflammation of the bronchial tubes and can trigger episodes of asthma or allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever.
Here’s an opportunity to ask questions about the causes of asthma and whether this disease can be cured.
Asthma is a genetic disease.
It’s a myth.
Asthma is not considered a genetic disease. However, certain genetic predispositions increase a child’s risk of developing asthma if a parent has it, but this is not automatic.
Asthma is linked to the environment.
It’s a fact.
Asthma is a so-called multifactorial pathology. Environment is one of the factors that can influence its development in individuals. Allergens, smoking and air pollution are among the elements that contribute to the onset of symptoms. Consequently, it is possible to reduce the severity of a person’s asthma by changing their environment.
People with asthma should avoid sporting activities.
It’s a myth.
Sports are strongly recommended because they help improve lung function and can reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. As a result, properly treated asthma is in no way incompatible with practicing sports, regardless of the level of intensity.
Obesity is considered a major risk factor. An accumulation of fat releases substances that increase inflammation of the bronchial tubes and aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Obesity may also cause muscle contraction in the respiratory tract and constrict the airways.
Losing weight can therefore lead to a reduction in symptoms.
Asthma is an incurable disease, but it is possible to manage the symptoms and lead a fully normal life.
A healthy, active lifestyle goes a long way toward limiting symptoms, as does a change of environment (e.g., moving away from a large, more polluted urban centre). Eliminating dust mites in the home (by removing carpets and children’s stuffed toys, using anti-dust mite duvet covers, etc.) can also improve the situation.
Physicians and respirologists may recommend certain treatments to limit the symptoms of asthma. There are two types:
Control treatments: for preventing attacks. Used on a daily basis, they require a few days, or even weeks, to be fully effective. Corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators are the two main families that are primarily prescribed.
Emergency treatments: for relieving attacks. Short-acting bronchodilators help relax the muscles around the airways quickly (in 10 to 15 minutes). If this type of treatment is used more than twice a week, it is a sign that the asthma is poorly controlled.
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