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Do You Have Asthma?

Aug 17, 2007
The number of newly diagnosed asthma cases in the United States has risen dramatically over the past ten to fifteen years. Part of the reason may be due to the availability of better medical care and early diagnostic methods used by many doctors today. More people may be willing to visit their doctors for breathing-related difficulties than in previous generations. But it is also likely that more people are afflicted with asthma than ever before due to a number of environmental factors like pollution, pesticides, and even building insulation.

With increased industrialization, more factories are burning more fuel and releasing greater amounts of waste products into the air. Since a significant percentage of the population now lives in urban areas, they are undoubtedly feeling the effects of chronic exposure to airborne toxins. Conversely, even in rural areas improved technology is impacting the way that farmers grow crops and control pests. Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers may help to ensure better crops, but runoff from fields where these substances are used can get into the water system or food products and lead to the development as asthmatic-type symptoms.

Although many people do not know if they have asthma, there are some symptoms to look for that may indicate the presence or development of this chronic condition. The most obvious clue, and one that should be checked promptly by a doctor, is shortness of breath. This may come and go or show up only when a person is exposed to certain triggers, often allergens like dust, pet dander, or household chemicals. Some foods can bring on an asthma attack, especially nuts, eggs, and shellfish, although others are likewise culprits. See your doctor promptly if you develop a breathing disorder, and if you experience difficulty catching your breath, seek emergency assistance.

Other possible signs and symptoms of asthma include a dry cough, chronic allergy symptoms like sneezing or watery eyes, wheezing, and other related breathing changes. Asthma causes the airway to become congested, which tightens the throat and lungs, making it harder for air to pass through. This is what leads to breathing difficulties.

No matter how probable it may be that you or a loved one is showing signs of asthma, you will need to see the doctor for an accurate diagnosis and a prescription for treatment. You may need to use a bronchodilator, which blows a special medical vapor into your throat and lungs to ease constriction. Prescription medications can help, as can avoiding obvious or suspected triggers. Controlling allergic symptoms by removing household or job-related allergens also can help to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Some doctors supplement conventional treatment with herbal remedies, but check with your physician before taking over-the-counter medications or formulas.

Asthma can be a serious condition and may even become life threatening for some. Work with your doctor to get the best care and improve your condition, or that of a loved one, to avoid serious complications from this chronic condition.
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Do you need more information on treatments for asthma? Visit The Asthma Directory at http://www.asthma-dir.com
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