Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, variable and reversible spontaneously or with treatment. During the asthma attack, the bronchial tubes become inflamed and reduce the passage of air, causing the symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness in the chest.
If we think of a person without the disease, they will suffer from a lack of air when exposed to irritations, such as smoke from a fire or pneumonia. In front of this picture, the person’s organism identifies the irritating agents and causes the musculature that surrounds the bronchus to contract, reducing the passage of air. The same process happens with a patient who has asthma, but the triggers to cause an irritation in the bronchi are others, such as dust, dust, mold, perfumes, strong odors.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions, affecting around 235 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is estimated that in Brazil, about 3-5% of the population suffers from the problem.
To rate the severity of your asthma, your doctor considers the clinical analysis along with the results of your exams. Determining how severe your asthma helps the doctor to choose the best treatment. In addition, the severity of asthma may change over time, necessitating a readjustment of the medication.
Currently we classify asthma both for its control and for severity. We always consider the last month, having asthma “controlled” when the symptoms are absent and the person leads a normal life, as if he did not even have the disease. In “partially controlled” asthma the symptoms are present but not so frequent. Finally, asthma is “uncontrolled” when symptoms appear frequently.
Controlled: there is no limitation to activities, nor diurnal and nocturnal symptoms, nor use of relief medication (bombs for crisis)
Partially controlled: 1 to 2 times in the last month there was limitation to activities, daytime, nighttime symptoms and / or use of relief medication (crisis bombs)
Uncontrolled: 3 or more times in the last month there was limitation to activities, daytime, nighttime symptoms and / or use of relief medication (crisis bombs)
We also classify asthma for its severity. Asthma is difficult to control when it is difficult to achieve symptom control even with adequate doses of medication. And within this group we have Severe Asthma, when symptoms persist despite the use of high doses of medications in an adequate and regular way, it is the minority of cases.
No one knows exactly what causes asthma, since each person has a sensitivity to different triggers. That way, it is important to understand what causes your asthma attacks and try to reduce exposure to these agents or seek more appropriate treatments.
Here are the most common triggers of asthma:
Substances and allergens
About 80% of people with asthma experience seizures when exposed to airborne substances such as dust mites, pollution , pollen, mold, animal hair, cigarette smoke, and insect particles. Chemicals such as paint, disinfectants and cleaning products can also trigger a crisis. When aspirated, these agents irritate the bronchi, leading to a crisis. Viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu , are also important causes for triggering an asthma attack.