What is Asthma?
In the US alone, at least 25 million people live with asthma, a chronic lung condition in which the passageways through which air normally travels to and in the lungs become inflamed and constricted. This chronic condition causes a sensation of tightness in the chest of varying severity, and it also creates shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and gasping. While asthma generally presents in childhood and continues throughout a person’s life, some people do develop asthma later in life.
So What Should I Know About Asthma?
People with allergies are more likely to develop asthma than people who don’t have allergies. This happens because allergic reactions can cause inflammation of the airways, and repeated episodes may create a chronic condition. Estimates indicate that, “…over 25% of people who have hay fever also develop asthma.” There are other factors that impact whether a person will develop asthma, including the severity and type of their allergies, exposure to tobacco smoke and environmental toxins/pollution, obesity, pregnancy, and genetics.
People with asthma can typically live normal lives once their asthma is under control with treatment and proper medications. They do, however, have to take certain precautions to protect themselves:
- Even mild asthma symptoms are noteworthy. Although they may resolve on their own, people with asthma need to be aware that their symptoms could rapidly worsen and be prepared.
- When severe symptoms present, they must be treated right away to prevent life-threatening breathing problems.
- People with asthma need to carry their medications at all times, which may include oral medications and/or inhalers that help alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Medical alert jewelry is also truly necessary, as during an asthma attack, the person may be unable to communicate and, in severe instances, may lose consciousness. Additionally, EMTs and ER doctors need to know what medications work best (or don't) for you, and a medical alert bracelet is an effective way to communicate that.
Do you wear a Lauren’s Hope medical alert bracelet for your asthma? We want to hear from you!