Asthma affects many people worldwide. Statistics show that at least one in thirteen people suffers from this condition. This number will continue to increase due to pollution and the presence of more allergens in the environment. The disease can significantly influence a person’s quality of life and health. Asthma attacks can even be fatal. The presence of existing ENT problems like post-nasal drips, acute or chronic sinusitis is well known to exacerbate asthma attacks; hence, regular visits to an ENT specialist will be necessary. In this article, we will examine the reasons behind this condition and its risk factors.
What is an asthma attack?
Before looking at our main topic, we should understand what an asthma attack is. It occurs when a person is unable to control their asthma effectively with medications. Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs of an individual. It makes the airway narrow and swollen, and it may even produce extra mucus. Therefore, breathing will be difficult, and a person could be triggered to cough, wheeze and suffer from shortness of breath.
If medications fail to control asthma, it could lead to asthma symptoms like sudden and severe shortness of breath with frequent cough and wheezing. The chest may also feel tight and could be painful. Although quick-acting inhalers can calm mild attacks at home; however, severe attacks will not respond to this and are life-threatening. Therefore, a person will need to receive immediate treatment for asthma and evaluate ENT services to trigger diseases in the nose and sinuses.
What are the reasons behind an asthma attack?
There are many reasons a person could suffer from an asthma attack. Some of them are listed below.
Cold and Flu
These respiratory illnesses affect a person’s lungs, narrowing airways and producing significant amounts of mucus. While an average person may not suffer from wheezing or shortness of breath, these symptoms can quickly develop if they have asthma. If they are not treated immediately by a medical centre, an asthma attack can occur.
It is not recommended for anyone to inhale smoke, but this is especially important for asthma patients. Regardless of their source, smoke irritates the airway, causing it to become narrow and swell. The body can also produce sticky mucus due to the extensive irritants that smoke contains. Harmful gases and particles can also affect the lungs, triggering a cough and tightening the airways even further. All of this results in an asthma attack.
If a person is allergic to something, they need to be careful as the body’s response to allergies can be similar to asthmatic symptoms, such as constricted airways and mucus production. This could lead to an asthma attack.
What are the risk factors?
While there are hereditary factors that can make someone vulnerable to developing asthma, others also put a person at risk.
If there is a family history of asthma, then a person will be genetically predisposed to catching the disease. If a parent has the condition, their child is three to six times more likely to have it than a child whose parent does not have asthma.
Certain allergies like allergic rhinitis, post-nasal drip, chronic sinusitis, acute sinusitis, hay fever can trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms. If a person has ENT symptoms or allergies, they will need to inform their ENT doctor.
Some aspects at workplaces, such as chemical fumes and vapours, wood dust, and mould, can result in people developing asthma. If a person has the condition, then these elements could trigger an attack.
If a person catches viral infections that affect the respiratory system, it can lead to asthma development. Children are most vulnerable to this.
The above information is just a brief look at risk factors that influence asthma and a few reasons behind an attack. If you or your loved one has asthma symptoms, they need to visit a family medicine clinic and receive treatment. Early intervention will help control the condition better.