Asthma: Understanding Its Impact and Complications on the Respiratory System
The Respiratory Battle: Understanding Asthma’s Growing Impact and Causes
There are many different people who don’t think that asthma can cause many complications. Asthma is considered a killer disease because you most definitely can die from asthma. There are about eleven Americans die from asthma each day. There are more than 4,000 deaths due to asthma each year. It also is considered a contributing factor to about 7,000 deaths per year. African Americans are more likely to die than Caucasians. African-American women have the highest mortality rate of all groups. It is 2.5 higher than Caucasians. As asthma is constantly growing, there is a great chance that you might come in contact with this disease. In this paper, I will discuss asthma and how it affects the respiratory system.
Asthma is considered to be a chronic disease of the respiratory system. This disease causes the passages that enable air to pass into the lungs narrow and unable to pass. When the lungs are narrow, it causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The narrowing of the passages is usually temporary. In severe asthma attacks, passages remain narrow, which can lead to death. Asthma is most commonly known as bronchial asthma, which is considered to be an inflammation of the airways.
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Bronchial is also referred to by the term cardiac asthma, which occurs when fluid builds up in the lungs. Cardiac asthma is a result or complication of heart failure. There are more than seventeen million americans who suffer from asthma. Of those seventeen million people, five million of them are children under the age of 18. Nearly 5,500 deaths occur each year in the United States. Asthma can occur in all ages and all ethnic groups of people. Researchers find it interesting that asthma is found greater in poor neighborhoods, in areas with cold climates, and in industrialized countries.
Asthma has increased tremendously between the year of 1982 and 1994. This increase between 1982 and 1994 was seen more in children. The morbidity rate increased tremendously by more than 55 percent. Many scientists think that this increase was due to being exposed to secondhand smoke, polluted areas, and poor circulation areas.
Asthma’s Intricacies: Breathing, Heredity, Allergens, and Diagnosis
Breathing is very important in dealing with asthma because, as stated, asthma affects the respiratory system. In the human body, all cells require oxygen to function. Every breath that we take, air will travel to the lungs and through several airways. After air passes through the mouth and throat, the air moves through the larynx. After the air passes through the larynx, it then goes through the windpipe. The trachea is divided into two branches; they are called the left and right bronchus. These two branches are connected to the lungs. Next, the air moves through the bronchi, where they are divided into smaller air passages. In the lungs, oxygen is diffused within the alveoli walls and then into the blood capillaries. This is how asthma affects breathing because if something doesn’t allow oxygen to reach the alveoli, the body can’t receive oxygen.
Oftentimes times, people don’t know that asthma can be inherited or passed down from their parents. Asthma can also occur even if a patient doesn’t have any family history of asthma in their family. Asthma is also caused by allergies; if you suffer from allergies, you may be more likely to have asthma. Asthma that occurs from allergies often times begins in children but can also happen in adults. The most common allergens that cause asthma are grass, mold, pollen, and grass.
These types of allergens can cause sneezing, wheezing, and a runny nose. Due to the allergens, the lungs can become irritated and can most definitely cause an asthma attack. Also, respiratory infections can cause asthma also. Respiratory infections can cause long-term effects such as shortness of breath and wheezing. Scientists found that the respiratory virus is the number one cause of asthma attacks. Severe asthma can cause you to stay home from school and work.
Asthma is not diagnosed without a breathing test. Americans who think that they might have asthma have to go to their healthcare provider. Their healthcare provider can order a breathing test so that asthma can be diagnosed.
- The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Asthma Statistics
- The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Data on Asthma
- “Asthma: Epidemiology, etiology and risk factors” – A review in the journal “Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine”