Test your asthma I.Q.
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True or False: We have no idea what causes asthma.
True or False: You can outgrow asthma.
True or False: Asthma is difficult to diagnose.
True or False: You cannot control your asthma.
True or False: Cockroaches have nothing to do with causing an asthma attack.
What you need to know: Asthma
For more than 25 million people in America, breathing easy is hard work. Asthma causes inflammation in the airways, especially after breathing in something that irritates them. The muscles around the airways also become tighter, making it difficult for air to fill the lungs. When this happens, it can cause symptoms such as:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
This combination of symptoms is called an asthma attack. Yet, every person with asthma experiences it differently.
Some people may have symptoms that are very mild, while others might be more severe. Some people rarely have symptoms, and others might experience them every day.
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it often begins in childhood. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, most children with asthma develop it before age 5. Currently, asthma has no cure. However, there are steps both children and adults can take to monitor their asthma and prevent asthma attacks.
People with asthma should work with their providers to create an asthma action plan, which includes medications management, what to do in the event of an asthma attack and when to go to the emergency room.
Daily medication is not the same as rescue medication, which is taken during an asthma attack. Using both medications properly can help you prevent asthma attacks. Another preventive measure is to identify and avoid asthma triggers. Similar to asthma symptoms, these will vary. Some common asthma triggers include:
- Pet dander
A little less obvious, a cockroach allergy is a common trigger of year-round allergy and asthma attacks. (AAFA.org).
Finally, routine checkups with your provider will help you control your asthma and, if necessary, make adjustments to your action plan.
In the case of a severe asthma attack call 911 and get to the nearest emergency room.
If you need immediate medical care, the ER at Evanston Regional Hospital is here for you. Learn more about Evanston Regional Hospital‘s ER.