Pollen And Its Effect On The Body
Part of a plants reproductive system, pollen consists of microscopic particles that must be transferred to various areas of a plants reproductive parts to produce viable seeds. Bees and other insects cross-pollinate plants, as well as wind. Pollen counts are based on how much pollen is in a cubic meter of air measured over 24 hours.;
What does pollen do to your body? Pollen is responsible for many seasonal allergy symptoms, as well as asthma. Common sources of pollen-producing asthma come from plants such as ragweed, lamb’s quarters, Russian thistle, Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, Johnson and Timothy grasses, and various wind-pollinated trees like ash, elm, oak, hickory, box elder, pecan, and mountain cedar.
What Are The Symptoms
Asthma can be different for everyone. Asthma symptoms can also vary over time, with few or no symptoms when asthma is well controlled. The common signs and symptoms of poorly controlled asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping because of breathing difficulty
- Being unable to take part in physical activities without breathing difficulty
These symptoms can occur slowly over hours or days, or they can come on as sudden, recurring attacks after which the symptoms can persist for some time before disappearing. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent structural changes in your airways called airway remodelling, which is why it is important to get your asthma under control and keep treating it over the long term.
How Do Allergies Make Asthma Worse
If you have allergies, your immune system reacts to an allergen like it’s an unwanted invader. To fight it off, the immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E .
When the IgE combines with the allergen, it starts a process to release substances designed to protect the body. One of these is histamine. Histamine;causes allergic reactions that can affect the eyes, nose, throat, skin, and lungs.
When the airways in the lungs are affected, it can bring on symptoms of asthma .
The body remembers this reaction. Each time the allergen comes into contact with the body, the same thing can happen. Because of that, allergies can make it difficult for some people to keep their asthma under control.
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Can Asthma Get Worse At Different Times In My Life
There are certain stages in your life that might affect your asthma. For example, some women find that being pregnant can make asthma either better or worse;and hormonal changes, at;puberty, menopause or during the menstrual cycle;might have an impact too.
There are lots of other life changes that might temporarily affect your asthma symptoms.;Stress, for example, whether from a relationship breakdown or family illness, can make symptoms worse.
Having frequent asthma attacks can also make asthma worse over time. Asthma attacks can cause scarring in your airways which makes them narrower. This is sometimes called airway remodelling.
If your airways are scarred and narrow, youre more likely to have worse symptoms more often.;;;
Why Do People Get Asthma
Research has yet to show a definitive cause of asthma. However, researchers have determined several risk factors that can lead to asthma development.
Family History and Genetics
Children of mothers with asthma are three times more likely to suffer from asthma, and 2.5 times more likely if the father has asthma. More than 30 genes have been linked to asthma so far, and gene-gene interactions, gene-environment interactions and epigenetic modifications also play a part. Genetic differences also play a role in differences in response to treatment.
People are more likely to have asthma if they have certain types of allergies, such ones which can affect the eyes and nose. However, not everyone who has allergies will get asthma and not everyone who has asthma is affected by allergies. Respiratory allergies and some types of asthma are related to an antibody called immunoglobulin E , which the immune system produces in response to allergens. To protect the body, the IgE causes allergic reactions that can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin.
Children born before 37 weeks are at increased risk of developing asthma later in life.
Babies or small children may be at risk of developing asthma later in life if they had certain lung infections at a very early age.
Women can develop adult-onset asthma during or after menopause.
Environment Air Quality
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How Can I Stop My Asthma Getting Worse Over Time
The best way to stop your asthma getting worse over time is to stick to a good routine of taking your preventer medicines as prescribed.
And if you notice your symptoms are getting worse, see your GP or asthma nurse as soon as possible so they can review your treatment.
You can also cut your risk of frequent asthma attacks, and your asthma getting worse, by stopping smoking.
Having an;asthma review;at least once a year, gives you a chance to talk through any symptoms or new triggers. You can check youre on the right medicine and that youre using your inhaler in the right way to get the most benefits.
You can also talk to your GP or asthma nurse about whether you need a higher dose or an add-on treatment to help with symptoms.
What Happens During An Asthma Attack
Reviewed byDr Hayley Willacy
Asthma is a common condition that affects the smaller airways . From time to time the airways narrow in people who have asthma. The typical symptoms are wheeze, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. The extent of the narrowing, and how long each episode lasts, can vary greatly.
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Asthma Caused By Allergies
An estimated 25 million Americans have asthma, a chronic illness of the respiratory system that involves inflammation and constriction of airways, as well as increased mucus production. Asthma is usually the result of hypersensitivity to certain triggers such as allergens, air temperature fluctuations, exercise, or stress.
Individuals suffering from asthma usually experience breathlessness, tightness in the chest, and wheezing during symptomatic episodes. Coughing may occur at night or in the early morning. All these symptoms are the result of constricted airflow and respiratory inflammation and can be treated. Allergens like pollen can cause the body to release large amounts of histamine, exacerbating asthma by increasing mucus production in the lungs and creating inflammatory responses in the lung tissue
Histamines can also cause muscle contractions in the small branches of the lungs, resulting in wheezing and tightness in the chest.;
What Body System Does Asthma Affect
Sensory neurons in the vagal ganglia moderate respiratory responses such as coughing, and earlier studies have shown that the nervous system modulates asthma symptoms. This allergy causes asthma-like symptoms: airway hyperreactivity and constriction of the airways.
Also, can asthma cause other health problems? In rare cases, asthma can lead to a number of serious respiratory complications, including: pneumonia a collapse of part or all of the lung. respiratory failure, where the levels of oxygen in the blood become dangerously low, or the levels of carbon dioxide become dangerously high.
Keeping this in view, how Does asthma affect the respiratory system and circulatory system?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The disease manifests as recurrent attacks of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. During an asthma attack, the muscles surrounding the airways contract, limiting the amount of air supply to the lungs.
Does asthma affect the brain?
Asthma primarily affects the lungs, but can impact brain function through direct and indirect mechanisms. Some studies have suggested that asthma negatively impacts cognition, while others have failed to identify asthma-related cognitive compromise.
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What To Do During An Asthma Attack Or Flare
An asthma attack can come on gradually or quite quickly .The symptoms to look out for include:
- Increasing wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing.
- Needing to use a reliever again within three hours of last taking it.
- Waking often at night with asthma symptoms.
An asthma attack can become life threatening if not treated properly, even in someone whose asthma is usually mild or well controlled.
If someone is getting an asthma attack, follow the instructions in their asthma action plan. If they dont have an action plan or you arent sure what to do, follow the four steps of asthma first aid.
Tingling Or Numbness In Your Hands And Feet
It can be completely innocent. But in some cases it can mean that your body is attacking nerves that send signals to your muscles. People who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance, may have numbness that starts in their legs then moves up to their arms and chest.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy has symptoms similar to the demyelinating form of GBS , but while GBS lasts two weeks to 30 days. CIDP lasts much longer.
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Is Asthma The Same For Everyone
Everyone with asthma has their own personal set of triggers and symptoms. Using a is the best way to keep a record of your individual treatment plan.
You can have a certain type of asthma too. For example, occupational asthma is caused by triggers in your workplace. Around 4% of people with asthma have a type of asthma called;severe asthma, which needs specialist treatment because the usual medicines dont keep symptoms under control.
Food Allergies And Food
If you have a food allergy, having asthma can make allergic reactions worse. If your health care provider has said you have a food allergy, then staying away from the food is the only way to prevent problems. Visit;Kids With Food Allergies;for more information that applies to children as well as adults.
Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis . This reaction usually involves more than one part of the body and can worsen quickly. Anaphylaxis must be treated right away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.
A severe food allergy reaction can cause trouble breathing. It may be hard to know if you are having a food allergy reaction or an asthma attack. Here are some ways to know the difference:
- If you are only coughing, wheezing or having trouble breathing, and do not have any symptoms from other body systems, its probably asthma. Follow your Asthma Action Plan.
- If you had asthma symptoms before eating food, its probably asthma. Follow your Asthma Action Plan.
- Food allergy symptoms usually come on quickly, after you eat the food you are allergic to.
- Severe allergic reactions involve two or more body systems. An allergic reaction may involve breathing difficulties, hives, swelling, itchy mouth and throat, nausea or vomiting. Follow your Anaphylaxis Action Plan.
If you have a food allergy, remember:
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How Do My Airways React To Triggers
If you have asthma you have sensitive airways that are inflamed and ready to react when they come into contact with something they don’t like.
If you come into contact with one of your;asthma triggers;it causes your airways to react in three ways:
These reactions in the airways make it difficult to breathe and lead to asthma symptoms, such as chest tightness, wheezing, or coughing. It can also lead to an asthma attack.
Does Asthma Cause Permanent Damage
The airway obstruction of asthma is generally completely reversible and usually does not cause permanent damage to the lungs, heart, or other organs. However, severe acute episodes of asthma can be associated with life threatening events and even fatalities. Survival of severe life threatening events can be associated with damage from lack of oxygen during the severe exacerbation, and lack of oxygen to the brain can cause loss of consciousness and brain damage.
Chronic asthma with ongoing airway inflammation may also be associated with what is called “remodeling” of the airways. This describes permanent changes occurring in the tissues surrounding the airways that results in permanent narrowing of airways. The potential for this emphasizes the importance of monitoring pulmonary function in patients with asthma at regular intervals, particularly those with a chronic pattern of asthma.
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How Do Your Airways Work When You Have Asthma
When you have asthma, your airways aren’t able to function as well as they should.
- Chest tightness
Asthma causes inflammation, or swelling, in the lungs. It can also cause squeezing, called bronchoconstriction , and extra sensitive or twitchy airways.
When something bothers your airways, you have trouble breathing. This is;called an asthma attack or episode.;It gets harder to breathe because the tiny muscles around your airways squeeze tightly and they have swelling inside.
Your airways will make more mucus inside your airways, which makes it even harder to breathe. These changes in your airways can cause coughing and wheezing.
There is no cure for asthma. But you can take steps to manage it. If you have asthma, it’s important to see an asthma specialist, like an allergist or pulmonologist, to come up with the right asthma treatment plan. Medicines and avoiding asthma triggers can help reduce swelling and relax tight muscles in your airways.
ASTHMA Care for Adults
Homeostasis And Its Relation To Asthma
What is homeostasis? Like most medical terms, theres a dictionary definition, but thats not always very helpful in understanding what a concept actually looks like and how it operates in the body.;Biology dictionaries define homeostasis as the tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions. In terms of asthma, homeostasis refers to your body’s respiratory system functioning correctly without increases in inflammation or other parts of the pathophysiology of asthma negatively impacting you. If that definition seems overly complicated and contrived, dont worry, we will be discussing what it means and how it relates to the body thoroughly.
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What Happens To The Body In A Person Diagnosed With Asthma
The underlying mechanism of asthma is usually a chronic inflammation of the airways, which is exacerbated by triggers .
Airway Hyperresponsiveness describes the predisposition for the airways to respond to triggers in an exaggerated and reactive way. It involves an increased sensitivity to triggers as well as an excessive constriction of the airways when exposed to them .
When exposed to triggers, the airways undergo physical changes that result in intermittent airway narrowing. These are:
- Bronchoconstriction: The smooth muscle in the wall of the airways contracts, becoming tighter and narrower. This muscle contracts more easily and strongly in people with asthma.
- Inflammation and swelling of the airway walls, reducing space.
- Excessive mucus production, which blocks the inside of the airways.
There is no single reliable test to diagnose asthma. Diagnosis is based on the individuals history, physical examination, considering other diagnoses and noting variable airflow limitation. Spirometry is the recommended method for confirming the diagnosis, assessing severity and monitoring asthma .
What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
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What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
What Does Asthma Feel Like
There are three major signs of asthma:
- Airway blockage. When you breathe as usual, the bands of muscle around your airways are relaxed, and air moves freely. But when you have asthma, the muscles tighten. Itâs harder for air to pass through.
- Inflammation. Asthma causes red, swollen bronchial tubes in your lungs. This inflammation can damage your lungs. Treating this is key to managing asthma in the long run.
- Airway irritability. People with asthma have sensitive airways that tend to overreact and narrow when they come into contact with even slight triggers.
These problems may cause symptoms such as:
- Coughing, especially at night or in the morning
- Wheezing, a whistling sound when you breathe
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping because of breathing problems
Not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another.
Some people with asthma may go for long periods without having any symptoms. Others might have problems every day. In addition, some people may have asthma only during exercise or with viral infections like colds.
When to see your doctor
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