Asthma is a chronic lung disease that narrows and inflames the airways (the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs). These blocked airways cause breathing difficulty resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.
Asthma is basically divided in to two groups- allergic asthma and non- allergic asthma. The allergic asthma’s symptoms are usually triggered by an allergic reaction. This type of asthma is the most popular one. The factors that trigger the allergic asthma symptoms are dust mite allergen, pet dander, mold, pollen, etc.
The non- allergic asthma is the less popular one. It is not associated with an allergic reaction, instead it is triggered by factors such as stress, dry air, cold air, anxiety, exercise, smoke, hyperventilation, viruses or other irritants.
Some interesting facts and statistics about asthma:
- There are around 300 million people with the disease in the world, 20 million of them in the United States.
- There are around 7.4 million children with asthma, which is more than 9% of the children in the world.
- Workplace conditions are responsible for around 11% of all this disease cases in the world.
- Estimates show that the number of people suffering from it will grow by 100 million until 2025.
- Asthma was responsible for over 3000 death in the US in 2005, which means that more than 8 people died from the disease every day.
- In the past 10 years asthma rated among colored children has increase by 50%.
- Women are more likely to have it than man, but boys are more likely than girls.
- Asthma accounts for nearly 15 million school days missed each year and 25 million missed work days.
- If one of the parents has asthma there is a 30% chance that the child will also have asthma, if both parents have asthma the chances grow up to 70%.
- Asthma is estimated to cost Americans over 16 billion dollars every year.
Unfortunately traditional medicine has not yet discovered a cure for asthma. Instead there are ways to control the symptoms of asthma. Generally there are two types of asthma treatments- Long term asthma treatment and quick relief medications. The long term treatment is used to control asthma symptoms on a day by day basis while the quick relief medications are used whenever a flare-up occurs.
As I said traditional medicine has not yet developed a cure for asthma, but another type of medicine called homeopathy claims to fight the disease in its roots. It is not yet fully proved that it can help but there are more and more encouraging studies on the subject.