Asthma: what does it mean?




Asthma is a disease characterized by more or less severe inflammation of the respiratory tract, and especially of the bronchi and bronchioles (see diagram). It can be seen as difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, or a feeling of tightness in the chest. Asthma is a chronic, often inherited disease that most often manifests as attacks interspersed with periods when breathing is normal. In some people, however, asthma causes permanent difficulty in breathing, which interferes with daily activities. Asthma is often linked to an abnormal reaction of the airways to various stimuli (allergens in the air, smoke, dust, hair and feathers of pets, etc.) and also a reaction to the organism to various foods such as crustaceans. In many people, asthma manifests itself only with occasional attacks, with breathing being normal outside of the attacks.

What can be the causes of asthma?

--The causes of asthma are not well known. We know that they are at the same time genetic, environmental and hereditary.

- Inflammation of the airways causes thick mucus to be produced inside the bronchi, which hinders air circulation. At the same time, the muscles around the bronchi contract, causing the bronchi to "close" (bronchospasm). This is what causes breathing difficulties.

--Asthma is often associated with respiratory allergies, but it is not always allergic in origin. In people with asthma, there is excessive sensitivity of the bronchi (hyperreactivity) to one or more substances.

--The following factors may help trigger an asthma attack or make your breathing more difficult, but they are not the cause of asthma. Airborne allergens (dust, pollen, animal hair and feathers, dust mites) Airborne pollutants (workplace irritants,  fire wood  smoke, exhaust gases, air pollution, tobacco smoke, etc.). Foods (food allergies, seafood, shellfish, etc.) or food additives, such as sulphites. Certain medicines (aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta blockers used for heart problems or high blood pressure). Respiratory tract infections (colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, etc.), because they cause inflammation. Exercise, especially if done outdoors in the winter, in cold, dry weather. Strong emotions (laughter, crying, anger, excitement, emotional shock, etc.), and sometimes sudden changes in temperature.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Asthma symptoms are caused by spasms by bronchial spasms (bronchospasms), a sudden narrowing of the airways to the lungs. While asthma and allergies like hay fever are distinct disorders, they overlap, especially in people under the age of 15. 90% of children with asthma also have allergies, and these in turn can trigger asthma attacks. The reason that bronchospasm can be triggered by allergies is that histamine, the chemical that causes most allergic symptoms, appears to play a role in asthma attacks as well. An asthma attack is regularly accompanied by wheezing; coughing fits, chest congestion, shortness of breath, lips turn bluish, neck veins swell. These various symptoms are often accompanied by immense anxiety about the inability to breathe.

Herbal teas

Various aromatic plants such as: tea, pepper, onion, coriander, eggplant, cabbage, cocoa, carrot, orange, garlic, grapefruit, lemon, bay leaves, lemon zest, little cola, which all contain anti-asthmatic substances.

- Crush together 1 clove of garlic and 1 handful of parsley, mix in sweetened milk and drink at the time of the crisis

--Drink an infusion of bay leaves.

Some practical advice:

-take an anti-acid before going to bed

-Avoid at night foods that cause gastro-oesophageal reflux such as fat (butter, fat, chocolate…), mint.

-Moderate salt consumption and make swimming easier.

- In case of crisis, take a cup of tea.

- Stay away from the kitchen: the smell of food that you are sensitive to can trigger an asthma attack.

NB: Swimming and breathing exercises are strongly recommended for asthmatics.


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