What happens when you have asthma?

Do you ever feel like your lungs are playing a practical joke on you? Like they’re sitting up in the sky watching you go about your day and suddenly, without warning, they start closing up shop as if to say “ha ha! You thought breathing was a given!” If so, my friend, there’s a chance that you may have asthma. In this article we’ll delve deeper into what happens when you have asthma and what measures can be taken to keep those lungs of yours from going rogue.

The Air We Breathe

To understand how asthma works, let’s first explore the essence of breathing itself. Oxygen is an essential component for our cells to function properly; it allows them to carry out their many duties within our bodies – such as energy production and waste removal. So where does this oxygen come from? That’s right; the air we breathe!

The Role Of Our Lungs

Our respiratory system comprises several organs that work together in unison with one primary mission: ensuring adequate oxygen levels enter our bloodstream while expelling carbon dioxide (CO2). This exchange happens primarily between tiny sacs called alveoli located at the end of bronchial tubes which branch off from larger tracts known as bronchi (think tree branches). It’s through these bronchial tubes that air travels in and out of each lung.

Enter Asthma

Now imagine these once flowy bronchi become inflamed or tightened all inside your chest…that pretty much sums up what happens when asthmatics experience symptoms. As someone who has suffered countless attacks over the course of their life (yes I’m speaking from personal experience), I’d describe this feeling akin to trying to breath through not sharp but rather stubbornly squeaky pipes installed directly into my lungs.

But Why Does This Happen?

Asthma triggers vary between individuals, but common factors include allergies, smoke or air pollution inhalation (thanks universe for something else to blame cigarettes for), exercise and yes…even extreme emotions like laughter. The real villains here though are mast cells found within our bronchi; quickly releasing histamines into the surrounding tissues when activated by one of these triggers.

Hold Up – Mast Cells?

That’s right folks, mast cells aren’t anything new. They’re actually vital components in our immune system that work as first responders when there is an attack on our health – identifying irritants so other parts of our defense mechanism can swing into action. Think of them as the alarms on a car window… sure you may have forgotten they even existed before someone breaks in trying to steal your radio- but once triggered those little buggers won’t shut up! That’s exactly what happens with asthmatics during various attacks; their alarm system goes haywire triggering further inflammation and muscle contractions around bronchioles leading certain receptors to close off nearly completely- narrowing the flow of good ole oxygenated air straight outta your life.

Symptoms

As if feeling like an inflatable balloon losing all its puff wasn’t enough to deal with- Asthma sufferers are unfortunately susceptible to several acute symptoms:

Wheezing

The wonderful sound emitted from closure sounds like ‘WheeeZe’ that notifies everyone within proximity (and sometimes outside) that you’re feeling more than just whelmed by this breathing situation.

Chest Tightness

It’s like every breath is used arming myself for battle against evil lung-stealing wizards instead of merely participating in basic conversations (sigh)

Shortness Of Breath

“wait I don’t need sleep lmao let me spend my night gasping”.

For some individuals-such as myself-these symptoms can be chronic while others experience brief episodes at irregular intervals. Regardless it leaves both parties constantly preparing for a potential asthma attack- carrying inhalers and nebulizers with them to every meeting, date and slightly inconvenient bathroom stall.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis

Perhaps you’ve been reading this article just nodding along; itching for us to get to the part where we finally figure out if your symptoms are “normal” or in fact indicative of an underlying medical condition (we all know google diagnostics aren’t always the most reliable…).

So let me ask:

  1. Have You Experienced Episodes Of Wheezing?
  2. Have You Felt Chest Tightness Or Shortness Of Breath Especially During Exercise?
  3. Did Your Asthma-Loving Family Members Happen To Pass It On To Ya?

If 1+2= YES: There’s a chance that you may be suffering from an asthma-related issue especially if it’s noticeably affecting daily routine activities such as walking up stairs without wheezing like Taylor Swift hitting notes on ‘Love Story’ karaoke night.

And because some semblance of bureaucracy must exist even here, after speaking with a healthcare professional they’ll generally recommend one or several tests involved including spirometry examinations where patients blow into tubes measuring lung capacity then compared against healthy individuals around their same demographics – again using those scores to outline additional treatment options moving forward.

Treatment

But don’t worry too much there are many well-documented measures that asthmatics can use in order to keep inflammation levels low allowing airways roomy enough breathing space:

Inhaler Usage:

Inhalers containing beta-agonists that work by relaxing bronchial muscles specifically when suffering from mild attacks allowing areas which had previously closed off access again! Overusing can result in tachycardia however so our usage should ideally stay within what has been prescribed by our specialists.

Nebulizers:

Nebulisers operate similarly yet provide more consistent doses over slightly longer periods of usage (always listen to your healthcare professional for optimal treatment plans) via mist dispersal through mouthpieces attached the same way an usual inhaler would be.

Medications:

Other anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids can lower inflammation which, when used consistently and as guided, can essentially stop asthma in its tracks – with significantly less side effects than previous variations. Additionally checking out our helpful neighbours’ over-the-counter solutions such Salbutamol, Flixotide or Becotide may prove useful too!

Reducing Triggers

In addition to medication/therapy options; We all know avoiding triggers plays a huge part in reducing these possible outbreaks especially during hay fever season yall-but how do we identify what they are? Simple answer is: Test it. Generally trial and error reigns supreme here so keeping a diary documenting fluctuations on different weeks could help pinpoint environmental aspects causing more flair ups- from there figuring out efficient ways to avoid smoke or dust buildups even being mindful of workout environments can make difference.

Conclusion

At the end of the day having asthma isn’t an instant death sentence,this medical condition has come leaps and bounds within recent years- With hereditary risks decreasing alongside innovative techniques regarding treatments accurately executed regularly hence becoming mainstream(can you say precision medicine), asthmatic patients receive symptom relief allowing them organically go about their daily lives without unnecessary restrictions…of course that’s not to forget certain emergency situations where proper care must still presented accordingly but hey what doesn’t involve at least some element of caution?

Now that we’ve explored both basics/nitty-gritties concerning said ailment together,hopefully you’ve gleaned further insight into what occurs during asthmatic symptoms; but also assured knowing that assistance exists whenever needed-ranging from specialists offering comprehensive evaluations/treatment options due diligence/test procedures ensuring personalized regulation. Just remember; Like with any other variable featured throughout existence if something isn’t quite good, there’ll always be ways to move forward figuring out solutions amicably,no need to panic- Unless of course that’s simply another trigger in which case let’s try breathing exercises inste……before we start wheezing again.

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