Things to Know about Asthma Etiology

Asthma is a chronic illness of the airways marked by inflammation and airway constriction. Shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma. It is most frequently diagnosed in children and is frequently related with eczema and hay fever. The assessment and treatment of asthma, as well as the interprofessional team’s role in the management of individuals with this ailment. Asthma is a broad group of disorders with a wide diversity of manifestations. The acknowledged risk factors for asthma are a genetic predisposition, more precisely a personal or family history of atopy (predisposition to allergies, typically shown as eczema, hay fever, or asthma). Asthma is also linked to smoking and other inflammatory chemicals or particulate matter.

Although the aetiology is complex and not fully understood, particularly when it comes to predicting which children with paediatric asthma will develop asthma as adults (up to 40% of children have a wheeze, but only 1% of adults have asthma), it is widely agreed that it is a multifactorial disease influenced by both genetics and environmental exposure. Asthma is a prevalent disease that affects around 15% to 20% of individuals in affluent nations and approximately 2% to 4% of persons in less developed countries. It is far more prevalent in children. Up to 40% of children may have wheezing at some time, which, when reversible with beta-2 agonists, is referred to be asthma, independent of lung function testing. Asthma is connected with cigarette smoking and inhaled particles, and so are more prevalent in those exposed to these environmental pollutants. Sometimes simply reading some asthma quotes can help with relief.

Asthma is more prevalent in boys during childhood, with a male to female ratio of 2:1 until adolescence, when the ratio becomes 1:1. After puberty, females have a higher frequency of asthma, and adult-onset cases after the age of 40 years are mostly female. Asthma prevalence is higher at extreme ages due to decreased airway responsiveness and lung function. Around 66 percent of asthma cases are diagnosed before the age of 18 years. Almost half of children with asthma get a reduction in severity or complete remission of symptoms throughout early adulthood.

It’s that time of year when the temperatures begin to drop and the morning air begins to feel crisp. The leaves begin to turn and before you know it, it’s as if we’re living in a fairytale, such is the beauty outdoors. Around us, pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides, and fall festivals abound. Autumn is a wonderful season for a great many people. For asthmatics like myself, it may be a season of conflicting emotions. We had never fully experienced four seasons, except for the decorating aspect, until four years ago, when my husband (who was also born and raised in Southern California) and I, along with our children, decided we needed a change and relocated to the Midwest. I admit that I was both delighted and worried since I was familiar with how my lungs functioned in coastal settings but had no idea how they would function in a completely different environment.

I recall how much the humidity affected my lungs during my first summer in the Midwest four years ago. It seemed as if I were breathing through a damp blanket that I couldn’t escape from whenever I went outdoors. Fortunately, almost everywhere we went (except from our house) had air conditioning. I couldn’t wait for fall to arrive so I could finally see it personally. What I was unprepared for was the fall season in the Midwest. Farmers ploughing fields, bonfires aplenty, new allergies that I had never experienced before moving, and significant weather swings. All of these factors combine to create a formula for catastrophe for certain asthmatics.

Here are a few techniques that have helped me manage my asthma as the seasons change.

In the Midwest, there is a proverb that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes,” and this has shown to be true time and time again! I chuckled when I initially heard this, but they weren’t kidding! Personally, during the day, I’ll check a couple different weather apps on my phone and plan appropriately. Another fantastic feature is the ability to monitor our air quality and allergy data. Particular applications will even give you alerts for certain events that you choose in advance.

This may sound repetitious, but always check to ensure you have your rescue inhaler with you before leaving the house. I always have one in my handbag, and I’ve been known to forget to double-check at times, leaving me in a pickle when I noticed it wasn’t there. Another item I’ve always carried (even before the days of covid) is a face mask. It’s one of those situations where you never know when you’re going to come across an asthma trigger, and having a mask that you can quickly put on may make all the difference. Additionally, it is ideal for the winter months, when temperatures are extremely low, another asthma trigger for many.

This is an excellent reminder to keep in mind regardless of the season. Make a conscious effort to discover a way out if you believe you will require one. If your asthma becomes severe and you need to get out of a situation, the last thing you need to think about is how to get out. When you arrive, make a mental note of how to exit if necessary. Along with the aforementioned, remember to show yourself some grace. If you are forced to leave a social gathering early or refuse an invitation due to an asthma trigger, try not to be discouraged. Your health is critical, and we must safeguard our frail lungs. Fall is my favourite season, despite the fact that I’m need to take a few more steps to keep my asthma under control.