Breathing problems are caused by many factors, genetic or environmental. Air pollution due to industrialization is one cause of the increase in respiratory diseases. Some of the conditions are treatable while others are chronic with no cure. The common respiratory problems include:
Bronchial asthma is characterized with inflammation of the airways resulting in constriction of airways passages. This causes difficulties in breathing and chest tightness. Because of the constriction, your breathing will be laboured and you will have a characteristic wheezing sound.
Therefore, the common symptoms of asthma are breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, and in severe causes, bluish appearance of fingertips and skin.
This is as a result of an allergic reaction that causes release of mast cells, eosinophils and T lymphocytes. The mast cells are degranulated once they attach to the Fc component of the IgE antibody. This degranulation causes release of histamines resulting in swelling of the airways and breathlessness.
The causes of this reaction could be environmental, weather changes, air pollutants, food, dander, or pollen, emotional; anxiety or happiness/ anger, and exercise induced. Therefore, management of asthma starts from avoiding these causative agents and using preventive medication in cases of exercise or sleep induced asthma attacks.
As one of the most common breathing problems, medications should be available at all times for asthmatic patients. Corticosteroid inhalers and pills are the most commonly prescribed form of medication.
- Allergic Rhinitis
This is what you normally call spring allergies/ reactions. Your immune system is in a way that it detects any foreign matter introduces to it then launches reactions to get rid of the allergen.
Allergic rhinitis is when an immune reaction to allergens like dust, pollen, dander, foods, perfumes, fragrances or extreme weather changes results in a reaction. The reaction causes allergies, itchiness (eyes/ skin), stuffy nose, running nose, and in some cases wheezing. It is considered a breathing problem because your breathing is affected when there is a lot of mucus being produces in your airway smooth muscles.
Nasal sprays and anti-histamines are the available treatment options for allergic rhinitis. You will also have to avoid the environmental triggers and use a humidifier to prevent extreme sinus issues. It is also called a nasal allergy if the result of the reaction is from the smelling or inhaling the allergens.
The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is another disease that affects the respiratory system, basically the lungs, bronchioles, alveoli. Though not treatable, it can be managed. The main cause of COPD is smoking and in other cases, it is caused by a genetic disorder. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the common causes of the airways being obstructed.
The available management strategies include cessation of smoking because smoking only exacerbates the condition. The medications available include use of bronchodilators as inhalers, inhaled corticosteroids and a combination of inhaled steroids and bronchodilators.
Theophylline, antibiotics, oral steroids or phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors may also be prescribed. You may also have to undergo lung breathing therapy or surgery where a lung transplant is done to manage severe cases of emphysema. Portions of the lung could also be removed.
In conclusion, lung and respiratory problems are on the rise and they have to be managed, many of these cases have no cures and this leaves the option of lengthy management and use of treatments to reduce incidences of attacks thus keep you breathing.
Jamal Moha is a respiratory expert and diagnostician. He has contributed widely to research done on cures for breathing problems. He has pioneered many researches on therapeutic treatments for asthma, allergic rhinitis and emphysema. Visit this website http://www.breathefree.com for more information on respiratory diseases.