What Is Asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs, in which air passage gets narrow and swell. This forms extra mucus. This makes breathing difficult and triggers coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.

For some people, the condition of asthma is a minor nuisance but for others, it can be a major problem, which interferes with their daily activities and may lead to a lethal asthma attack.

Is Asthma Curable?

Asthma is a long-term disorder which has no cure but its symptoms can be controlled. Its treatment has the goal to control the disease and prevent chronic symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath.

What Is an Asthma Attack?

An asthma attack is when symptoms are worse than usual. They can appear suddenly and can be mild, moderate or severe.

What Happens During an Asthma Attack?

During asthma attack:

  • The muscles around the air passage tighten up and narrows the airway
  • Less air is able to flow through the air passage
  • Inflammation of the airways increases, which further narrows the air passage
  • More mucus is formed in the airways, which decreases the flow of air even more

Do the Asthma Attacks Vary?

Asthma attacks can be mild, moderate, severe and very severe. In some asthma attacks, the airways are blocked and the oxygen fails to enter the lungs. This prevents the oxygen from entering the bloodstream and traveling to the vital organs of the body. This type of asthma attacks can be fatal and the patient may need urgent hospitalization.

Is It Possible to Prevent Asthma?

There is no way to prevent asthma, but with the help of your doctor you can design a step-by-step plan for preventing the asthma attack:

  • Follow the asthma action plan : Design a detailed plan with the assistance of your doctor, for taking medicines and managing an asthma attack. Be sure to follow that plan.
  • Get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia : This will prevent flu and pneumonia from triggering asthma flare-ups.
  • Avoid asthma triggers : There are a number of outdoor allergens and irritants that can trigger asthma attacks. Identify such triggers that worsen your asthma, and take steps to avoid them.
  • Identify and treat attacks early : This will help to reduce the risk of a severe attack. Moreover, you will not require as many medicines to control the symptoms.

What Is the Prognosis of Asthma?

Most of the people suffering from asthma are able to control their condition if they work together with their physician and follow their treatment routine carefully.

However, the people who do not seek medical care or who do not follow a suitable treatment regimen are likely to suffer worsening of their asthma condition and worsening in their ability to function normally.

Does Omega-3 Play Any Role in Improving the Condition of Asthma?

Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements may decrease inflammation and improve lung function in patients with asthma. One clinical trial of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in children with asthma found that those who took fish oil supplements rich in EPA and DHA for 10 months had improvement in their symptoms compared to children who took a placebo pill.

An Australian study showed that eating oily fish more than once per week protects children against asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids are also useful in reducing exercise-induced asthma.