Asthma is (according to the national data survey) a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs air passages which makes them narrow in response to various triggers. Asthma can begin at any age from young children 1-year-old to elderly people 99 years old. Asthma is most common in young people though, 15% of people under 25 years have Asthma which is more than the 12% which is out of all Australians. The age group most at risk of death by an asthma attack is the elderly because they tend to have weaker lungs and are less able to deal with an asthma attack.
What happens during asthma
When someone has asthma their airways and lungs tighten this makes it hard to breathe and make it almost impossible to breathe deeply. The lack of oxygen can influence their body causing effects such as blue lips or fingernails and a tightening of their neck muscles. The most common asthma attacks are mild which will pass in a couple of minutes with your medication. Severe asthma attacks are less common but can persist even through the medication so are a lot deadlier.
Smoking is one of the few things that we know can help cause asthma, especially if it was smoking during pregnancy or if people spent a lot of their childhood breathing in passive smoke. One of the other ways you can get asthma is if you get it through your genes so if it runs in your family to get asthma or other problems like hay fever or food allergies you are more likely to get asthma.
Causes of Asthma
Asthma has a variety of triggers such as Colds, smoking, exercise, fire, weather changes and some medications, but not everybody will have every trigger. Colds are the most common trigger for asthma attacks in children another big trigger for asthma is breathing in passive smoke or being near someone who is smoking. If one of the triggers is exercise they usually use their asthma puffer before doing exercise in expectation of an asthma attack.
The current way most asthmatic people deal with asthma is with through the use of reliever asthma puffers which they have to use when they feel a tightening of their lungs or when they have an asthma attack. These puffers are filled with salbutamol a chemical that frees up your lungs and makes it easier to breath when you have started to have an asthma attack, the chemicals in these puffers can keep your airways loose for up to 4 hours. These relieves are most commonly blue or grey in colour. The side effects that can happen because of using the drug is a rapid heartbeat and twitchy movements.
The other type of puffer that is used is called a preventer these are asthma puffers that you are to use regularly usually daily if you have asthma. They work the same way that the relievers do but are filled with a longer lasting version of the drug. There is a verity of drugs that they can use but each has some side effects. If you are using this puffer regularly you should often have to use the other type of asthma puffer.
Treatment for asthma
There is one type of treatment that can sometimes work and that is bronchial thermoplasty. bronchial thermoplasty heats the inside of the lungs with an electrode reducing the muscles inside the airway this limits how far they can tighten but can have the side effect of making it harder to breath normally this treatment is only used for people with extreme asthma.
The easiest way to prevent asthma is to simply live healthy, stay away from smoke and smokers and clean your home regularly, but these aren’t sure-fire ways to not develop asthma, and once you get asthma there is no perfect cure for asthma so you will have to live with it until it goes away on its own.
The graph above is showing the prevalence of asthma in certain age groups 2014-2015. This graph is taken from the Australian Institute of health and welfare.
This graph shows that while men have the highest percentage in the younger age group which is 12% compared to 9% for women, in every other age group women have more cases of asthma.
This suggests that more men get it when they are young but they grow out of it more often or quicker than women.
This graph is showing deaths from asthma per 100,00 per age group for the previous 10 years ending at 2015. This graph is taken from the Australian Institute of health and welfare.
This graph is showing the deaths that happen due to asthma. It shows that young people are less likely to due to an asthma attack compared to the average which is 2 or 4 times the young people average.
Asthma Australia is an Australian organisation that works to promote awareness about asthma and helps fund and research asthma cures. It does this by having things like PJ day where kids are allowed to wear their PJ to school for a gold coin donation. They also go around to schools and communities to educate people on what to do in an asthma attack. You can also ask them questions on asthma on their web page.
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AIHW,24 July 2018, Asthma snapshot, Australian Institute of health
and welfare, 22 March 2019,https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-