Create awareness, Aid research
Asthma Research & Awareness aims to teach all of Asthma related issues and eliminate asthma as a major cause of ill health and disruption within the global community.
1 IN 6 CHILDREN, 1 IN 10 ADULTS HAVE ASTHMA
What is asthma?
People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs. When exposed to certain triggers their airways narrow, making it hard for them to breathe.
Three main factors cause the airways to become narrow:
* The inside lining of the airways becomes red and swollen (inflammation)
* Extra mucous (sticky fluid) may be produced
* The muscle around the airways tightens (bronchoconstriction)
Why do people get asthma in the first place?
The causes of asthma are not really understood but there is often a family history of asthma, eczema or hayfever. Asthma can begin at any age and change over time. Unborn babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy, and children exposed to smoke in early childhood, have a higher risk of developing childhood asthma.
How do you recognise asthma?
* A dry, irritating, persistent cough, particularly at night, early morning, with exercise or activity
* Chest tightness
* Shortness of breath
* Colds and flu
* Exposure to cigarette smoke
* Inhaled allergens (e.g. pollens, moulds, animal dander and dust mites)
* Environmental (e.g. dust, pollution, wood smoke, bush fires)
* Changes in temperature and weather
* Certain medications (e.g. aspirin)
* Chemicals and strong smells (e.g. perfumes, cleaners)
* Emotional factors (e.g. laughter, stress)
* Some foods and food preservatives, flavourings and colourings (uncommon)
Every person's asthma is different. Not all people will have the same triggers, nor will they react to every trigger listed above. You may not always know what triggers your asthma. It is helpful to identify triggers in order to avoid them however this is not always possible.
Can asthma be cured?
Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled so that you are able to carry out your daily activities without asthma symptoms. Controlling asthma involves:
1. Taking asthma medications as directed
2. Monitoring asthma
3. Staying active and healthy
4. Avoiding triggers whenever possible
5. Having a written asthma action plan
6. Visiting the doctor regularly
Each of these will be explained in more detail in the next section.
There are three main groups of asthma medications:
3 Symptom controllers
Inhaled medications - Flixotide (orange), Intal Forte (white), Pulmicort, Qvar (brown), Tilade (yellow) Oral medications . Singulair, Prednisolone, Prednisone
Preventers make the airways less sensitive, reduce the redness and swelling inside the airways and dry up the mucous. It may take a few weeks for Preventers to reach their optimal effect.
Preventers must be taken daily to keep you well, reduce the risk of asthma attacks and to prevent lung damage. A number of these medications are corticosteroids (more commonly known as steroids) which are similar to steroids that we produce naturally in our bodies. They are not the same as the anabolic steroids misused by some athletes.
Inhaled medications - Airomir, Asmol, Bricanyl, Epaq, Ventolin (blue)
Relievers provide relief from asthma symptoms within minutes. They relax the muscles around the airways for up to four hours allowing air to move easily through the airways.
1. Create awareness for those with and without Asthma
2. Raise funds for research
3. Make Asthma history