Spring's disorders and World Asthma Day
May has been identified as Allergies and Asthma Awareness Month. Specifically, May 5th is World Asthma Awareness Day, when organizations, healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers come together to support this disease.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus which can bring to breathing difficulty and coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance while some of them can be affected by a major problem that interferes with daily activities.
Even though asthma cannot be cured, its symptoms can be controlled, since it often changes over time and can be tracked and adjusted for treatment as needed.
What are the symptoms of Asthma
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person: some may have infrequent asthma attacks, especially during exercising, or have symptoms all the time.
Asthma most frequent signs are shortness of breath and chest tightness, together with coughing or wheezing. Some signs can be worsening and the need to use a quick-relief inhaler increases.
For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations, such as exercise or due to specific workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust. Also, allergy-induced asthma, such as pollen, mold spores can raise the development of asthma.
It is not clear the reason why asthma affects some people rather than others, but a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors is the most intuitive answer.
Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:
- Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
- Cold air
- Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
- Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
- Strong emotions and stress
- Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, that can influence how the throat works
Genetics, or family history of asthma, raise a person’s likelihood of developing asthma, but other personal and environmental factors may affect this probability.
Being overweight and smoking are some of them, beside having allergies or being frequently exposed to forms of pollution or occupational irritants, including chemicals and dust.
Asthma is an ongoing condition that needs regular monitoring and treatment. Therefore taking control of the treatments can make the patient feel more in control of life in general.
Also, to identify asthma triggers is what can help avoid the symptoms or at least alleviate them.
Some people, after years of living with asthma, learn how to monitor their breathing, to recognize warning signs of an impending attack, but to regularly measure the peak airflow is what may significantly reduce the possibility of a bad asthma attack.
About Genetics and Asthma
Causes of asthma are complex. It is likely that a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors contribute to development of the condition. Doctors believe genes are involved because having a family member with allergic asthma or another allergic disorder increases a person's risk of developing the disease.
Studies suggest that more than 100 genes may be associated with allergic asthma, but each seems to be a factor in only one or a few populations. Many of the associated genes are involved in the body's immune response. Others play a role in lung and airway function.
Advantages of getting the Whole Genome Sequencing for Asthma
Asthma runs strongly in families. The strong familial clustering of asthma has encouraged an increasing volume of research into the genetics predisposition to disease.
Testing patients with asthma for a variant in the beta-2 receptor gene may help clinicians determine the most suitable medication, especially in patients who respond poorly to standard treatment. The arginine-16 genotype of the beta-2 receptor gene is carried by one in seven asthma sufferers.
Genetic tests can help to find the correct treatment for this disease.
Dante Labs for World Asthma Day
Dante Labs decided to be involved in raising awareness of Asthma and support the mission of GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma).
Our customer care service will be available to answer your questions and will help you understand the importance of genetic tests.
Also we want to highlight our Asthma report, specific for this disease.
Raise the awareness: Enough Asthma Deaths!