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What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs in which inflammation causes the airways to narrow, making breathing more difficult.

The preceding info may seem relatively simple but actually, asthma is a complicated, inconvenient, and sometimes fatal disease if not treated. The best way to understand what asthma is understanding its pathology.

  • The respiratory system is in charge of taking in oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide. It uses a series of organs, especially the lungs, to supply every cell in the body with oxygen. That oxygen is of vital importance to every cell in the body.

Asthma causes parts of your respiratory system to spasm, which makes it hard to bring oxygen in and eliminate carbon dioxide.

  • Spasms are the involuntary muscle constrictions. In an asthmatic person the tubes that bring oxygen into the lungs, also known as Bronchi, spasm and become partially blocked by mucus. That mucus is a result of the body’s autoimmune response, otherwise known as an allergic reaction.
  • An allergic reaction happens when the body’s immune system tries to eliminate a harmful agent, a pathogen. Often the immune system ‘overreacts’ to a pathogen. In layman’s terms; it eliminates a virtually harmless pathogen and makes you very uncomfortable in the process.

This condition makes the intake of oxygen difficult because an allergic reaction, or similar hypersensitivity, causes the tubes that bring oxygen to the lungs to spasm and narrow. This decreases the amount of air that can get to the lungs and be used by the body.

Management of Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that can be controlled to allow normal daily activities. By controlling your asthma every day, you can prevent serious symptoms and take part in all activities. If you asthma is not well controlled, you are likely to have symptoms that can make you miss school or work and keep you from doing other things you enjoy. Although there is no cure, here are some important prevention strategies

  • Recognize attacks early.
  • Take medication as directed.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
  • Identify and avoid triggers.
  • Talk with your asthma specialist to find ways to improve your health.
  • Get the influenza vaccination (pneumonia shot) every five years.

If any questions or concerns, please contact our office for an appointment. We have 5 Board Certified clinics in the Phoenix Metro to serve you!