WHEEZING, GASPING, MOANING, CAN’T GET ENOUGH AIR
Asthma is certainly aptly named. The word comes to us from the ancient Greek and means “to breathe hard,” a translation no asthma victim is likely to dispute. Attacks are sometimes ghastly, leaving the victim exhausted but genuinely relieved that the ordeal is finally over — at least for this time.
The disease involves an on-again, off-again blockage in the tubes that conduct air into the lungs, and is characterized during an attack by the victim’s desperate struggle to get enough air. In a severe attack, the wheezing, the gasping, the moaning, as the victim fights to expel “old” air from the lungs and bring in “new” air, terrifies beholder and victim alike, both of whom may fear the victim’s end has come.
COMMON STUFF SETS OFF ATTACK
Strangely, common substances in the environment such as flowers, house paint, insecticides, certain foods, animal dander, cosmetics, and so on — substances having little or no effect on other people — irritate the ultra sensitive asthmatic and trigger an attack. These irritants stimulate the nerves controlling the asthmatic’s breathing apparatus and thus cut back the flow of air in the following ways:
• Bronchoconstriction — Bands of muscle around the breathing tubes tighten, making airway smaller.
• Swelling —The moist lining of the tubes swells, narrowing tubes more.
• Mucus Secretion — Extra mucus secreted by the moist lining may form plugs and further block the airways.
SOME ATTACKS MILD
All attacks are not severe. They tend to vary in intensity and frequency not only from person to person, but within individuals as well. For example, some victims seldom or never have severe attacks, while others frequently do. Even in the same person, however, episodes may vary from extremely mild one time to severe at another. They may last a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days.
Between attacks, some victims are symptom free, while others must put up with a persistent, mild cough. A time interval pattern between attacks is difficult, if not impossible to predict.
LOW DEATH RATE
As frightening as a full-blown asthma attack can be, of the 9 million Americans affected by asthma (including 2 to 3 million children), only about 3,000 deaths per year are attributed to the disease, and only about 60 of those are children. Experts tell us that some of the deaths are related to lack of proper care or over-medication.
Despite the low death rate, the disease is intolerable. The accommodations victims must make for the unpredictable attacks cause untold frustration and unhappiness, not only for the poor victim, but the family too. Never knowing when an attack will come, how severe it will be, or how long it will last, many victims become apathetic about their lives, fearful of making big social or business plans, afraid that asthma may ruin it all.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS
• Shortness of breath
• Tightness in chest
• Chest hurts
• Decreased exercise tolerance
• Chest filling up
• Feeling tired
• Itchy, scratchy, sore throat
• Watery eyes
• Dry mouth
• Fast heart
MUST VICTIM LIVE WITH IT?
A person suffering from asthma should immediately have a thorough chiropractic examination. Due to chiropractic care, many asthma victims are living normal, abundant lives, free at last of the misery of the disease.
Copyright © 2010 Health Star, Inc