What Most People Don’t Know About Asthma

What Most People Don’t Know About Asthma

Asthma is a frustrating, often debilitating, chronic condition. And it doesn’t discriminate. Asthma comes for the young and the old, the famous (think David Beckham and Beethoven), and the ordinary. 

While you might know the basics of this disease, Dr. Megan Dillman and our team at  MD² want to address some of the more surprising and lesser-known aspects of asthma. Here are a few things you might not know about this common condition.

Your symptoms can change over time

Your asthma may have triggered wheezing and shortness of breath as a child. Now that you’re an adult, your hallmark is a nagging cough. Unfortunately, no one quite understood why asthma is so fickle. Even still, it’s important to alert Dr. Dillman to any changes in your symptoms.  

Asthma can come and go

Not only can your symptoms change, but you may notice that asthma comes and goes altogether. As you age and your immune system matures, you could get a break from asthma. That doesn’t mean it’s gone for good, though. You may still have certain predispositions that could respond to triggers. 

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that asthma affects a shocking 6 million children, making it one of the leading chronic conditions for children. Children under five are more likely than other age groups to require emergency medical attention because of asthma. 

All the more reason to keep careful watch over your children and pay attention to any warning signs that indicate asthma. 

More people are getting asthma

Asthma is already a pervasive problem in our country, affecting nearly 25 million people, and experts say it’s only getting worse. Why? The leading theory points to the hygiene hypothesis. This theory states that people (namely children) aren’t exposed to bacteria and microorganisms early in life. As a result, their immune systems aren’t fully prepared to fight against allergens. 

You might be living in a trigger

Everything from stress to cold air can set off an asthma attack, but most don’t realize that where they live could also be a trigger. If you live in a big city, many vehicles, power plants, factories, etc., throw pollutants and irritants into your breathing air, leading to a greater risk for flare-ups and symptoms.  

Asthma affects women more than men

Women can blame many of their woes on their hormones, and now they can add asthma to the list. Experts claim that female hormones increase airway inflammation, whereas male hormones work to decrease it.

Eczema often accompanies asthma

It’s not a guarantee that your breathing problems will come with skin problems, but there’s definitely an association between asthma and eczema. If you have either one, you’re much more likely to get the other because they stem from the same type of inflammation. 

Dogs can protect young children

Are you a dog-friendly family? Chances are your youngsters are less likely to get asthma. That’s because they spend their earliest days exposed to allergens and bacteria that their dog-less friends aren’t.  

You may not actually have asthma

The telltale signs of asthma (wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, etc.) are also the characteristics of a wide range of other conditions, including anxiety, airway obstructions, and even heart conditions — you may even just be out of shape. 

If you see us for asthma symptoms, we take extra care to ensure that you really do have asthma and not some other cause of breathing difficulties. 

Looking for more information about asthma? We’d love to talk with you. Call our friendly staff at 952-283-0608 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Lakeville, Minnesota, office today.

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