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Asthma

A study conducted in the US revealed that Asthma is a key communal health predicament in the over the past three decades. It approximated that over 20 million adult Americans had asthma, as well as roughly 6 million children. Since 1980, the asthmatic cases have doubled and affected so many families all over the world. Redd also approximates the number of people who have died from this fatal disease to be 5,500 persons per year since 1980s, and these rates have continued to increased. The study also indicates that the rates of the death, visits at the emergency department, and hospitalization among the African Americans are three times higher than among the white Americans.

In addition, the expenses of asthma have dramatically increased to over 30 billion dollars in 2013. I have witnessed my younger brother go through a lot of anguish due to Asthma. We used to play and do athletics together until when he was eight years. At this age, he often complained of feelings such as heavy chest and breathing difficulties. This made him frequently take some rest as we were playing. As his chest grew tight, he often started to heave and breathe. This disease has troubled him for a better part of his life as it is incurable. His experience has made me have the interests of researching more on Asthma. Hence, this paper majorly focuses on the symptoms of Asthma, its causes, spread and the treatment.

Asthma: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Cost.

It is evident from several studies and findings that individuals with a history of asthma in their families are extra prone to asthma attacks. Childhood asthma has as well affected millions of young people and their families. A larger percentage of children who get asthmatic do so before they are five years old.

Causes

Asthma is an ailment that affects the functioning of the breathing passages that transmit air to and from an individual’s lungs. The cause is persistent inflammation of the breathing airways. Hence, this makes a person who is asthmatic to be extremely sensitive to a range of trigger. A number of internal and external factors can trigger the inflammation to cause the swelling of passages, and they become filled with mucus. The lungs of the asthmatic individuals are always more sensitive to various triggers which irritate the lungs. These triggers are often tiny protein particles known as the allergens, and they include pollen, animal dander, strong chemicals, dust particles, and moulds. The non-allergic triggers may include or polluted air, smoke, change in weather, or cold air. One can be sensitive to one or more triggers. The muscles that in the breathing airways always contract, leading to further contraction of the passages. This contraction complicates the exhaling process, hence difficulty in breathing out. This exhaling struggle causes the archetypal symptom and signs of asthma (Weiss, Sullivan & Lyttle, 2000).

Symptoms

Major symptoms of those who are asthmatic include wheezing (hissing sound when one is breathing), coughing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties. Most asthmatic individuals experience the above-mentioned symptoms normally early morning and during the night. These asthmatic symptoms may worsen during exercises, when one has a cold, or the individual is highly stressed (Akinbami, Moorman & Liu, 2011).

Treatment

To date, there is no cure for Asthma though the symptoms are controllable with effective management and diagnosis. This may involve following a prompt prescription by the medics and learning how to avoid the triggers that cause the allergic reactions. The physicians prescribe a daily use of the controller medications and should therefore not be taken lightly or ignored. These controller medications consist of inhaled corticosteroids, budesonide, mometasone, ciclesonide, flunisolide, beclomethasone and other.

Costs

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Besides the causes, symptoms, and the treatment of asthma, I learnt that Asthma is very expensive. Financially, the impact of asthma is roughly 60 billion dollars in every single year in the US (Weiss, Sullivan & Lyttle, 2000). This stands for the lost wages, missed school and work, medical costs, and early death that result from asthmatic attacks. Medication for the uninsured and the insured is quite expensive, as a majority of the insured asthmatics in the US was not capable of affording their medication. Though the current patient assistance programs may help in decreasing the financial and social impact of asthma, the outcome is that its medications are costly. Besides the medication costs there is the risk of losing of a job in cases of severe asthma, or having to take care of an asthmatic child.
In the US asthma is the top cause for children to miss school as well as the fourth top reason of a grown-up to miss work. Hence, I learnt that asthma is an expensive incurable disease that requires proper patient attention and that the patient should be consistent in following the doctor’s prescription in order to save future costs and expenses.