"Asthma is a reversible obstructive airway disorder"(Couzens 25). "Asthma comes from the Greek word panos meaning to pant or breath heavily"(Jensen 4). "Asthma puts a strain on simple everyday things like breathing"(Couzens 1). Breathing: in with the good air, out with the bad. For most it's simple. However, for the millions of Americans who have asthma breathing can often become conscious and labored.
When trying to diagnose asthma, first a person must choose the right doctor. Many doctors do not diagnose asthma. They just tell their patients that they are out of shape. When choosing a doctor, a cardiologist is the best choice to make. This is only for the fact that they specialize in the pulmonary system and the disease asthma affects this system.
When a person has asthma they have one of four types. Mild intermittent asthma is anyone with symptoms that occur less than once a week(Jensen 79). Mild persistent asthma is anyone who displays symptoms once or twice a week(Jensen 81). Moderate persistent is anyone who displays symptoms daily(Jensen 82). Severe persistent is the most dangerous. This is when a person continuously displays symptoms(Jensen 82).
The disease known as asthma does have certain symptoms and triggers. "An asthma episode is often characterized by difficulty breathing, prolonged or uncontrollable coughing, wheezing, a tightening of the chest, and an increased mucus secretion"(Couzens 24). " During an asthma episode the breathing passages are narrowed in three ways: the muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes constrict, the lining of the tubes (mucosa) swells much like the area surrounding a splinter in your finger that has not been properly removed, and there is increased mucus secretion. In all instances, breathing becomes very difficult"(Couzens 24).
Triggers are allergens or irritants that trigger asthma symptoms or episodes. "Asthma can be brought on by such things as smoke, pollen, animal dander, change in temperature, excitement, or exercise"(Couzens 29). Allergens are such things as foods, food additives, medications, molds, pollens, latex, and household dust mites(Jensen 29). Another group of triggers is called irritants.
Irritants are such things as perfume, tobacco, household chemicals and combustible substances(Jensen 26).
A lot of people think that if a person has asthma that they cannot participate in sports and other such activities. The fact is that this is not true. There are many world class athletes that have chosen to battle this disease. In fact, a group of these highly talented athletes, including Jackie Joyner Kersie, Jerome Bettis, and Amy Van Dyken teamed up with the pharmaceutical giant Glaxco Wellcome Inc., maker of the asthma medications, and became the "Asthma All-Stars(HealthAtoZ 2).
All of these athletes have fought to overcome the obstacle known as asthma. Jackie Joyner Kersie did not let asthma stand in the way of other Olympic medals. Jerome Bettis was diagnosed with asthma when he was a kid. But even asthma could not stop Bettis from becoming one of the best running backs in the National Football League (NFL). Bettis became the twelfth rusher in NFL history (Tirella 132).
In conclusion asthma is a scary, life-threatening disease, but it doesn't have to be. If a person takes the right precautions and monitors their asthma, it makes their life a lot easier and much more enjoyable. Even if asthma is not curable, it is controllable, and sometimes even reversible. Asthma can only get in the way of a persons future if that person lets it. There are many world-class athletes, who compete on a world-class level, and many of these athletes have a world recognized disease. They achieved this goal by constant monitoring of their condition and controlling it. They did not let asthma get in the way of their dreams and goals.
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