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Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory tract characterized by shortness of breath due to inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Asthma can affect all age groups, both young and old.

Asthma sufferers have more sensitive respiratory tract than normal people. When the lungs are exposed to asthma triggers, the muscles in the airways stiffen, making the airways narrow. In addition, phlegm production also increases. The combination of these conditions makes sufferers experience asthma symptoms.

Based on the report of the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2018, it is estimated that 2.4 percent of the entire population of Indonesia suffers from asthma. Meanwhile, according to WHO data in 2019, asthma sufferers worldwide reached 262 million people, with the death rate from asthma reaching 461,000 people.

Causes and Symptoms of Asthma

Although the cause is not known with certainty, there are several things that often trigger asthma, namely:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust
  • Animal hair
  • Cold air
  • Viral infection
  • Chemical exposure

A number of these triggers can cause complaints in asthmatics, such as difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and pain or tightness in the chest.

Asthma Treatment and Prevention

Asthma treatment can be adjusted according to the patient's condition. The goal is to relieve asthma symptoms, prevent symptoms from recurring, and reduce swelling and narrowing of the airways. The method can be in the form of administering drugs or surgery.

Although difficult to prevent, there are efforts that can be made to avoid asthma attacks, including by:

  • Undergo regular influenza and pneumonia vaccinations
  • Knowing the triggers for asthma symptoms and avoiding them
  • Check with the doctor if the symptoms do not improve after undergoing treatment
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