Around 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma, making it one of the most prominent medical conditions in the country. For American children, it is considered the most common chronic condition, affecting over 5 million kids annually. While asthma is just mildly inconvenient for some, it can be deadly for others. One of the worst parts of asthma is having an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways constrict and excessive mucus is produced. This causes the bronchial tubes to narrow, making breathing difficult or even impossible in severe cases. Someone having an asthma attack may cough, wheeze, gasp for air.
It’s impossible to predict who will have an asthma attack, but there are some known risk factors that can make it easier to identify patients at higher risk. Below we’ll explain some of these risk factors (source, source, and source).
African Americans have the highest asthma rate of any race in the U.S. and are three times more likely to die from asthma than Caucasians. African American children are almost three times more likely to have an asthma attack than white children.
Female adults are more likely to have asthma attacks than male adults. However, this statistic is reversed in children, with boys being at higher risk.
Allergies & Other Conditions
Asthma and allergies go hand in hand. Eczema (atopic dermatitis) and hay fever (allergic rhinitis) both have confirmed connections to asthma and asthma attacks. Sinusitis is another condition that seems to have a cyclical relation to the development of asthma symptoms.
If you’ve had a severe respiratory condition, especially during infancy or childhood, then you’re at higher risk of having an asthma attack.
Family Medical History
If you have a family member with asthma, especially a parent, then you are more likely to have asthma yourself.
Certain lifestyle habits, especially smoking or vaping, can increase a person’s risk of developing asthma. Overeating and lack of physical activity leading to obesity can also increase the risk.
Pollution & Environmental Exposure
Pollution and exposure to chemicals and toxins in the environment can cause asthma attacks. Secondhand smoke, exhaust fumes, and agricultural exposure are some of the biggest culprits in this category.
Asthma Treatment in Tampa Bay
If you or someone you care for is living with asthma symptoms, including asthma attacks, do not hesitate in seeking medical care. With proper disease and medication management, even severe asthma cases are manageable. For the best asthma care in Tampa Bay, contact Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay at 813-971-9743 to schedule an appointment today.