Asthma And Exercise Essay Research Paper Asthma

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Asthma And Exercise Essay, Research Paper Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs. It is characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, uncontrolled coughing, a tightening of the chest, and increased mucus production. It is a condition that can strike at any age at any time. An episode of asthma can vary in severity and last for a few minutes to a few weeks. There is no known cure for asthma. Unfortunately, asthma has a wide range of triggers. One of the triggers that asthmatics struggle with is exercise (American 43). This trigger is unfortunate for asthmatics since everyone should include some sort of physical activity in life to maintain optimum health. Many people afflicted with asthma believe that a life with exercise is impossible. Exercise can bring on

painful symptoms for asthmatics that can lead to a severe asthma attack. A severe asthma attack can lead to a trip to the emergency room, the use of an oxygen mask, the use of prescribed medications, and, in severe cases, death (weinstein 54). Although, exercise can arouse the symptoms of asthma, asthmatics can lead a healthy life with exercise. There are a few babies who are born with asthma, and asthma can also develop at any time in life. Asthma is most likely to develop in childhood. Asthma in children tends to become more severe around eight to fourteen years of age. In addition, males are more likely to develop asthma than females, for reasons not yet understood (Brown 23). Most infants develop asthma due to a virus infection. Children in their teenage years owe their

asthma to house dust and pets (Brown 20). Adults who acquire asthma do so because of exposure to pollens and molds. If the adult is over forty-five, chemical based irritants, infections, and cold air are the primary causes of asthma (Brown 23). To best understand how lungs with asthma function, a person needs information on the lungs of a healthy person. There are two organs which are part of the respiratory system that allows the human body to breath. The entire respiratory system includes the nose, mouth, trachea (wind pipe), and bronchi (Haas 45). The lungs have several important jobs. One job is to inhale oxygen, which is fuel for the body’s tissues. The lungs also exhale carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the working tissues. It is important that the body maintains a healthy

balance between the two gasses since the body depends on this balance to sustain vital organs, including the heart and brain (Haas 46). Healthy lungs maintain this important balance by taking automatically varied, unconscious breaths. This is done by the bronchi which are muscle. The bronchi will expand when there is demand for more air, such as during intense exercise. The bronchi will also contract when little air is needed or to block out an irritant such as cigarette smoke. The temperature and humidity of incoming air is also adjusted so that the maximum amount of oxygen can be extracted (Haas 48). The respiratory system of an asthmatic reacts to a variety of irritants. These irritants can be allergies, foods, emotions, and/or exercise(Nolte104). When an irritant enters the

airway, the bronchi responds by contracting it’s muscles to shut it out. In addition, the cells in the airway are stimulated and try to fight off the irritant (Hogshed 32). These cells are similar to cells response to an injury. If there is an injury, such as a cut, the cells rush to the area. Consequently, the skin around this area swells. Special cells release fluid to fight infection. Inflammation is a sign that the healing process has begun. The cells in the lungs also release fluid, but the fluid is a harmful substance of watery mucus. The lining becomes red and inflamed, lessening airflow. This reaction makes it difficult for asthmatics to participate in exercise(Shagevitz10). Exercise is the second most common trigger of asthma after allergies. Sixty to ninety percent of