Bronchial asthma is a persistent airway disease with bronchial obstruction, spasm, inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes. These pathological processes lead to attacks of coughing, choking and breathing difficulties. Due to the widespread and high incidence of asthma, it is important to know if asthma is contagious.
Can you get asthma?
At the moment, there is no drug in modern pharmacology that relieves bronchial asthma. Elimination of this ailment is possible only in rare cases at the initial stage of the manifestation of the disease and complex therapy. Usually, people with asthma have to live with it for their entire lives from the time they are diagnosed. In this case, drugs and additional measures of treatment and prevention only maintain a stable condition of the patient.
At the same time, relatives living next to an asthmatic and other people around them cannot become infected with bronchial asthma. Asthma is not a contagious infectious disease in origin. Its etiology excludes the possibility of transmission of pathological symptoms and, accordingly, infection of one person from another. Therefore, the statement that asthma is transmitted by airborne droplets is erroneous. It is also impossible to transmit it during the exchange of biological fluids: through a kiss, during blood transfusion.
The origin of the disease
The etiology of bronchial asthma usually involves multiple triggers. Factors predisposing to the primary manifestation of symptoms of bronchial asthma in a particular person:
- genetic inheritance;
- hyperactivity of the bronchi;
- the presence of allergic diseases;
- excess weight.
Causal factors that provoke the onset of symptoms in persons who are in the category of predisposed to the disease:
- allergens of various types;
- respiratory tract diseases;
- airborne chemicals;
- unfavorable social conditions of human life.
Factors contributing to the aggravation of symptoms:
- allergens of various types;
- the effect on the body of low temperatures;
- high humidity of the surrounding air;
- pollution of the atmosphere with chemicals;
- increased physical activity;
- hyperventilation of the lungs;
- sharp fluctuations in atmospheric pressure;
- psycho-emotional stress.
The factor of predisposition to the development of the disease may not coincide with the factor of the primary onset of symptoms. Also, a completely different reason can act on the exacerbation of symptoms in the future than when a disease occurs. However, the coincidence of all factors at different stages is not excluded.
Thus, asthma is a secondary disorder in the presence of antecedent diseases. Therefore, a person cannot be asthmatic from birth. Even in the presence of this heredity (from the point of view of genetics) or in the presence of a different predisposition, the disease mechanism may not start. Or it can be launched at any stage of life: both in a child at an early age and in an adult. There is no single disease scheme suitable for everyone.
According to the forms, the following types of bronchial asthma are distinguished (with codes):
- asthma with a predominance of an allergic reaction – J45.0;
- non-allergic asthma – J45.1;
- mixed type of asthma – J45.8;
- unspecified asthma – J45.9.
At the same time, allergic asthma is the most common among the presented types. Allergy sufferers are more likely to develop asthma than patients with other diseases. The difference between allergic asthma and other forms of the disease is an immediate reaction to an allergen that has entered the body. Symptoms are certainly complicated by the additional factors described above.
Asthma can be triggered by the following types of allergens:
- household (household chemicals: powders, aerosols);
- epidermal (animal hair, dandruff);
- pollen (pollen from flowering plants);
- fungal (mold spores).
The role of respiratory allergy in symptomatic development is explained by the fact that it actively engages the airways at the time of its onset. Upon contact with an allergen, not only symptoms in the ENT organs appear. Allergy, as it develops, affects the lungs of a person, causing swelling of the mucous membranes. The more serious the manifestations of allergies and the less attention is paid to eradicating its causes and symptoms, the more likely it is that asthma will develop later.
Other diseases and disorders that trigger the development of asthma include:
- acute infectious diseases in the bronchi;
- chronic inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract;
- psychoemotional deviations;
- gastroesophageal reflux (the entry of contents from the stomach into the esophagus: food and gastric juice);
- autoimmune disorders involving the following body cells: lymphocytes, mast cells, eosinophils, alveolar macrophages;
- congenital or acquired abnormalities in the structure of the septum or chest.
Professions at risk
Based on the causative factors of asthma, a risk group for this disease is formed, which includes many professions. Thus, people with a predisposition to the disease are advised to avoid the influence of external factors in the form of volatile sprayed particles of household chemicals (in hairdressing salons or when cleaning premises), chemicals emitted into the atmosphere (in industrial plants, in car mechanic workshops), as well as dust, cosmetics.
Where it is undesirable to work for people with a predisposition to asthma:
- in the field of production, which is classified as harmful: chemical, electroplating, foundry, leather and other industries;
- on farms, establishments with a large number of animals or plants: zoo, circus, greenhouse, greenhouses;
- at work related to the spraying of various chemicals: interior decoration, hairdressing salons, jewelry, locksmiths;
- in organizations related to the storage and sale of chemical or cosmetic products: warehouses, household chemicals stores.
In addition, one should avoid professions with irregular working hours, excessive physical and psycho-emotional stress.
Prevention of asthma
The elimination of the negative impact of occupational hazards is one of the effective preventive measures to prevent the deterioration of the asthmatic condition. There are also several preventative rules:
- to give up smoking;
- exclusion of allergens from the surrounding home environment and lifestyle in general;
- carrying out activities to improve the immune status of the body;
- constant sanitation of the nasopharynx;
- periodic exercise therapy classes and a course of medical massage;
- maintaining a balance of physical activity and rest, as well as a diet;
- the use of drugs that reduce the destructive effect of cells in the autoimmune variant of bronchial asthma.
When a spasm occurs, aerosols are used to expand the bronchi and reduce the likelihood of developing an asthmatic attack.