English 1301 M44
3 Nov. 2012
Gasping for Air Ever felt out of breath? Like maybe after a long argument, or a hard workout? Well now picture that, but ten times worse. Basically just envision yourself trying to breathe under six feet of water. Doesn’t sound very enjoyable or amusing, does it? That’s because it isn’t and that’s exactly what having an asthma attack feels like. One of the vilest feelings anyone could ever feel. And how would I know? I know because I have asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the airways that carry air to and from your lungs (“What Is Asthma?” par. 1). Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, but the exact cause of it isn’t known yet. The inside walls of an asthmatic's airways are swollen or inflamed (“Asthma” sec. 1). This swelling or inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases your susceptibility to an allergic reaction. Usually allergies and asthma go hand-in-hand. The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. “This is called allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma” (“Allergies and asthma: They often occur together” par. 2). Substances such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander are common triggers. So people like me with both, have double the trouble.
To aid you to receive a better insight on the disease I went ahead and interviewed my uncle Dr. Mateo Reyes, MD. Dr. Mateo Reyes has been a doctor for over a decade now and has two offices located here in Laredo, TX. One office located on loop 20 in the south and the other in the north at the Medical Center on McPherson rd. He graduated from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX and specializes in family practice and is board certified. He has worked in numerous hospitals and has a lot of experience with children and asthma. When we spoke on the phone I explained to him that I was writing a paper on the disease, asthma, and asked if he had any recommendations for people with the disease. He then replied and said “people with this disease have to really be cautious and know what their triggers are.” Because anything in the air can affect it such as: “dust or pollen, strong odors, outdoor air pollution, tobacco smoke, or any different type of smoke can trigger an asthma attack instantly, depending on the severity.” Dr. Reyes has dealt with many different cases of asthma and says he too knows it is a very terrifying feeling not being able to breath, but the proper treatment and medication will sustain the disease.
Asthma has had a grasp on my life for a while now. I was diagnosed with this disease close to the age of six, so I’ve had it for about twelve years now. And trust me, it really isn’t a pleasurable thing to have. When I first was diagnosed with asthma, it was pretty severe. About every