1). This disease often manifests through various patient-specific triggers, the most common of which include airborne allergens like dust mites, cockroaches, cat or dog dander and irritants like tobacco smoke (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute “Lung Diseases”). Asthma is a chronic disease and it can attack any time especially when the patient is exposed to any of the triggers. However, as compared to other chronic lung diseases, asthma is reversible. No treatment for the disease is yet available; nevertheless, it is considered a controllable disease (Schiffman, et.al., p. 1). With early treatment, the chances of controlling this disease are good and with proper treatment, asthmatic patients can actually have fewer and less severe attacks; however without treatment and with more frequent asthma bouts, asthma patients can die from the disease (Schiffman, et.al., p. 1). In the United States and other western nations, reports of increased incidence of this disease have been revealed. Scientists and researchers claim that factors which may have contributed to this increase may include: decreased exposure to infection which has made our immune system more sensitive to infection; more people spending more time indoors where exposure to mold and dust is higher; increased air pollution; sedate lifestyle and increased percentage of obese individuals (Shiffman, et.al., p. 1). Asthma also has a major impact on society as it is the disease which causes work and school absences more than any other disease; it is also the most common cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations and it costs the US economy about $13 billion each year (Schiffman, et.al., p. 1).
Aside from the triggers previously mentioned above, the following are also considered risk factors for asthma: family history of asthma; frequent incidents of respiratory infections as a child; exposure to second hand smoke;