Asthma is a condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow, swell and produce extra mucus. People with a family history of allergies or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. The symptoms for Asthma are wheezing, coughing, tight chest, etc.
HOW IS ASTHMA DIAGNOSED?
A pulmonologist diagnoses asthma through complete evaluation of medical history and breathing tests. Spirometry is a common breathing test. Allergy testing is another method to identify the triggers of asthma.
HOW IS ASTHMA TREATED?
While there is no cure for asthma, symptoms can typically be improved. The most effective treatment for asthma is identifying triggers, such as cigarette smoke, pets, or aspirin, and eliminating exposure to them. If trigger avoidance is insufficient, the use of medication is recommended. Additionally, the use of bronchodilators is recommended for short-term respite from acute asthma attacks.
DID YOU KNOW?
Dust mites, pollen, acute air pollutions, artificial fragrances and beauty products are some of the most common triggers of Asthma.
Asthma is a chronic condition which affects the airways of the lungs. The airways are known as bronchial tubes, and function as a passage for the entry and exit of air. If you suffer from asthma, your airways stay inflamed most of the times, making breathing difficult. The inflammation can increase further, making the air passage narrower due to various triggers (for instance allergies). This can result in an asthma attack, resulting in breathing problems.
Ideally the condition may be divided into two types, depending on the asthma causes-
1. Allergic asthma- This type of asthma results due to allergic triggers.
2. Non-allergic asthma- This type of asthma results due to factors like stress, exercise, ill health and variations in weather.
Various asthma triggers that you should be aware of are-
• Outdoor allergens- pollen, seeds, dust
• Indoor allergens- pet dander, dust mites, mould
• Some types of drugs and foods
• Air irritants- smoke, chemicals fumes, odours
• Cold, flu, hay fever
• Vigorous exercise
• Stress and anxiety
• Weather conditions and changes
Asthma can affect adults as well as children. In fact young boys are more at risk of developing this condition as compared to girls. Although, when it comes to adults more women tend to suffer from asthma than men. You should be aware of common asthma symptoms so that you can consult your doctor and start treatment. Some of these symptoms of asthma are-
• Cough - asthma patients suffer from serious bouts of cough in the night or early in the morning
• Wheezing- while breathing a squeaky sound occurs
• Chest tightness- this symptoms is quite common in asthma patients, who generally feel claustrophobic, with a sensation that their chest is being squeezed.
• Shortness of breath- For asthma patients it becomes difficult to catch their breath after some sort of physical activity or strain.
All asthma patients may not experience these symptoms, on the other hand if you do have these symptoms it may not necessarily be asthma. The best way to diagnose the condition is to consult a doctor, who generally recommends a lung function test, along with acquiring full details of your medical history and also conducts a physical examination.
If you are diagnosed with asthma, certain treatment options are available-
• Changes in lifestyle- First and foremost your doctor will ask you to make certain necessary lifestyle changes. Which includes eating healthy and avoiding foods that will act as triggers to an asthma attack. Your doctor may also suggest certain exercises which will keep you healthy without resulting in much strain to your lungs.
• Long- term control medicines- most bronchial asthma patients have to regularly take these medicines, which help reduce inflammation and stop the symptoms of the condition.
• Quick relief medicines- these medicines are generally taken when the signs of an asthma attack is noticed. Thus, asthma patients always carry quick relief inhalers or MDIs (metered dose inhaler) with them.
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