It is an inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Symptoms include: episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. It is caused by genetic and environmental factors
HOW IS ASTHMA DIAGNOSED?
Asthma is usually contracted at birth and can be diagnosed by the classic symptom of shortness of breath. However, a general physician may confirm the disease by conducting a spirometry test, chest x rays or imaging tests.
HOW IS ASTHMA TREATED?
There is no definitive cure for asthma. Only the symptoms can be addressed through treatment and management. Controller medications are taken daily to avoid triggers. Combination inhalers are helpful in opening the airways. Quick relief medications are used for quickly relaxing and opening the airways. Oral or intravenous corticosteroids may be given for acute or severe symptoms of asthma.
DID YOU KNOW?
Asthma is caused by a combination of complex and incompletely understood environmental and genetic interactions. These factors affect its severity and its responsiveness to treatment. Some people with asthma rarely experience symptoms, usually in response to triggers, whereas others may have persistent symptoms.
Bronchial asthma is commonly known as asthma or reactive airway disease. This chronic condition tends to block airways also known as the bronchial tubes, preventing the flow of air in and out of the lungs. The blockage occurs because the airways become very narrow as a result of inflammation, which may occur due to chronic bronchitis. Certain triggers, which may be environmental or physical can also worsen the symptoms of asthma and trigger and attack. On the basis of asthma causes, the condition is characterized into two types-
1. asthma trigged because of allergies
2. asthma triggered because of non-allergic causes
Some common triggers of asthma are-
• Outdoor allergens like pollen, seeds and dust
• Indoor allergens like pet dander, dust mites and mould
• Certain kinds of drugs and foods
• Air irritants like smoke, chemicals fumes and odours
• Infections like Cold, flu and hay fever
• Vigorous exercise
• Stress and anxiety
• Sudden changes in weather, especially when it gets really cold
Asthma is very common among individuals across the world, and is a condition that affects both adults and children. In case of children, boys are more affected, while in the case of adults women are more affected. If you ever experience the symptoms of asthma it is essential that you consult a doctor immediately. Some asthma symptoms are as follows-
• Cough- sudden bouts of cough are generally experienced by asthma patients especially at night and early morning, making it difficult to sleep.
• Wheezing- this symptoms is very common among asthma patients, producing a squeaky sound when breathing.
• Chest tightness- This sign of asthma may make you feel claustrophobic resulting in the feeling that the chest is being squeezed really hard, making it very difficult to breathe.
• Shortness of breath- shortness of breath generally occurs in asthma patients, after they have indulged in strenuous physical activity.
Although there is no specific cure to this condition, in today’s time and day a number of treatments options are available for the control of asthma. These include-
• Changes in lifestyle- your doctor may suggest certain important lifestyle changes that will help control the symptoms of this condition. Especially if you suffer from chronic asthma, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a light but effective exercise regime is essential. You should also avoid foods that trigger allergic reactions.
• Long- term control medicines- most bronchial asthma patients have to take long term medicines. This is because the medicines effective reduce inflammation and control the symptoms of asthma. Administration of these medicines is either through a nebulizer or injection.
• Quick relief medicines- Administered through inhalers or MDIs this type of medication offers prevents a sudden asthma attack.
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