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Asthma - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Airways become narrow and get constricted and there is excess mucus production in asthma. It makes breathing difficult and also triggers wheezing and coughing. For some asthma is just a minor ailment. Others might not be able to function and may have near fatal experiences. Even though it can’t be cured. The symptoms are manageable. As it can change with time, it is necessary that your doctor tracks your symptoms and signs and adjusts treatment as required. It isn’t known as to why some people have asthma while others don’t. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role in this.


  • Being exposed to various substances and irritants that might trigger allergies or the asthma symptoms and signs.
  • Airborne particles like dust mites, pollen, pet dander, cockroach waste and mold spores.
  • Common cold
  • Exertion induced
  • Chilly air
  • Emotional overload and stress
  • Irritants and air particles like smoke
  • Certain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, beta blockers and naproxen
  • Preservatives and sulfites
  • GERD or gastro esophageal disease, an acid reflux condition

The chances of asthma increase for a number of reasons. These are:

  • Having a relative with asthma
  • Having other allergic conditions like allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis
  • Smoking excessively
  • Having a high BMR
  • Being exposed to passive smoke
  • Being exposed to pollution or fumes
  • Having an occupation which involves dealing with chemicals

It is necessary to do a physical exam to rule out other possibilities like COPD (chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease) or respiratory infections. The doctor will conduct these tests and question about your symptoms and signs.

  • Lung Function Tests- Pulmonary or lung function tests can determine the amount of air moving out and in during breathing. They may include: Spirometry- This tests for the widening of the bronchi by seeing how much air is exhaled after deep breathing.
  • Peak flow- A peak-flow meter is quiet a simple instrument that checks the intensity of the exhalation. A low reading on the meter might indicate that the lungs aren’t working to their best efficiency and that the asthma is deteriorating. A doctor will instruct you on how the peak flow measurements are to be interpreted and tracked.
  • A medicine called bronchodilator is taken after or before a lung function test, to open the airways up.
Can't be cured, but treatment helps Self diagnosable Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Pain in the chest Troubled breathing Wheezing Irritated or inflammed throat Mouth breathing Tightness of chest

Popular Health Tips

Everything You Need To Know About Spirometry

Dr. Milind M Kulkarni 89% (58 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Pune
Everything You Need To Know About Spirometry
Spirometry is a common medical test that is conducted in order to detect whether your lungs are working properly. This is done by detecting the amount of air you can inhale and exhale along with the time taken to complete both of these procedures. Spirometry is useful to diagnose any underlying medical condition like asthma, Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease, persistent coughing or problem during breathing. If you are receiving treatment for chronic lung disorder, spirometry is also useful to check whether or not your lungs are responding to the specific kind of treatment. Procedure: The process of spirometry involves the use a mouthpiece and a tube adjoined with a machine which displays the recorded results. Before the onset of the procedure, which generally takes place in a hospital, you will be prescribed by the doctor to wear comfortable clothing which will not restrict your normal breathing process and will be asked to have a light meal before the procedure. The procedure will be conducted while you are sitting. Spirometry takes an estimated amount of 15 minutes to get over with. The nurse will put a clip on your nose in order to close your nostrils. After that, you have to take a deep breath and then breathe out as hard as possible on the tube for a few seconds. You have to make sure that there's no air leakage during this procedure by putting your lips tightly over the tube. In order to arrive at a stable result, you have to conduct the test three times at least. If the results are hugely diverse, then you have to take the test again. The highest result among the three tests is usually denoted as the ultimate test result. Risks: Spirometry is generally a low-risk inducing procedure. But in some cases, it might cause loss of breath, moments after the procedure. Also, spirometry should not be conducted if the patient has recently had a heart attack or surgery of the eye, abdomen or chest. If you are suffering from vomiting tendencies and you have regular instances of blood in your cough, you should also avoid spirometry.
1 person found this helpful

Diwali Special - Things You Must Do To Prevent Yourself From Pollution!

Dr. Santosh Bansal 90% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MTP Training, Ultrasound
General Physician, Gurgaon
Diwali Special - Things You Must Do To Prevent Yourself From Pollution!
With Diwali, the festival of lights, around the corner, the festive spirit associated with the joyous occasion can be felt in the air. Do you know what else can be felt in the air as well? Pollution! There is a startling increase in the pollution level due to the burning of firecrackers. Apart from the new clothes, sweets and being with our loved ones, the crackers are an inseparable part of Diwali. So know how you can stay safe while having the best time of your life? Suspended particulate matter Innumerable tiny particles called the suspended particulate matter are found in the air that we breathe. The amount of SPM found in the air determines the level of air pollution. While the safe level of particulate matter is 100 per cubic meter, many Indian cities report a level of around 1600 which is 14 times higher than what is considered safe. The suspended particulate matter can cause severe respiratory diseases since they can stick to the sides of the airway and travel deep into the lungs. The particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter called the PM 2.5 can get deep into that portion of the lungs where gas exchange between inhaled air and the bloodstream occurs. These particles are quite dangerous because they travel to the alveolar portion of the lungs which does not have an efficient means to remove the particles from the passage. Moreover, if the particles are water soluble, then they will eventually pass into the bloodstream. Decrease in lung function PM 2.5 can cause aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases while also causing premature death. The pollution level rises to a great extent during Diwali when firecrackers are burnt, and this gives the PM 2.5 level a big shoot up. People generally develop chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function among other respiratory problems. The gaseous particles released as a result of burning firecrackers tend to stay suspended in the air. The smaller particles stay suspended for days or weeks and travel farther while the bigger particles known as PM 10 stay suspended in the air for minutes or hours. While PM 2.5 particles travel for hundreds of miles, the PM 10 particles usually travel within a range of 100 yards to 30 miles. Blockage in the lungs While inhaling, the particles present in the air enter through our respiratory tract into our lungs. While PM 2.5 is small and passes into our bloodstreams, the larger PM 10 particles get stuck at the sides and the narrow passages of the lungs. Also, some people have the habit of breathing through their mouth. This allows much more particles to enter easily into the deepest portions of your lungs. Know how to cope While you enjoy the festive spirit, it is also important to avoid any long-term health issues. So, apart from the time you are into lighting crackers, follow these simple steps to be safe while having fun. When you are on the road traveling, wear face masks, preferably N95 respirators and roll up your car s windows. You can also check the air quality index in your neighborhood before stepping out to be sure. It is advised not to exercise outdoors for a few days since the SPM will be high during and after Diwali. Do not let children play outdoors for long hours. Taking garlic and vitamin C rich foods will improve your immune system which can help cope with the situation. If you have any chronic pulmonary diseases such as asthma, additional care needs to be exercised so that the condition does not worsen. So, this 2017, have a happy and lung-friendly Diwali!
1308 people found this helpful

Know More About Asthma

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 90% (32458 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
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Medical Treatments For Asthma
1 person found this helpful

Homeopathic Medicines for Asthma!!

Dr. Masuma Hussain 88% (49 ratings)
Homeopath, Kolkata
Homeopathic Medicines for Asthma!!
Asthma is a common breathing problem that many people face. There are different types of asthma, but the two major ones are allergies occurring due to occupational hazards. Asthma is treatable with puffs and regular check-ups. One needs to ensure that the blood pressure and stress levels are low so that they do not aggravate the condition further. Medicines and puffs are the two common treatment methods when it comes to asthma. But have you wondered whether asthma can be treated using homeopathy? Many patients have approached homeopathic doctors for treating their asthmatic problems through an alternate form of medicine. Here are some ways of treating Asthma with Homeopathy. General line of treatment: Homeopathy, as it is understood, tries to cure the problem instead of providing momentary relief. Thus, while trying to diagnose the causes and come up with an effective remedy, the homeopath would not only take down details of your asthma and allergies but also that of your family and their medical history. At times, it is genetic and can have its causes and remedies linked to the family s medical history. In addition, the homeopath would be of the opinion that any disease first manifests itself through the less vital organs like the skin. But if its manifestation is somehow suppressed, then it spreads to the vital organs like the lungs and the heart. Thus, having a record of the skin diseases is also crucial in treating asthma. At times, in children, it is seen that asthma is preceded by eczema. In fact, while continuing with the homeopathic treatment after the asthma is cured, eczema reappears for sometime. This process is called reversal of symptoms and is actually a good sign of healing. Eczema ultimately disappears after a while leaving no traces of asthma and the skin disease on the formerly affected individual. Medicines: Homeopathic treatment also requires the doctor to prescribe some medicines to the patients. This is done only after taking note of one s medical history, specific allergies, family medical history and other important details. These medicines do not have any side effects as they are naturally sourced. Some of these medicines are spongia, ignatia and ipecac. Thus, asthma is very much treatable using the homeopathic course of treatment. If homeopathy suits you as a form of treatment, then it is the natural and best way to treat any medical problem that you are suffering from.
3 people found this helpful

Know More About Asthma

Dt. Ritika Dua 86% (10 ratings)
BSc-Diet & Nutrition, M.Sc-Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Know More About Asthma
Tip on Asthma

Popular Questions & Answers

Can I stop use of esiflo 250 mg transcap inhaler in middle of use. Want to shift another inhaler levolin Is there any harmful effects in my body?

Dr. Gaurav Ghatawat 91% (57 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Mumbai
No harmful effects of storing ESIFLO. It's not addictive however levolin is only a reliever drug. It will work only in the emergency phase and for 2-3 hours at the most. If you want to be better and symptom free than ESIFLO would be the correct drug. However you can see a chest physician to discuss.

Breathing trouble. Diagnosed with asthma. I take rotahaler whenever problem occurs.

Dr. N S S Gauri 94% (6536 ratings)
Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (B.U.M.S)
Ayurveda, Kanpur
swans chintamani ras 125 mg twice a day sitopiladi avleh 5 gm twice a day for 60 days only to get completely cured
2 people found this helpful

Sir I use sigcet m pills for my asthma problem I took it daily so is there ny chance to create problem to becom present in future.

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 90% (32458 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Please wriite contents of sigcet m pills. If having levocetrizine with montelukast then no side effect
1 person found this helpful

I had an asthma issue in my childhood due to which doctors told me to avoid having banana and also ghee. I don't think I have asthma now. Can I start eating those or should I avoid it completely.

Dr. Zareen Mohammed 93% (570 ratings)
Allergist/Immunologist, Chennai
yes . blind avoidance of foods in asthma is a misunderstanding. Only avoid foods which is proven to trigger asthma. Association of food allergies with asthma is limited in adults.
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Tips to Prevent Asthma Attack

Dr. Milind M Kulkarni 89% (58 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Pune
Watching a funny movie could give you an asthma attack. True or false? Take this quiz to find out.
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Asthma Myths and Facts

Dr. Pradip Tawde 90% (811 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Nanded
Did you know that more children get affected with asthma by air pollution than anything else? Take this quiz to test your knowledge about Asthma.
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Asthma Attacks
Good morning, mera naam Dr Amol Bamane hai aur main Ayurveda ka founder hoon. Aj main aapko asthma ke bare mein information dene wala hoon. Uska causes, uske symptoms, aur uske kuch home remedies bhi mai dene wala hoon. First of all, asthma kya hain, ye air intake jo hum lete hai, lungs mein humare jo trachea rehta hai, woh contract ho jata hai, aur use air aane mein, lungs mein, pareshaani ho jaati hai. To uske wajah se asthma ho jaata hai. Toh iska symptoms hain- Breathlessness Pressure on chest Cough Yeh 3 symptoms hai asthma ke. Uske causes mainly 2 types hotey hai:- Allergic asthma Non-allergic asthma. Allergic asthma mein dust hai, smoke hain, drugs hai, pollution hai. Toh yeh factors uske liye causes hai. Non-allergic asthma k causes hai, fear, anxiety, stress, excessive consumption of processed food. Toh yeh saare causes hai non- allergic asthma ke liye. Asthma ke liye, home remedies bhi hai, jese ki: Aap saucer li jiye, mix kijiye aur ek kapre mein leke aap inhale kijiye isko, toh isse bhi aapko aaram mil jayga. Seeds lijiye aur usko 1 litre paani mein aap ubaliye 30 mins tak, aur liquid chhan ke lijiye aap. Uske baad us liquid mein 2 spoon aap ginger paste daaliye. Ginger paste daalne ke baad, usme aap 1 teaspoon honey daaliye. Aur yeh aap din mein 1 glass, ek baar jo yeh hai, glass mein paani, woh liquid, toh yeh aap lijiye. Yeh asthma ke liye bahuti achha hain, laabh dayak hai. Aap do chamach gooseberry liiye. Usse aap karsh ki jiye ache se, usme aap 1 chamach honey daaliye aur yeh aap din mein 1 baar lijiye aur issye bhi aapko asthma se bahut hi achha result mil jayga. Is Vishay mein adhiktam jaankari ke liye aap se hume sampark kar sakte hain, online consult bhi kar sakte hain.
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