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Shortness of Breath Tips

Breath Shortness - What Can Cause It?

DM - Cardiology, MBBS, MD - General Medicine
Cardiologist, Noida
Breath  Shortness - What Can Cause It?

There are different types of heart problems like coronary artery disease, congenital heart failure and cardiomyopathy, but their warning signs are the same i.e. shortness of breath. This is the reason why shortness of breath should never be taken lightly and should always be investigated for heart diseases.

Why does shortness of breath happen?

You may not be able to get in enough air while experiencing shortness of breath. Known medically as dyspnea, shortness of breath is often described as an intense tightening in the chest and a feeling of suffocation. This is one of the most frightening conditions experienced by a patient. You can experience dyspnea without any serious medical problems in these conditions

  1. After strenuous exercise
  2. In extreme temperatures
  3. Due to obesity and
  4. In high altitudes

But if you are not in any of these conditions, then shortness of breath is a sign of a serious medical problem usually involving your heart or lungs. These two vital organs transport oxygen to the rest of your body and remove carbon dioxide; hence problems with either of these organs can affect your breathing. Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly called acute, can be due to other causes too like:

  1. Asthma
  2. Excess fluid around the heart
  3. Low BP
  4. Heart failure
  5. Blood clot in an artery in the lung
  6. Collapsed lung
  7. Pneumonia

If you have had shortness of breath that has lasted for weeks, then we call it chronic and its causes can be various diseases of the heart apart from asthma and COPD. There is no doubt that your heart may be in trouble, if you have chronic shortness of breath. You may be suffering from these heart conditions:

  1. Cardiomyopathy or problems with the heart muscle cause symptoms like shortness of breath after physical exertion as well as fatigue, and swelling of legs and abdomen. Patients suffering from cardiomyopathy are at risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.
  2. Heart arrhythmias is also called irregular heartbeat, and can cause slow or fast heartbeats. These also have symptoms like shortness of breath. Arrhythmias can cause strokes, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
  3. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently to meet the needs of the body. This is a potentially fatal condition. One of the most common symptom is shortness of breath with exercise and while lying down. Fatigue is another common symptom.
  4. Pericarditis or swelling of membranes around the heart is also characterised by shortness of breath.

Treatment of breathlessness can start after you are referred to a heart specialist for further tests to confirm the likely cause.
 

2535 people found this helpful

Asthma - What Precautions Should You Take?

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care, Europeon Diploma In Adult Respiratory Medicine, Europeon Diploma In Intensive Care, Fellow
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Asthma - What Precautions Should You Take?

Living with asthma can be tough, but not necessarily unmanageable to the point that it interferes living your life to the fullest. It all boils down to being aware of the triggers, signs and all the other relevant details and taking the necessary precautions to keep the asthma attack at arm’s length.

Here is an insight.

  1. Keep your home dust free: Dust which contains irritants like dust mite collect in your beddings, old rugs, and curtains and they cause severe allergic reactions. Wash your bedspreads and pillow covers weekly once with hot water to kill the dust mites. Wear a mask and gloves while dusting the interior of your home. Keep the interior of your house dry so that molds do not form in the dark and damp places like faucets and toilets.
  2. Keep your pets at bay: Pet dander triggers problems of asthma when they enter your respiratory system through breathing. If you have any asthma patient in your home, it is best to keep your home free from pets. You can make a separate accommodation outside your home for your pets. They should not be allowed inside the room of the family member with the asthma problem.
  3. Be aware of your warning signs: Signs such as nose block, running nose, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are the common symptoms which trigger an asthma attack. You can measure your peak airflow with the help of a meter right at home. Thus, you can have an assessment of your lung function and take necessary precautions to prevent an attack. Keep your anti-allergic medicines and inhalers during the season you are susceptible to asthma attacks.
  4. A healthy diet keeps the doctor away: Your diet is directly related to your asthma problem as certain foods have an immediate allergic reaction in our body even before we understand clearly. Also, there are certain foods that have a magical effect on the prevention of asthma. Recent studies have shown Vitamins C& E, Beta-carotene, magnesium, selenium, flavonoids and Omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role in improving lung function and preventing asthma. Eat as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.
  5. A strict no-no to sulphites: Foods that are rich in potassium bisulphite or sodium sulphite may trigger your asthma attack. Both these ingredients are the used for preserving foods for a long time e.g., wine, beer, pickles, tinned or frozen berries, shrimps, etc. Due to the presence of potassium bisulphite, an asthmatic patient may suffer from bronchospasm and other symptoms of asthma attack. Dried fruits like raisins or apricots are also on the list.

Apart from the preventive measures mentioned above, regular exercises and yoga will strengthen the capacity of lungs and help you fight asthma with ease. A healthy diet and stress-free lifestyle is the key to keep this problem at miles away from you!

1875 people found this helpful

What Is Bronchitis?

Dr. Ramakrishna Chanduri 88% (2518 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
What Is Bronchitis?

What is Bronchitis?

A cold or the flu runs its course in a couple weeks if you’re lucky. After that, you’re back to normal. But sometimes you may get bronchitis, too.

That’s when your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, get infected and swollen. You end up with a nagging cough and a lot more mucus.

Types:

-Acute bronchitis: This is the more common one. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
-Chronic bronchitis: This one is more serious, in that it keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s one of the conditions that make up what's called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Causes:

  1. Most often, the same viruses that give you a cold or the flu also cause bronchitis. Sometimes, though, bacteria are to blame.

  2. In both cases, as your body fights off the germs, your bronchial tubes swell and make more mucus. That means you have smaller openings for air to flow, which can make it harder to breathe.

  3. If any of these things describe your situation, you have a bigger chance of getting bronchitis:

  4. You have a weaker immune system. This is sometimes the case for older adults and people with ongoing diseases, as well as for babies and young children. Even a cold can make it more likely since your body’s already busy fighting off those germs.

  5. You smoke or live with a smoker.

  6. You work around substances that bother your lungs, such as chemical fumes or dust. (Examples: coal mining, working around farm animals).

  7. You live in or travel to a place with poor air quality or lots of pollution.

Symptoms:

-Cough and production of mucous or sputum are the two most common symptoms of bronchitis.
-Due to excess production of mucous within the bronchial tubes, the cough reflex is induced in a bid to get rid of the mucous. The mucous is usually whitish in colour.
-Often patients feel shortness of breath. This shortness of breath is aggravated on any physical activity like walking, running or climbing stairs.
-There may be wheezing in the chest while breathing. A sensation of tightness or heaviness in the chest may be felt.
-Exercising or running or climbing stairs is often difficult as the compromised lungs are unable to meet the increased requirements of oxygen.

Diagnosis:

Your doctor usually can tell whether you have bronchitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms. She’ll ask questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it and what kind of mucus comes up with it. She’ll also listen to your lungs to see whether anything sounds wrong, like wheezing.

That’s usually it, but in some cases, your doctor may:

-Check the oxygen levels in your blood. This is done with a sensor that goes on your toe or finger.
-Do a lung function test. You’ll breathe into a device called a spirometer to test for emphysema (a type of COPD in which air sacs in your lungs thin out and are destroyed) and asthma.
-Give you a chest X-ray. This is to check for pneumonia or another illness that could cause your cough
-Order blood tests.
-Test your mucus to rule out diseases caused by bacteria. One of these is whooping cough, which is also called pertussis. It causes violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe. If your doctor suspects this or suspects the flu she'll also take a nasal swab.

Role of Homeopathy In Bronchitis:

When it comes to treating bronchitis, Homeopathy is very effective. In fact, it is the most promising system of medicine for the treatment of bronchitis. Here one must mention that the preventable or avoidable causes of bronchitis should be and must be removed. It is very important that one should stop smoking if the patient is suffering from bronchitis. Any sort of pollution should also be avoided. In homeopathy, I have seen pretty severe cases of bronchitis getting cured.

Diet and Non-Diet Food:

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also eat meats low in fat, chicken, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy.

What Is Bronchitis?

Diploma In Gastroenterology, Diploma In Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
What Is Bronchitis?

What is Bronchitis?

A cold or the flu runs its course in a couple weeks if you’re lucky. After that, you’re back to normal. But sometimes you may get bronchitis, too.

That’s when your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, get infected and swollen. You end up with a nagging cough and a lot more mucus.

Types:

-Acute bronchitis: This is the more common one. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
-Chronic bronchitis: This one is more serious, in that it keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s one of the conditions that make up what's called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Causes:

  1. Most often, the same viruses that give you a cold or the flu also cause bronchitis. Sometimes, though, bacteria are to blame.

  2. In both cases, as your body fights off the germs, your bronchial tubes swell and make more mucus. That means you have smaller openings for air to flow, which can make it harder to breathe.

  3. If any of these things describe your situation, you have a bigger chance of getting bronchitis:

  4. You have a weaker immune system. This is sometimes the case for older adults and people with ongoing diseases, as well as for babies and young children. Even a cold can make it more likely since your body’s already busy fighting off those germs.

  5. You smoke or live with a smoker.

  6. You work around substances that bother your lungs, such as chemical fumes or dust. (Examples: coal mining, working around farm animals).

  7. You live in or travel to a place with poor air quality or lots of pollution.

Symptoms:

-Cough and production of mucous or sputum are the two most common symptoms of bronchitis.
-Due to excess production of mucous within the bronchial tubes, the cough reflex is induced in a bid to get rid of the mucous. The mucous is usually whitish in colour.
-Often patients feel shortness of breath. This shortness of breath is aggravated on any physical activity like walking, running or climbing stairs.
-There may be wheezing in the chest while breathing. A sensation of tightness or heaviness in the chest may be felt.
-Exercising or running or climbing stairs is often difficult as the compromised lungs are unable to meet the increased requirements of oxygen.

Diagnosis:

Your doctor usually can tell whether you have bronchitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms. She’ll ask questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it and what kind of mucus comes up with it. She’ll also listen to your lungs to see whether anything sounds wrong, like wheezing.

That’s usually it, but in some cases, your doctor may:

-Check the oxygen levels in your blood. This is done with a sensor that goes on your toe or finger.
-Do a lung function test. You’ll breathe into a device called a spirometer to test for emphysema (a type of COPD in which air sacs in your lungs thin out and are destroyed) and asthma.
-Give you a chest X-ray. This is to check for pneumonia or another illness that could cause your cough
-Order blood tests.
-Test your mucus to rule out diseases caused by bacteria. One of these is whooping cough, which is also called pertussis. It causes violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe. If your doctor suspects this or suspects the flu she'll also take a nasal swab.

Role of Homeopathy In Bronchitis:

When it comes to treating bronchitis, Homeopathy is very effective. In fact, it is the most promising system of medicine for the treatment of bronchitis. Here one must mention that the preventable or avoidable causes of bronchitis should be and must be removed. It is very important that one should stop smoking if the patient is suffering from bronchitis. Any sort of pollution should also be avoided. In homeopathy, I have seen pretty severe cases of bronchitis getting cured.

Diet and Non-Diet Food:

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also eat meats low in fat, chicken, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy.

1 person found this helpful

What Is Bronchitis?

BHMS, Diploma in Dermatology
Sexologist, Hyderabad
What Is Bronchitis?

What is Bronchitis?

A cold or the flu runs its course in a couple weeks if you’re lucky. After that, you’re back to normal. But sometimes you may get bronchitis, too.

That’s when your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, get infected and swollen. You end up with a nagging cough and a lot more mucus.

Types:

-Acute bronchitis: This is the more common one. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
-Chronic bronchitis: This one is more serious, in that it keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s one of the conditions that make up what's called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Causes:

  1. Most often, the same viruses that give you a cold or the flu also cause bronchitis. Sometimes, though, bacteria are to blame.

  2. In both cases, as your body fights off the germs, your bronchial tubes swell and make more mucus. That means you have smaller openings for air to flow, which can make it harder to breathe.

  3. If any of these things describe your situation, you have a bigger chance of getting bronchitis:

  4. You have a weaker immune system. This is sometimes the case for older adults and people with ongoing diseases, as well as for babies and young children. Even a cold can make it more likely since your body’s already busy fighting off those germs.

  5. You smoke or live with a smoker.

  6. You work around substances that bother your lungs, such as chemical fumes or dust. (Examples: coal mining, working around farm animals).

  7. You live in or travel to a place with poor air quality or lots of pollution.

Symptoms:

-Cough and production of mucous or sputum are the two most common symptoms of bronchitis.
-Due to excess production of mucous within the bronchial tubes, the cough reflex is induced in a bid to get rid of the mucous. The mucous is usually whitish in colour.
-Often patients feel shortness of breath. This shortness of breath is aggravated on any physical activity like walking, running or climbing stairs.
-There may be wheezing in the chest while breathing. A sensation of tightness or heaviness in the chest may be felt.
-Exercising or running or climbing stairs is often difficult as the compromised lungs are unable to meet the increased requirements of oxygen.

Diagnosis:

Your doctor usually can tell whether you have bronchitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms. She’ll ask questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it and what kind of mucus comes up with it. She’ll also listen to your lungs to see whether anything sounds wrong, like wheezing.

That’s usually it, but in some cases, your doctor may:

-Check the oxygen levels in your blood. This is done with a sensor that goes on your toe or finger.
-Do a lung function test. You’ll breathe into a device called a spirometer to test for emphysema (a type of COPD in which air sacs in your lungs thin out and are destroyed) and asthma.
-Give you a chest X-ray. This is to check for pneumonia or another illness that could cause your cough
-Order blood tests.
-Test your mucus to rule out diseases caused by bacteria. One of these is whooping cough, which is also called pertussis. It causes violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe. If your doctor suspects this or suspects the flu she'll also take a nasal swab.

Role of Homeopathy In Bronchitis:

When it comes to treating bronchitis, Homeopathy is very effective. In fact, it is the most promising system of medicine for the treatment of bronchitis. Here one must mention that the preventable or avoidable causes of bronchitis should be and must be removed. It is very important that one should stop smoking if the patient is suffering from bronchitis. Any sort of pollution should also be avoided. In homeopathy, I have seen pretty severe cases of bronchitis getting cured.

Diet and Non-Diet Food:

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also eat meats low in fat, chicken, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy.

Congenital Heart Disease - Symptoms To Trace It!

MCh - Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Cardiologist, Bhopal
Congenital Heart Disease - Symptoms To Trace It!

Most families refer to their newborn baby as their 'bundle of joy'. The news of a child being born brings immense joy to the entire family. However, due to various reasons, a child could be born with some medical abnormalities, which would be known as congenital abnormalities. There are several different types of heart defects that can be congenital. These usually manifest themselves either immediately after birth or in the early years of life. In some cases, the abnormality could be detected on prenatal ultrasounds. In others, it may not be and the family could be caught off guard about the condition. This causes a lot of stress, both for the child, who does not receive regular postnatal care and for the parents immediately after the delivery process.

If the baby has the following symptoms within the first few hours of life, there could be a serious underlying condition, which requires medical attention. The presence and severity of the symptoms would depend on the actual abnormality.

  1. The skin is pale gray or blue in color due to excessive venous flow in the system
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. The child is exerting to breathe regularly
  4. Rapid breathing causes added load on the heart accompanied by a grunting noise
  5. Flared nostrils i.e. the baby attempts to take in more oxygen with each breath causes flared nostrils
  6. Swollen legs, eyes, and abdomen: Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen is quite common, and this could be characteristic of newborns with congenital heart disease
  7. Shortness of breath, even during feeding
  8. Clubbed fingernails
  9. Lethargy and low energy, even with feeding, therefore very poor feeding pattern
  10. Chest pain, which may cause the newborn to cry incessantly
  11. Low weight gain, as they feed less

In some children, symptoms manifest only during the teenage years or early adulthood. These conditions are not very severe and the symptoms include:

  1. Swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles due to fluid accumulation
  2. Lowered energy levels, leading to easy fatigue
  3. Shortness of breath with even minimal physical activity
  4. Inability to exercise
  5. Developmental delays and changes in growth milestones
  6. Recurrent respiratory tract infections including sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia
  7. Endocarditis
  8. Pulmonary hypertension
  9. Heart failure, where the heart is not able to effectively function and pump blood to all parts of the body.

Some or more of these symptoms should trigger a warning to get the child tested for congenital heart disease. While some would just require a monitoring until severe symptoms develop, severe conditions like holes, abnormal valves, narrowed arteries, and blood vessel abnormalities might require immediate intervention.

3051 people found this helpful

5 Most Common Types Of Lungs Diseases

MD - General Medicine, CCEDM, Fellowship In Neurology & Stroke, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes
Internal Medicine Specialist, Navi Mumbai
5 Most Common Types Of Lungs Diseases

Lung diseases are some of the most common diseases suffered by human beings throughout the world. Smoking and infections are responsible for most lung diseases. The lungs perform one of the most important functions of the body. It is also one of the most active organs in the human body and hence lung problems can arise due to problems in any other part of the body. Some of the most common and infectious lung diseases are discussed below...

1. Asthma
Asthma is a common long term disease which is characterized by reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. The symptoms of asthma include coughing, shortness of breath and tightness of chest. These symptoms may occur frequently during a day and depending on the person, it may become worse during night or during a certain exercise.

2. Pneumonia
Pneumonia is another common lung problem which is suffered due to inflammation in the microscopic air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. Symptoms of pneumonia include dry cough, chest pain, breathing problem and fever. Pneumonia is caused most commonly by viruses or bacteria. It is also caused by certain medications and conditions which are popularly known as autoimmune diseases. There are a number of vaccines available to prevent certain types of pneumonia. Other methods include hand washing and refraining from smoking.

3. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a very infectious disease which is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it has been known to affect other parts of the body as well. Symptoms of tuberculosis include cough containing sputum with blood, night sweats, fever and weight loss. Air is an active medium for spreading tuberculosis. This happens when people who already have tuberculosis sneeze, cough or speak. Infection occurs more in those who have HIV/AIDS or those who smoke. Prevention of tuberculosis includes staying away and keeping those who are at high risk, early detection and treatment and vaccination.

 

4. Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the lungs. It affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, swollen abdomen, cough, chest pain, weight loss and general lethargy. Mesothelioma is caused mainly due to exposure to asbestos. Those people who mine asbestos, produce products from asbestos, work with asbestos products are at high risk. Mesothelioma also results from genetical problems and due to infection caused by the simian virus 40.

5. Pulmonary Embolism
This is a disease caused due to blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance which has travelled from another part of the body by the bloodstream. Symptoms of this disease include chest pain, breath shortness and coughing up of blood. There may also be signs of blood clot in the legs.

6258 people found this helpful

Asthma - All About It!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Asthma - All About It!

Asthma
The word "asthma" originates from the Greek word, ásthma that means, "panting.” Asthma is a medical condition in which the airways swells and produces extra mucus that can make breathing difficult. Because of the inflammation and the extra mucus, it can trigger shortness of breath and wheeze or coughing.

Documented as early as Ancient Egypt, Asthma can be either a minor nuisance or life-threatening. In asthma, the inside walls of the airways get inflamed so that lesser air can pass through them from and to the lungs making breathing a difficult exercise. This swelling can also make the airways really sensitive and increase a person’s susceptibility to allergic reactions.

Asthma has been on the rise significantly since the 1960s and now according to WHO estimate, around 300 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In fact Asthma is one of the most common chronic childhood illness.

Symptoms of Asthma-
The symptoms of asthma vary. But what most people with asthma have in common is the extreme airway sensitivity because of triggered airway inflammation. Some people have frequent asthma attacks, some people experience asthma only during certain times, some people have it all the time and some people only experience it infrequently.

Common asthma signs and symptoms include:
-  Wheezing or coughing

-  Shallow breathing

-  Breathlessness

-  Chest pain

-  Throat infection

-  Faster heart rate

-  Trouble in sleeping

-  Difficulty in speaking

Types of Asthma-
Normally people suffering from an asthma attack tend to have a whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling. There are different types of asthma. Some of the most common types of asthma are: 

1. Exercise-induced asthma 
Also called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, this type of asthma is induced by strenuous exercises and can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness or breath and other symptoms. These symptoms may worsen when the air is dry and cold and usually get triggered during or after an exercise.

2. Occupational asthma 
As the name suggests, occupational asthma is triggered by breathing in certain chemical fumes, dust, gases, or other kinds of exposure to allergens at the workplace.

3. Allergy-induced asthma 
Allergy-induced asthma is the most common type of asthma, which is triggered by common airborne allergens like pollen, mold spores, dust mites, or particles of skin.

What Are Causes of Asthma?
Although the causes are not particularly clear and anyone can get asthma at any age, it is more common childhood ailment. The studies are still underway to prove a clear asthma cause but according to the researches this disease is believed to be caused by a blend of genetic and environmental factors. Genomics, which is the study of how a person’s genes interrelate with environmental factors, may be the key to understanding why certain people are more prone to asthma than others.

Asthma Triggers-
Asthma triggers can differ from person to person and the key is to know what irritants trigger your asthma to ensure minimized exposure to it. Some generic asthma signs and symptoms can include:

-  Cold air

-  Exercise and other physical activities

-  Common cold and other respiratory infections

-  Stress

-  Airborne substances like pollen, mold spores, pet dander, cockroach waste, dust mites, etc.

-  Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander

-  Certain chemicals and air pollutants (smoke)

-  Certain preservatives (added to food and beverages)

-  Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

-  Certain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.

Risk factors-
There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing asthma including:

-  Genetics. Having a family especially a blood relative suffering from asthma

-  Having other allergic condition (hay fever)

-  Smoking

-  Exposure to secondary smoking

-  Obesity (people who are overweight are at a greater risk of developing asthma)

-  Exposure to increasing amount of smoke or other pollutants

-  Occupational triggers

-  Stress and anxiety

Diagnosis of Asthma-
Even though it is a common childhood disease, it doesn’t mean, as an adult one cannot develop it. If a person is feeling any of the symptoms whether a child or an adult, it is always a good idea to get checked to know for sure if you have asthma. Asthma symptoms can come and go since it is a ‘variable’ disease.

It is also important to not do self-diagnosis, as some symptoms, which may look like asthma triggers, may not be actually asthma-like persistent cough caused by other diseases like certain heart diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Effective diagnosis of Asthma depends upon its classification. There are four different classifications of Asthma:

Classification of Asthma
-  Mild intermittent – It is a mild case of asthma if the symptoms last only for up to two days a week, symptoms flaring up mainly at night and asthma lasting not more than two nights in a month.

-  Mild persistent – Mild persistent asthma is when the symptoms can occur twice in a week but not more than one episode per day.

-  Moderate persistent – This happens when a person experiences symptoms once a day and in excess of one night a week.

-  Severe persistent - Symptoms can last throughout the day and frequently at night on most days.

Diagnosis of Asthma
1. Physical test

The doctor would want to rule out other possible condition through a physical exam to get to know the signs and symptoms.

Some lung function tests can help in determining how the lung in functioning in a person.

2. Spirometry
One of the most common pulmonary function tests, spirometry measures lung function by checking the amount of air a person can inhale and exhale after deep breaths.

3. Peak flow
The peak expiratory flow is a pulmonary device that can measure the maximum speed one can breathe out. If the readings are low, it may be a sign that the person’s lungs are not working properly and could be a potential sign of asthma.

These tests can be done with a medicine called as bronchodilator (albuterol) to check if the lung functions better with the medication. If the test gets better after the use of bronchodilator, then it is highly likely for a person to suffer from asthma

Additional tests and Diagnosis For Asthma
Other tests that may be required to diagnose asthma include:

1. Methacholine challenge-
Methacholine is considered an asthma trigger and so when it is inhaled it can cause mild constriction of the airways. Most people who have asthma are likely to react to methacholine. Doctor could use this test to determine whether you have asthma.

2. Imaging tests-
Certain imaging tests like x-rays and CT scan can help in identifying certain abnormalities that might be causing breathing issues.

3. Allergy testing-
Most allergy tests can help in identifying allergy to triggers like pollen, dust, etc.

4. Sputum eosinophils-
This test can help in identifying the while blood cells in the mucus to see if asthma is present or not.

5. Nitric oxide test-
For people whose airways are inflamed, they may have higher nitric oxide level than normal which may be able to help in identifying whether the person is suffering from asthma or not.

7. Provocative testing for exercise and cold-induced asthma-
As the name suggests, in this a person is made to perform vigorous physical activities in a controlled environment to check for the triggers.

Treatment of Asthma-
Although there is no known cure available for asthma and it is generally a life-long condition, treatment can control asthma symptoms so a person can lead a normal life. Also when it comes to asthma, there is no one-size fit all treatment methodology. The idea is to understand the triggers that worsen your symptoms, taking steps to avoid them and taking the medication on time to keep asthma in check.

1. Inhalers 
Inhalers are medical devices, which are used for supplying medication into the body through the lungs. There are three types of inhalers. These are:

-  Reliever Inhalers: These inhalers are used for the purpose of relieving symptoms at the time of asthma attack. Normally reliever inhalers don’t have many side effects, in some people they may increase heart beat and induce shaking. 

-  Preventive Inhalers: True to their name, this types of inhalers are used to stop the symptoms from developing.

-  Combination Inhalers: If either of these kinds of inhalers doesn’t work for a person, they would need an inhaler that would both relieve the attack and prevent it from happening again.

2. Tablets -
If inhalers don’t work to control the symptoms, one may also use tablets.

Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) 
LTRAs are the oral tablets prescribed for asthma and are also available in syrup and powder forms. It can be taken every day without many side effects. However, some people may experience some side effects including headaches and stomach pain.

  • Theophylline

If LTRAs tablets cannot be prescribed for some reasons or is not working, doctors may also prescribe Theophylline. It should be taken every day.

  • Steroid tablets-

Steroid tablets are given to give relief from an asthma attack. Long-term usage of steroid tablets for is not recommended unless a person is suffering from severe asthma and if inhalers aren’t handy controlling the symptoms. Some possible side effects of using steroid tablets for long-term are mood swings, fragile bones, high blood pressure, etc.

 

Other treatments for Asthma
Other treatments like surgery or injections may be required in case other treatments don’t work for a person.

Injections 
For certain people with severe asthma, some injections like omalizumab, mepolizumab, or reslizumab may be able control the symptoms. For some severe asthma patients, injections are prescribed every few weeks in order to control the symptoms. However, these injections should be taken only under the prescription from an asthma specialist, as these injections may are not advisable for every asthma patient.

Surgery 
For some people for whom treatments like inhalers, tablets, and injections don’t work or in certain cases cannot be administered, a surgical procedure called bronchial thermoplasty can be used. In this treatment, a flexible thin tube is passed down the throat into the lungs and heat is used to warm up muscles surrounding the air controlling nerves to stop causing asthma-like symptoms.

However, this process is fairly new and so much research has not been done on its long-term relief.

Complementary therapies 
There are many complementary therapies that can help ease the symptoms, prevent asthma from happening, and help strengthen the lungs and the airway muscles. However, before incorporating any of these therapies in your lifestyle, it is always best to check with your asthma specialist first. These therapies include

Certain breathing exercises including yoga
-  Alternative medicines like homeopathy, chiropractic, and Ayurveda

-  Dietary supplements

-  Acupuncture

-  Certain traditional Chinese medicine

-  Ionizers

Common Myths About Asthma
Myth #1:
 Asthma is a psychological disease

One of the biggest beliefs that many people have is that asthma is psychological and thus they don’t believe in getting medical help. Since asthma affects the airways it is to be noted that is not psychological as it causes the immune system and the lungs to behave erratically when it comes to certain triggers.

Myth #2: Asthma medications lose their effectiveness over time

Asthma meds don’t lose their effectiveness over time and can be used for long-term if the right doses are taken as directed.

Myth #3: People with asthma should avoid physical activity

Although strenuous exercises can sometimes induce asthma, simple exercises can keep a person fit and healthy and help them lead a normal life.

Myth #4: You can outgrow asthma

Some asthma symptoms may improve over time. People also learn how to deal with asthma better as they age since they know what triggers it and what doesn’t. However, there is no outgrowing asthma because it is a lifelong condition.

Myth #5: Asthma Is Easy to Control

Asthma can be easy or difficult to control depends on the kind of asthma a person is suffering from and the triggers. Although even in mild form of asthma, the treatment is required to give the necessary relief to a person to reduce flares and maintain proper lung functions.

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Slower Heartbeat - Reasons Behind It!

MBBS, MD INTERNAL MEDICINE, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Jaipur
Slower Heartbeat - Reasons Behind It!

Having bradycardia implies that your heart beats very slowly. For the vast majority, a heart beats from sixty to hundred pulses a minute while very few are viewed as ordinary. In case your heart beats under sixty times each minute, it is slower than usual. A moderate heart rate can be ordinary and solid. On the other hand it could be an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework.

For a few people, moderate heart rate does not create any issues. It can be an indication of being exceptionally fit. Sound youthful grown-ups and sports persons frequently have heart rates of fewer than sixty beats a minute. In other individuals, bradycardia is an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework. It implies that the heart's regular pacemaker isn't working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disturbed.

A moderate heart rate may make you:

  1. Feel blurry eyed or woozy.
  2. Feel short of breath and feel that it’s harder to work out.
  3. Feel tired.
  4. Have neck pain or an inclination that your heart is beating or rippling (palpitations).
  5. Feel bewildered or experience difficulty concentrating.
  6. Black out, if a moderate heart rate causes a drop in pulse.

A few people do not have side effects, or their indications are mild to the point that they think they are quite recently part of getting more seasoned. You can discover how quick your heart is beating by checking your heart rate. In case your pulse is moderate or uneven, talk to a specialist.

How bradycardia is dealt with depends on what is causing it. Treatment likewise relies on symptoms. Given below are some of the symptoms:

  1. In case harm to the heart's electrical framework causes your heart to pulsate too quickly, you will presumably need a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a gadget put under your skin that revises the moderate heart rate. Some people might have a kind of bradycardia that requires a pacemaker.
  2. In case another medical issue, for example, hypothyroidism or an electrolyte irregularity, is bringing about a moderate heart rate, treating that issue may cure the bradycardia.
  3. In case a medicine is making your heart to pulsate too gradually, your specialist may change the dosage or recommend an alternate drug. In case you can't quit taking that medicine, you may require a pacemaker.

Bradycardia is frequently the aftereffect of another heart condition, so finding a way to carry on with a heart-solid way of life will enhance your general health. This may include:

  1. Showing at least a bit of restraint and dedication to a good diet routine that includes a considerable amount of organic products, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods.
  2. Being gradually on most, if not all, days of the week. Your specialist can let you know what type of exercise is okay for you.
  3. Getting more fit in case you have to, and maintaining a solid weight.
  4. Not smoking.
  5. Overseeing other medical issues, for example, hypertension or elevated cholesterol.
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Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome!

MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome!

What is Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory disease in humans caused by infection with a hantavirus. It can progress rapidly to potentially life-threatening breathing problems.

Symptoms of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

Causes of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

  • Breathing in tiny airborne particles formed when rodents urinate.
  • Coming into direct contact with infected rodent urine, saliva, or droppings.
  • Being exposed to dust particles contaminated with the virus.

Risk factors of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

  • Having a home or work space infested with rodents
  • Having a job that involves exposure to rodents, such as construction, utility work and pest control
  • Opening and cleaning long unused buildings or sheds

Complications of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Organs begin to fail, particularly the heart 

Diagnosis of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

Diagnosis of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome involves the following tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Other laboratory tests

Precautions & Prevention of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

  • Clear brush, grass and junk away from the building’s foundation.
  • Wash dishes promptly, clean counters and floors, and store your food in rodent-proof containers
  • Use tightfitting lids on garbage cans
  • Seal holes with wire screening, metal flashing or cement.

Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

  • Homeopathic Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Psychotherapy Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Surgical Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Other Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

 

Homeopathic Treatment of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome-

Homeopathy relieves fever pain and other complaints. It treats the person as a whole. Treatment is constitutional. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. It balances the energy system, improves immunity and body functions. It naturally cures the root cause of disorder. Some of the homeopathic medicines for treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome are:

  • Acon
  • Bryonia
  • Hepar
  • Lobelia
  • Senega
  • Verat V 

Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome-

In severe cases, a breathing tube through your nose, mouth or trachea is inserted to help keep your airways open and functioning. In extremely severe cases of pulmonary distress, a method called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation needed. It involves continuously pumping your blood through a machine that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen. The oxygenated blood is then returned to your body.

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