When a person is diagnosed with asthma, he/she faces difficulty in breathing due to inflammation of the airways. There are certain allergens that trigger asthma, and vary from person to person. Coughing, wheezing and chest congestions are common symptoms of this chronic illness. Although there is no cure for this disease, it can be kept under control if triggers are avoided and regular medications are followed.
HOW IS ASTHMA DIAGNOSED?
The number of people diagnosed with asthma has increased by 15% in the last decade.
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.
Lybrate offers you an opportunity to get in touch with the leading allergists and consult them either online or via an appointment. Through Lybrate you interact with the top doctors all across India. Find well known allergists and general physicians in Surat, Thane, Thoothukudi, Vadodara, Visakhapatnam etc. Lybrate.com is a great online solution to your health issues. You can subscribe to Lybrate.com today and get more tips on chronic bronchitis and the use of MDI.