Asthma is a respiratory condition that inflames and narrows the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs however, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
Coughing or wheezing is one of the signs of asthma, this does not mean if you have cough, then it’s a warning sign for asthma, nevertheless, if you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma, please consult your doctor. In some Asthmatic patients, the condition may be mild, while others, the condition might be too se
vere that it requires the quick response of medical personnels. The symptoms includes the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (This is a common sign of asthma in children)
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu.
For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:
- Exercise-induced asthma,which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
- Occupational asthma,triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
- Allergy-induced asthma,triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander)
Read also: HOW TO TREAT ASTHMA
The exact cause for asthma is not clear, there’re people who are susceptible to the triggers, however, asthmatic condition may be caused by environmental and genetic (inherited) factors.
Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:
- Airborne substances, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroach waste
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
- Cold air
- Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
- Spices and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverage.
There’re factors that can increase chances of developing asthma. Such as:
- Having another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Being overweight
- Being a smoker
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution
There isn’t any sure way of preventing asthma attacks, but avoiding the triggers with a healthy lifestyle may just be the way out.Also, these methods can help in preventing adthma attacks
- Identify and avoid asthma triggers.A number of outdoor allergens and irritants — ranging from pollen and mold to cold air and air pollution — can trigger asthma attacks. Find out what causes or worsens your asthma.
- Cover your nose and mouth if it’s cold out.If your asthma is worsened by cold or dry air, wearing a face mask can help.
- Monitor your breathing.You may learn to recognize warning signs of an impending attack, such as slight coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. But because your lung function may decrease before you notice any signs or symptoms, regularly measure and record your peak airflow with a home peak flow meter.
- Identify and treat attacks early.If you act quickly, you’re less likely to have a severe attack. You also won’t need as much medication to control your symptoms.
- Take your medication as prescribed.Just because your asthma seems to be improving, don’t change anything without first talking to your doctor. It’s a good idea to bring your medications with you to each doctor visit, so your doctor can double-check that you’re using your medications correctly and taking the right dose.
- Use your air conditioner.Air conditioning reduces the amount of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that finds its way indoors. Air conditioning also lowers indoor humidity and can reduce your exposure to dust mites. If you don’t have air conditioning, try to keep your windows closed during pollen season.
- Prevent mold spores.Clean damp areas in the bath, kitchen and around the house to keep mold spores from developing. Get rid of moldy leaves or damp firewood in the yard.
- Clean regularly.Clean your home at least once a week. If you’re likely to stir up dust, wear a mask or have someone else do the cleaning.
How to Diagnose Asthma:
There may be other ways to carry out test for asthma, but the common and very effective way is through;
- Imaging tests.A chest X-ray and high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scan of your lungs and nose cavities (sinuses) can identify any structural abnormalities or diseases (such as infection) that can cause or aggravate breathing problems.
Treatment for Asthma:
Asthma is an ongoing condition that needs regular monitoring and treatment
The treatment options consists of self care and bronchodilators
Asthma can usually be managed with rescue inhalers to treat symptoms and controller inhalers that prevent symptoms. Severe cases may require longer-acting inhalers that keep the airways open, as well as oral steroids.
Read also:HOW TO TREAT ASTHMA
Bronchodilator, Steroid, and Anti-Inflammatory are very effective for Asthma treatment
If you smoke, quitting smoking.
Breathing exercises. These exercises may reduce the amount of medication you need to keep your asthma symptoms under control.