Everyone has heard of asthma? Well, it is a problem related to breathing. In this disease, thee airways become narrow and start swelling as well as producing extra mucus.
Well, there is so much to talk about this problem. Including their symptoms, causes as well as their treatment and diagnosis. So let’s just begin to know everything about the Asthma. So just scroll down, below is the complete article on causes, symptoms, treatment, and diagnosis of the Asthma.
As I said in the very beginning, asthma is a condition or a disease in which your airways narrow and swells. Also, at the same time, they start producing extra mucus. This makes the breathing quite difficult and also it triggers the coughing, shortness of breath as well as wheezing.
Some people consider Asthma as a minor nuisance. Whereas, on the other hand, it could be a very big problem that could interface with your daily activities and it could even lead to a life-threatening Asthma attack.
To be very honest, this problem could never be completely cured. But don’t be sad, because the piece of good news is that all its symptoms could be controlled in the best manner. But let me tell you that the problem of Asthma often changes over time. Therefore, it becomes important that you work with your doctor regularly to track all your signs and symptoms. So that you can adjust your treatment as needed.
Symptoms Of Asthma
The symptoms of Asthma varies from person to person. Likewise any other disease, it is also influenced according to the diet, body type, schedule, and a lot more things. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at a certain time. This could happen more often while you exercise. Or the problem in your case could be of having symptoms all the time. Both the case happens and both are quite common nowadays.
The signs and symptoms of Asthma include:
- Pain in chest or chest tightness
- Shortness of breathing
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are even worsened by a respiratory virus, Such as common cold or flu
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling (Wheezing is a quite common sign for Asthma in children)
These are some common symptoms. But there are some other symptoms as well if your problem is probably worsening then you can notice the following symptoms:
- If the asthma attacks or the above signs and symptoms are occurring more frequently and becoming bothersome
- Finding the need for using the quick-relief inhaler more frequently
- Increasing difficulty in breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
Also, for most of the people, Asthma signs and symptoms flare-up in the following situations:
- Occupational Asthma: It is triggered by workplace irritants, such as gases, dust or chemical fumes
- Allergy Inducing Asthma: This type is generally triggered by air substances. It includes pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin, and dried saliva shed by pets also known as pet dander.
- Exercises Inducing Asthma: Sometimes the way we exercise faster our breathing and suddenly induces bigger problems. If the air is cold and dry the problem even becomes worse.
When To See The Doctor
Sometimes, a severe Asthma attack could be life-threatening. Concern your doctor from time to time to determine what to do when the signs and symptoms are getting worsen. There are a few signs to determine as and when you need emergency treatment. These signs include:
- Shortness of breathing even when you are doing minimal physical activity
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breathing or wheezing
- Doesn’t seem to have any improvement even after using a quick inhaler
Except for this, contact your doctor immediately if:
- If you think you have asthma. If you are frequently coughing or wheezing that lasts more then a few days or any other sign or symptom of Asthma immediately see your doctor. Treating it as soon as possible and at an early stage will prevent lung damages and also it will help to keep the condition from worsening over time
- If your asthma symptoms are getting worse day by day. Contact your doctor right away if your prescribed medications are making no ease to the symptoms. Or if you need to use your quick inhaler more often, folks it is the time to see the doctor. We will recommend you not to try to solve the problem by increasing the dosage of medication without concerning your doctor. Over usage of the medication can lead to side effects and this could even make your asthma worse
- You must also see the doctor to review your treatment from time to time. The problems in Asthma keep on changing from time to time. Meet your doctor regularly to discuss all your symptoms and make the necessary adjustments needed in your treatment
- If your diagnosis is done. It is also important to see your doctor monitor your diagnosis after Asthma. It is always important to work with the doctor to keep all your problems under control. Maintaining a good long term control helps you to feel better from day to day and it also helps you to get safe from the life-threatening Asthma attack
Also, let me tell you that our posture plays a huge role in the problem of asthma. Because when we slouch. Our lungs don’t get much space to get proper breathing. This could even make the problem worse. So, it is somewhere important to keep a check on your posture. And along with proper medication of asthma. Doctors sometimes also recommend getting a back brace for posture to help correct your posture.
So, if you also slouch even a bit. Then it would be good to get the best posture corrector. It will help you to get the correct posture as well as complete space for your lungs to breathe properly. Hence it will not make the breathing problem worsen. Rather relieve some for you.
Diagnosis Of Asthma
Physical Exams: To know all the possible conditions such as respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The doctor will most probably rely on the physical exam and ask a few questions regarding the symptoms and signs of your other health problems (if any).
Tests To Measure Lungs: There is also a lung function test which is also taken sometimes. These tests help to determine the number of air moves in and out of your lungs as you breathe. These tests may include the following:
- Spirometry test: This test helps to estimate the narrowing of your bronchial tubes. It also helps to check the amount of air you can exhale after a deep breath. Also, it determines how fast you can breathe out.
- Peak Flow: A peak flow meter is a very simple tool that helps to measure how hard you can breathe out. If you have lower then the usual peak flow readings, then these are the signs your lungs may not be working properly. Also, it denotes that your asthma is getting worse. It is better to concern a doctor in this case. He/she will give you instructions on how to track your low peak flow reading and also he will tell you the ways to deal with it.
Generally, the lung function tests are taken before and after taking the medications called a bronchodilator. And if your lung functions improve with the use of a bronchodilator, then it shows that you are more likely to have asthma.
Also, there are a few additional tests that are good to diagnose this problem of breathing. These tests are:
- Methacholine Challenge: This challenge is also known as Asthma triggers. So, when you inhale it will cause mild constriction of your airways. If you react to the Methacholine, it shows that you are more likely to have the problem of lungs.
- Imaging test: A chest X-ray and a high-resolution CT scan of your lungs, as well as the nose cavities, can help to identify any structural abnormalities or diseases. This could also cause an aggravated breathing problem.
- Sputum Eosinophils: This test generally looks for certain white blood cells in the mixture of all the saliva and mucus that you discharge during coughing. Eosinophils are present when symptoms develop and become visible when stained with the rose-colored die.
- Allergy testing: This can be simply performed by a simple skin test or a blood test. Allergy tests can identify allergy to pets, dust, pollen, and mold. And in that case, if any important allergy triggers are identified this can lead to a recommendation for allergen immunotherapy.
- Nitric Oxide Test: This test isn’t widely available. But it helps to measures the amount of the gas, nitric oxide, that you have in your breath. So, in that case, when you airways are inflamed, then let me tell you that it is a sign of Asthma. It is because you have a higher than normal Nitric Oxide test.
Prevention and long term control are the keys to stopping Asthma attacks before they start. So, the treatment generally involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking sudden steps to avoid them and tracking your breathing. It will help you to make sure your daily asthma medications are keeping all the symptoms under the control. So, in case, if asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol.
Medications Of Asthma
The right medications for you depend on several things. Such as your age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what works best to keep your asthma under control.
Preventive, long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in your airways and lead to symptoms. Quick-relief inhalers, quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing. In some of the cases, allergy medications are also necessary.
Also, let me tell you that if you have an asthma flare-up, a quick-relief inhaler can relieve your symptoms right away. But let me tell you that if your long term medications are working properly, then it is better to avoid the quick-relief inhaler very often.
Also, let me tell you that it is better to keep a record of how many puffs you use each week. If you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often then your doctor recommended, then I would suggest you see your doctor right away. You probably need to adjust your long-term control medication.
The Final Thoughts On Asthma
So, this was all about the symptoms & causes of Asthma. So, if you are facing the problem of breathing, then the first thing you need to do is to create an Asthma action plan. Work with your doctor to create an Asthma action plan that generally outlines in writing when to take certain medications.
It will also help you to know when to increase or decrease the dose of your medications based on all your symptoms. Also, it would be a lot better to include a list of your triggers as well as the steps you need to take to avoid them. Sometimes, your doctor may also recommend tracking all your Asthma symptoms or using a peak flow meter on a regular basis. It will help you to monitor how well your treatment is controlling your problems of breathing.
In a nutshell, Asthma could sometime become a very major problem. There is no cure to it. All you can do is to reduce the symptoms of it to get relief. Therefore, it is better to take proper care of yourself and keep a check on each and every action of yours.
This is all from my side on the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Asthma. Now it is time for you to start taking proper care of yourself. As it is the only thing that will help you out in the best manner for sure. Still, if you are left with any doubts, then you can simply ask them through the comment section below. I will try to respond to your query as soon as possible.