Asthma: Asthma is a chronic lung condition that makes it harder to move air in and out of the lungs. It can start at any age. There is no cure for asthma. The good news is that proper management of asthma you can live a normal and healthy life.
Causes of Asthma
The exact cause of asthma isn’t known. Some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma. These factors may include:
- Genetic reasons to develop allergies, called atopy (AT-o-pe)
- Parents who have asthma
- Respiratory infections during childhood
- Contact with airborne allergens or exposure to some viral infections in early childhood when the immune system is developing
- If asthma runs in your family, exposure to irritants (for example, tobacco smoke) can make airways more reactive to substances in the air.
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Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
Coughing- Coughing is often worse at night or early in the morning, making difficult to sleep.
Wheezing-Wheezing is a whistling sound that may occur when you breathe.
Chest tightness- you may feel something is squeezing or sitting on the chest.
Shortness of breath-People with asthma they can’t catch their breath or they feel out of breath.
What Causes Asthma Symptoms trigger?
Many things can trigger your asthma symptoms. This may include:
- Allergens from dust, cockroaches, animal fur, mold, and pollens from grasses, trees, and flowers
- Irritants such as smoking, air pollution, dust or chemicals in the workplace, compounds in the home décor products, and sprays (such as body spray, perfume, hairspray)
- Medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and nonselective beta-blockers
- Sulfites in the foods and drinks
- Physical activity(exercises)
- Upper respiratory infections, such as colds
- Other health conditions include a runny nose, reflux disease, sinus infections, psychological stress, and sleep apnea. These conditions also need treatment as part of an overall asthma care plan.
How Is Asthma Diagnosed?
Your physicians will diagnose asthma based on medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results.
Your physicians will also figure out the severity of asthma—that is, intermittent, mild, moderate, or severe. The level of severity will determine what type of treatment you’ll start on.
Your physicians may ask about your family history of asthma and allergies. Your physicians also may ask whether you have asthma symptoms and when and how often they occur.
Let your physicians may know whether your symptoms seem to happen only during certain times of the year or in certain places, or if get worse at night.
Your physicians may also want to know what factors seem to trigger your symptoms or worsen them.
Your physicians may ask about your related health conditions that can interfere with asthma management. These conditions may include a runny nose, reflux disease, sinus infections, psychological stress, and sleep apnea.
Your physicians will listen to your breathing and look for signs of asthma. These signs may include wheezing, a runny nose or swollen nasal passages, and allergic skin conditions.
Lung Function Test
Your physicians will use a test called spirometry to check how your lungs are working. This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out. It can measures how fast you can blow air out.
Your physicians may recommend other tests if he or she needs more information to make a diagnosis. Tests may include:
- Allergy testing to find out which allergens affect you.
- A test to measure how sensitive your airways are. This is called a bronchoprovocation test.
- A test to show whether you have another condition that has the same symptoms as asthma, such as reflux disease, sleep apnea, or vocal cord dysfunction.
- A chest x-ray or an electrocardiogram(EKG ). These will help find out whether a foreign object or another disease that may be causing your symptoms.
How Is Asthma Treated?
Take your medicine exactly as your physicians tell you and stay away from that can trigger your asthma. Everyone with asthma does not require the same medicine.
The main treatments are:
Reliever inhalers – inhalers that used when quickly relieve asthma symptoms for a short time
Preventer inhalers – inhalers used regularly to reduce the inflammation in the breathing tubes, which prevents the asthma symptoms occurring.
Complications of Asthma
Asthma can normally be kept under your control, badly controlled asthma can cause issues such as: