Asthma is a lung disease in which our airways get inflamed, narrow, and swell. It makes it hard to breathe and trigger coughing, a whistling sound when we breathe out. In this article, we are going to discuss asthma and its causes, symptoms, risk factors, treatment, and prevention.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a clinical disease of chronic airway inflammation characterized by reversible, recurrent obstruction of airways. Airway inflammation also contributes to airway hyperreactivity, which decreases the response of airways to different stimuli. It makes breathing difficult and can make certain physical activities challenging or even impossible. Asthma may cause wheezing (whistling sound) that makes it hard to breathe. Some other causes include allergen or irritant exposure, emotional stress, viruses, exercise, and many others.
Symptoms of Asthma
There are various symptoms of asthma that differs in every person. Some of them are as follows:
Causes of Asthma
Asthma is a disease that is characterized by chronic airway inflammation. Inflammation leads to the narrowing of the airways and the difficulty of breathing. Asthma's cause is unclear, while it is suspected to result from an association between genetic and environmental factors. Some other asthma risk factors include obesity, childhood infectious respiratory disease, exposure to cigarette smoke, and hay fever.
Asthma's triggers can differ in every person. These may include various situations like:
Risk Factors of Asthma
The following are the various risk factors that increase the risk of developing asthma:
Types of Asthma
The types of asthma can differ in every person. Some of them are as follows:
Allergic asthma (extrinsic asthma)
It is a common type of asthma caused by an allergic reaction. It is also known as allergy-induced asthma. There are various symptoms of allergic asthma. Some of them are as follows:
Allergic asthma is seasonal also, and it often spread hand to hand.
Nonallergic asthma (intrinsic asthma)
Air irritants not linked to allergies cause this form of asthma. These irritants can include:
It is a type of asthma that is triggered by stimuli in the workplace. It includes the following symptoms:
It usually affects people in few minutes of beginning exercise and up to 10-20 minutes after physical activity. This disease has previously been known as exercise-induced asthma (EIA). It is also experienced by up to 90% of asthma people, but not all with EIB with other forms of asthma.
Cough Variant Asthma
Cough-variant asthma (CVA) has no classical signs of wheezing and shortness of breath. A recurrent, dry cough can categorize this type of asthma.
It is a different type of asthma that symptoms worsen at night. Triggers suspected to cause symptoms at night include:
There is no single procedure or test that can decide if you or your child have asthma. Instead, the doctor can use several criteria to decide whether the symptoms are related to asthma. When the doctor makes a diagnosis, they would also notice whether the asthma is intermittent, mild, moderate, and severe. People should keep track of their symptoms and potential causes to help the doctor make an informed diagnosis. It should provide details on possible irritants in the workplace. The following is the various diagnosis of asthma:
The doctor will concentrate on the respiratory tract, skin, and chest. They may listen to the symptoms of wheezing that may signify an obstructed airway and asthma. Doctors will also check some other things like:
The doctor can also perform a lung function test to determine how well the lungs are functioning. One instance of a lung function test is a spirometry test. The person needs to take a deep and strong breath into a tube. The tube connects to a device called a spirometer, which displays how much air a person breathes and how rapidly the air is expelled from the lungs.
The doctor will first compare them with a similar aged person who doesn't have any types of asthma. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes a bronchodilator that opens the airways and repeats the results. If these second results are stronger, the person may have asthma.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) assess the flow of air into and out of the lungs. For the most popular test, spirometry, we are blowing into a system that tests the speed of the air.
Doctors normally do not conduct breathing tests in children under 5 years of age because it is difficult to get reliable readings. Instead, they can prescribe asthma medication to the child and wait to see whether the symptoms will improve. If they do, the child is likely to have asthma.
The three types of asthma treatment available, which are given below:
The breathing exercises may help us to get fresh air into and out of the lungs. Over time, it can help to increase lung capacity and reduce asthma symptoms. The physician or an occupational therapist can enable you to learn these asthma breathing exercises.
Quick-relief asthma treatments
There are some medications used only in the event of starting symptoms of asthma or an attack. It gives quick relief to get breathing again. Some of the medicines are as follows:
Long term asthma control medications
There are various drugs available for long-term asthma control that advised to takes it daily. These drugs may reduce the number and severity of the asthma symptoms but do not control an attack's immediate symptoms. Some of the medicines are as follows:
Bronchial therapy uses an electrode to heat the airwaves within the lungs, minimizing and avoiding tightening muscle size. Bronchial thermoplastic is intended for people with severe asthma. It's not widely available.
There is no way to avoid asthma, but we may take a step-by-step plan to deal with the condition and prevent asthma attacks. The various prevention option for asthma are as follows: