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Asthma Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Asthma?

It is basically the state in which the airways swell and narrow producing excessive mucus. The condition tends to cause breathing difficulties, whilst trigger wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
Particularly for few people, the condition is a quite minor nuisance. However for others, asthma turns out to be a serious problem which interferes with their routine activities whilst leading severe asthma attack. Sadly, the condition is incurable, thought you can control its symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

The symptoms of asthma range from mild to severe form and differ from individual to individual. One can experience asthma attacks rarely, have symptoms at particular times only for example while exercising, or have every time. Symptoms include:
Chest pain or tightness.
• Breathing shortness.
• Wheezing or coughing attacks that worsened due to the respiratory virus (flu or cold)
• Trouble sleeping due to coughing, breathing shortness or wheezing.
• A wheezing or whistling sound when you exhaling.

When is the high time to contact a doctor?

You must consult your doctor if:
• You have a doubt that you have the condition.
• After it is diagnosed, monitor your condition.
• In case the symptoms turns worse.
• In order to review the treatment.

What are the Causes of Asthma?

Why some individuals get asthma whereas others do not is an answer unclear till date. However it is possibly because of the combination of genetic and environmental factors. Moreover, exposure to different substances which cause irritants and allergies can trigger the symptoms of the condition. In addition to this, asthma triggers tend to varies from individual to individual and includes:
• Respiratory infections.
• Airborne allergens for example animal danger, pollen, cockroaches, dust mites and moles.
• Cold air.
• Physical activity. (asthma induced exercise)
• Air irritants and pollutants for example smoke.
• Particular medications such as aspirin, beta blockers and ibuprofen.
• Strong stress and emotions.
• The cycle of menstrual in few women.

What are the risk factors?

Numerous factors are considered which tend to increase the chances to develop asthma. Such as:
• Having the blood relative (sibling or parent) with asthma.
• Being overweight.
• Having some other allergic conditions for example allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis.
• Smoking.
• Exposure to recycled smoke or exhaust fumes.
• If a mother smoked while she was pregnant.
• Exposure to certain occupational triggers for example chemicals that are used in manufacturing, farming and hairdressing.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

In order to find out few other likely conditions, for example Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or respiratory infection, the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam whilst ask questions regarding the noticed symptoms.
• Tests for measuring your lung function:
1. Peak flow.
2. Spirometry.
• Additional tests:
1. Allergy testing.
2. Nitric oxide test.
3. Methacholine challenge.
4. Sputum eosinphils.
5. Imaging tests.
6. Provocative testing particularly for cold-induced and exercise asthma.

How is Asthma Treated?

Long-term control and prevention are keys to prevent asthma attack prior starting. The treatment mostly involves recognizing the triggers, preventive steps in order to avoid and making a track of the breaths to make certain the asthma medication are helping to keep the symptoms controlled. In addition to this, in case the asthma tends to flare-up, the person may need an inhaler (quick-relief) for example albuterol.
• Long- term medications to control asthma:
1. Long-acting beta agonists.
2. Inhaled corticosteroids.
3. Intravenous and oral corticosteroids.
4. Theophylline.
5. Ipratropium.
6. Rescue medications. (quick-relief)
• Allergy medications:
1. Omalizumab.
2. Allergy shots.
• Bronchial thermoplasty.


By : Natural Health News

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