WHAT IS ASTHMA?

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What is Asthma

Asthma is a medical condition in which airways become narrow and swell, making breathing difficult. Asthma can be life-threatening because of the asthmatic attack if not treated properly. Therefore, it is essential to keep this medical condition in control as Asthma can’t be cured but can be managed and controlled under medical supervision.

Asthma, also known as bronchial asthma, causes inflammation in the airways, making it difficult to do physical and daily activities. People with asthma have mucus filled in their lungs, and the muscles around the lungs tighten, reducing the amount of air one can take in and the air that can pass. Under such circumstances, one can get an asthma attack. People who have asthma may have the following conditions:

  • Feeling of Chest Tightness
  • Breathlessness and Coughing
  • Increased mucus production

In cases when people experience asthma attacks, they may undergo the following:

  • Bronchospasm: Air cannot flow freely as the muscles around the airways tighten
  • Inflammation: The lines around the airways may get swollen and won’t let much pass in or out to ease the breathing process
  • Mucus: When in an asthma attack, the body produces more mucus, thereby blocking the airways

Symptoms

Highlighted below are the symptoms of asthma:

  • Breath Shortness
  • Chest Congestion and Pain
  • Coughing while exhaling
  • Difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath
  • Coughing attacks when suffering from flu or virus
  • Breathing issues when exercising or in a cold and dry place 
  • Troubled inhaling and exhaling at specific areas such as chemical fumes, gases, or dust
  • Difficulty in talking as coughing while speaking, laughing
  • Rapid Breathing

Causes  

Multiple factors can cause asthma, as highlighted below:

  • Family History
  • Allergic Conditions, such as eczema and hay fever
  • Lifestyle factors such as living in polluted cities
  • Exposure to environmental allergens such as house dust mites, molds, chemicals, fumes, and so on
  • Children who are overweight and obese have increased exposure to tobacco, smoke, air pollution
  • Health conditions such as respiratory infections
  • Stress and intense emotions
  • Extreme weather conditions

Additionally, two important factors may contribute to Asthma attacks:

  • Allergic: Some people have allergies to certain things, and exposure to all the allergic things can cause an asthma attack
  • Non-allergic: External factors such as intense physical activity, stress, illness, and weather may cause an asthma attack

Treatment

Asthma attacks can be life-threatening, and you must consult your doctor before the symptoms worsen. The most common signs of worsening asthma are mentioned below:

  • Shortness of breath which is getting worse with every minute
  • No relief to the breathlessness even with an inhaler
  • Difficulty in breathing when doing even a minimal physical activity

Your medical healthcare provider may assess your medical history based on your symptoms and may order some tests to test any significant symptoms:

  • Spirometry: This test is used to detect the flow of air through your lungs and provide treatment
  • Chest X-ray
  • Blood Test
  • Skin Test

Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals with expertise in writing for healthcare. The content on this page should not be considered a substitute for medical expertise. We advise you to book an appointment with the doctor for any doubts.

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