Asthma Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
What is Asthma? Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the respiratory air-passage. Asthma is quite a common problem affecting a large number of people in our country – age being no bar.
What happens during an asthma attack? The inside wall of the airways become narrow and inflamed. They bloat up and get filled with fluid and mucus cells. Obstruction is further caused by tightening of muscles that surround the airways. This situation is called bronchospasm. In some people with asthma, the mucus glands in the airways produce thick mucus in large quantities, further obstructing the airways.
Some common warning signs include:
Coughing – this often becomes worse at night or early in the morning.
Wheezing – breathing with a squeaky sound and with great difficulty.
Shortness of breath – due to insufficient supply of air
Fast and/or noisy breathing along with panting.
Other symptoms of asthma include:
Stuffy and blocked nose
Chin/ throat sensitivity and itching
Feeling of tiredness
Trouble in sleeping
Symptoms vary from one person to another, and they also differ in severity from person to person. Sometimes symptoms can be so serious that they become life threatening.
Different tests used to diagnose asthma:
Different lung pulmonary tests that may be conducted in diagnosing asthma. Some of them include:
Bronchial provocation test
Routine pulmonary function test
Exercise induced bronchoconstriction test
Allergy intradermal skin test – although allergy tests aren’t used to diagnose asthma, they can help identify substances that may be causing or worsening asthma.
Allergy prick skin test – to identify the sources of sneezing
Bone density test
CT scan of sinuses
Exercise tolerance test
What are the causes of asthma?
It is difficult to conclude as to what causes asthma. We can generally say that a person is prone to asthma if-
there is a family history of asthma, eczema or any type of allergy.
many aspects of modern lifestyles – such as changes diet, surrounding environment, pets staying in the same house.
smoking during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of the child developing asthma
children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop asthma in the long run
environmental pollution can make asthma symptoms worse
asthma may also develop after a viral infection or any other type of infection.
irritants or triggers found at home or workplace may lead to a person developing asthma.
Asthma is controllable, being diagnosed with asthma does not mean that you stop living a healthy and normal life.