Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways to the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and can make some physical activities challenging or even impossible.
Normally, with every breath you take, air goes through your nose or mouth and down into your throat and into your airways, eventually making it to your lungs.
There are lots of small air passages in your lungs that help deliver oxygen from the air into your bloodstream.
Asthma symptoms occur when the lining of your airways swell and the muscles around them tighten. Mucus then fills the airways, further reducing the amount of air that can pass through.
These conditions can then bring on an asthma “attack,” the coughing and tightness in your chest that’s typical of asthma.
The most common symptom of asthma is wheezing, a squealing or whistling sound during breathing.
Other asthma symptoms may include:
- coughing, especially at night, when laughing, or during exercise
- tightness in the chest
- shortness of breath
- difficulty talking
- anxiousness or panic
Not everyone with asthma will experience these particular symptoms. You will experience the symptoms depending upon the type of asthma you have .
There are many different types of asthma.
The most common type is bronchial asthma, which affects the bronchi in the lungs.
Additional forms of asthma include childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma. In adult-onset asthma, symptoms don’t appear until at least age 20.
Other specific types of asthma are described below.
Allergic asthma (extrinsic asthma)
Allergens trigger this common type of asthma. These might include:
- pet dander from animals like cats and dogs
Allergic asthma is often seasonal because it often goes hand-in-hand with seasonal allergies.
Nonallergic asthma (intrinsic asthma)
Irritants in the air not related to allergies trigger this type of asthma. These irritants might include:
- burning wood
- cigarette smoke
- cold air
- air pollution
- viral illnesses
- air fresheners
- household cleaning products
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma induced by triggers in the workplace. These include:
- gases and fumes
- industrial chemicals
- animal proteins
- rubber latex
These irritants can exist in a wide range of industries, including:
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB)
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) usually affects people within a few minutes of starting exercise and up to 10–15 minutes after physical activity.
This condition was previously known as exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
In this type of asthma, symptoms worsen at night. The body’s natural sleep cycle may also trigger nocturnal asthma.
Triggers that are thought to bring on symptoms at night include:
- pet dander
- dust mites
Cough-variant asthma (CVA)
Cough-variant asthma (CVA) doesn’t have classic asthma symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath. It’s characterized by a persistent, dry cough. If it’s not treated, this type can lead to full-blown asthma .
Asthma.. Causes & Triggers
No single cause has been identified for asthma. Instead, it is believed that the breathing condition is caused by a variety of factors.
These factors include:
- Genetics -If a parent or sibling has asthma, you’re more likely to develop it.
- History of viral infections. People with a history of severe viral infections during childhood may be more likely to develop the condition.
Certain conditions and environments may also trigger symptoms of asthma. The list of possible causes and triggers is extensive. Triggers include:
- Illness. Respiratory illnesses such as viruses, pneumonia, and the flu can trigger asthma attacks.
- Exercise. Increased movement may make breathing more difficult.
- Irritants in the air. People with asthma may be sensitive to irritants, such as chemical fumes, strong odors, and smoke.
- Allergens. Animal dander, dust mites, and pollen are just a few examples of allergens that can trigger symptoms.
- Extreme weather conditions. Conditions such as very high humidity or low temperatures may trigger asthma.
- Emotions. Shouting, laughing, and crying may trigger an attack.
There’s no single test or exam that will determine that one has asthma. Instead, doctors use a variety of criteria to determine if the symptoms are the result of asthma.
The following can help diagnose asthma:
- Health history. If family members are with the breathing disorder, then risk is higher.
- Physical exam. doctor usually listen to breathing with a stethoscope. You may also be given a skin test to look for signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or eczema. Allergies increase your risk for asthma.
- Breathing tests. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) measure airflow into and out of your lungs. For the most common test, spirometry, you blow into a device that measures the speed of the air.
Doctors don’t typically perform breathing tests in children under 5 years of age because it’s difficult to get an accurate reading. Instead, they may prescribe asthma medications . If symptoms improve with the use of this medication, doctor will continue to treat the condition as asthma.
Asthma.. Management And Treatment:
In addition to using maintenance medications, some steps can be taken each day to help make oneself healthier and reduce risk for asthma attacks.
- Eating a healthier diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help improve your overall health. Nutrient-rich foods are vital to helping reduce symptoms, but food allergies can trigger asthma symptoms.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Asthma tends to be worse in people with overweight and obesity. Losing weight is healthy for your heart, your joints, and your lungs.
- Quitting smoking. Irritants such as cigarette smoke can trigger asthma and increase your risk for COPD.
- Exercising regularly. Activity can trigger an asthma attack, but regular exercise may actually help reduce the risk of breathing problems. Breathing exercises can help you get more air into and out of your lungs. Over time, this may help increase lung capacity and cut down on severe asthma symptoms.
- Managing stress. Stress can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. Stress can also make stopping an asthma attack more difficult.
In Allopathic Medicine:
In Allopathic Medicine, doctors usually recommend one treatment or combination of treatments based on the type of asthma, age of patient ,triggers that stimulates.
In Quick-relief asthma treatments medications are only used in the event of asthma symptoms or an attack. This provide quick relief to help you breathe again. Generally Bronchodilators are being used. Bronchodilators work within minutes to relax the tightened muscles around airwaves. They can be taken as an inhaler or nebulizer.
In Long-term asthma control medications therapy, medications, taken daily, help reduce the number and severity of asthma symptoms, but they don’t manage the immediate symptoms of an attack. Long-term asthma control medications include the following:
- Anti-inflammatories. Taken with an inhaler, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory medications help reduce swelling and mucus production in your airwaves, making it easier to breathe.
- Anticholinergics. These help stop your muscles from tightening around your airwaves. They’re usually taken daily in combination with anti-inflammatories.
- Long-acting bronchodilators. These should only be used in combination with anti-inflammatory asthma medications.
What’s In Homoeopathy
In Homoeopathic System there is a wide scope of treating the Asthma Symptoms.. But it depends upon the symptoms totality.. and the right one can be found by your doctor.. Here is few examples of most commonly used medicines which are broadly used as per symptoms similarity but never specific..
- Ambra grisea
- Ammon Carb
- Antim tart
- Apis Mel
- Argentum nitricum
- Arsenicum Album
- Blatta Orientalis
- Carbo Veg
- Cuprum Met
- Hepar Sulph
- Kali Ars
- Kali Carb
- Lobelia Inflata
- Natrum Sulph
- Stannum Met
- Veratrum Album
But Be cautious to take any of these medicine without advice of your doctor.
The Take Home Message…
Because it is yet to identify the exact cause of asthma, it’s challenging to know how to prevent the inflammatory condition. However, more information is known about preventing asthma attacks.
These strategies include:
- Avoiding triggers. Steer clear of chemicals, smells, or products that have caused breathing problems in the past.
- Reducing exposure to allergens. If you’ve identified allergens, such as dust or mold, that trigger an asthma attack, avoid them as best you can.
- Taking preventive medication. Doctor may prescribe medication to take on a daily basis. This medication may be used in addition to the one to use in case of an emergency.
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