Asthma disease is a common disease that, if properly controlled, will not cause any problems for the patient. Join us to learn more about this disease.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes it difficult to breathe. The disease is associated with the airways’ inflammation, which leads to a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. The result is asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. If the condition is severe, asthma can lead to decreased activity and inability to speak. Some people call this disease bronchial asthma.
Although there are seemingly miraculous cures for this disease’s symptoms, it is still a severe and dangerous disease. Of course, with proper treatment, the patient can live well with this disease. Improper treatment of the disease limits the ability to exercise and be active. Asthma that is not well controlled can lead to frequent visits to the emergency room and hospital and affect the patient’s performance at home and work.
Asthma has three main characteristics
- Airway obstruction: During normal breathing, the airways’ muscles rest, and air moves freely through the airways. But in people with asthma, allergens, colds, respiratory viruses, and environmental triggers can tighten the airways’ muscles and prevent air from moving freely in the airways. Decreased air causes the person to feel short of breath, and the movement of air through the hardened airways causes a wheezing sound. Fortunately, this condition is reversible, distinguishing asthma from other lung diseases, such as bronchitis or emphysema.
- Inflammation: People with this disease have red and swollen bronchial tubes. This inflammation is involved in the long-term damage that asthma causes to the lungs, and treating this inflammation is the key to managing the disease in the long run.
- Airway irritability: The airways of people with asthma are very sensitive. These ducts react severely and narrow even with mild primers such as pollen, animal particles, dust, or perfumes.
Adult asthma: It can occur at any age but is more common in people under 40. People with a family history of the disease have a higher risk of developing asthma. Allergies and asthma often occur together with eczema. Smoking with asthma is a dangerous compound that is still common among patients. However, anyone can get asthma at any time. If you have symptoms of this disease, you should see a doctor. If you have adult asthma, your doctor will prescribe more respiratory sprays and other medications to prevent respiratory problems and tell you which medications to “prevent” and which medications to “rescue” in situations with respiratory problems. You will.
Pediatric asthma: The prevalence of the disease among children is increasing. Asthma symptoms in a child also vary at different times.
Signs and symptoms to look out for are:
- Frequent coughing that may occur during play, at night, or when laughing (cough may be the only sign)
- Less energy while playing or stopping while breathing to play
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Feeling of discomfort and pressure in the chest
- Vocal breathing (like a whistle)
- Chest movement with breathing due to difficulty breathing (retraction)
- Shortness of breath
- Tightening of neck and chest muscles
- Feeling weak or tired
Causes and triggers of asthma
People with asthma have susceptible airways that react to many different substances in the environment called asthma triggers. Contact with these primers can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Some of the most common asthma triggers are:
- Infections such as sinusitis, colds, and flu (What Is The Flu? Symptoms, Treatment, And Effectiveness Of Vaccine)
- Allergens such as pollen, mold spores, pet particles, and dust mites
- Stimulants such as strong fragrances or cleansing solutions and air pollution
- cigarette smoke
- Climate, change in temperature and humidity, cold weather
- Severe emotions such as anxiety, laughter, crying, or stress
- Medications (e.g., aspirin)
An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of the symptoms of the disease. During an attack of the disease, the patient’s airways become narrow, swollen, or full of mucus. Common symptoms include the following:
- Cough, especially at night (Everything About Dry Cough And Its Connection To The Coronavirus)
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of pain, pressure, and stiffness in the chest
The symptoms of an asthma attack are not the same in all patients. A person may not have all of these symptoms or may have different symptoms at different times. Symptoms may be mild, such as decreased activity or lethargy. Symptoms may also occur in different attacks of the disease with different intensities.
Severe asthma attack
What is an asthma attack?
An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of a disease’s symptoms caused by muscle cramps around the airways (bronchospasm). During an attack of the disease, the airways’ lining becomes swollen or inflamed, producing thicker mucus (than average). These factors (bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production) cause asthma attack symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Other symptoms of an asthma attack can include:
- Severe wheezing when inhaling and exhaling
- A cough that does not stop
- Breathing very fast
- Feeling of pressure and tightness in the chest
- Neck and chest muscle cramps
- Difficulty speaking
- Feeling anxious or scared
- Pale and sweaty face
- Bruising of the lips or nails
- Worsening of symptoms despite medication
Some people with asthma who have not had an asthma attack for a long time or have not shown other symptoms may have their symptoms worsened by exposure to triggers such as exercise or cold weather. Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. The airways usually open within minutes or hours of treatment. Severe asthma attacks are less common but last longer and require immediate medical attention. Even mild asthma attack symptoms should be recognized and treated to prevent severe attacks and control asthma.
What happens if the asthma attack is not treated?
Without immediate treatment, the patient’s breathing problems become more severe, and his wheezing becomes louder. Suppose a patient uses a peak flow meter (to measure the flow of exhaled air to check lung and respiratory function) during an asthma attack. In that case, the number the device shows are likely to be lower than the number seen commonly.
Because a patient’s lungs become blocked during an asthma attack, it may not be possible to use a pickup flowmeter at all. The lungs may also become so tight during an asthma attack that there is not enough airflow to produce a wheezing sound. This condition, known as chest tightness, is a severe symptom. In the event of a severe asthma attack, the patient should be taken to a hospital immediately. Unfortunately, some people consider mumps‘ disappearance during an asthma attack as a recovery sign and do not remedy the condition.
If the patient does not receive proper treatment for an asthma attack, they may eventually be unable to speak, and the area around their lips may turn blue. This discoloration, known as cyanosis, means that the patient’s blood oxygen level has decreased. Without immediate treatment in the emergency room, a person may lose consciousness and eventually die.
How to recognize the early signs of an asthma attack:
Early warning signs are changes that occur just before or very close to the onset of an asthma attack. These changes begin before the known asthma symptoms and are the first signs that asthma symptoms are worsening. In general, these early symptoms are not severe enough to interfere with a person’s normal daily activities. Still, they can stop the asthma attack or prevent the symptoms from worsening by recognizing these symptoms. Early warning signs of an asthma attack include:
- Frequent coughing, especially at night
- Decrease the number shown by the flowmeter peak
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling very tired or weak during physical activity
- Sneezing or coughing during or after physical activity
- Feeling tired, confused, upset, and irritable
- Decreased or altered lung function
- Symptoms of a cold or allergy (sneezing, runny nose, cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, and headache)
- Sleep problems
The severity of an asthma attack can quickly increase, so these symptoms should be treated immediately after diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways become narrow, inflamed, or full of mucus. Common symptoms include:
- Cough, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- The feeling of tightness, pain, and pressure in the chest
Not all people with asthma have all of these symptoms in the same way. A person may not have all of the symptoms or may have different symptoms at different times. The symptoms may be milder in one asthma attack and more severe in another. Some people with asthma may live for a long time without any symptoms, but sometimes they have a periodic asthma attack, and some people have some symptoms every day. Some people with asthma may have symptoms only when exercising or when exposed to allergens or viral infections such as colds. Asthma has several triggers for some people.
What are the signs of worsening asthma?
If the early signs and symptoms are not diagnosed and treated, they may worsen. When the symptoms get worse, the person may have trouble doing daily chores and sleeping. Symptoms of worsening asthma include:
- Coughs that do not stop (day and night)
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Inadequate response to asthma medications such as inhaled life-saving medications or other bronchodilators
Causes and triggers of asthma
No one knows what causes asthma. What we do know is that asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. The causes of asthma can vary from person to person. However, one thing is always right about asthma: when the airways come in contact with a primer, they become inflamed, narrow, and full of mucus. During an asthma attack, spasms of the muscles around the airways, inflammation, and swelling of the airway mucosa, and excess mucus narrow the airways. This increases the airway resistance and makes breathing more difficult, leading to shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. The person may cough due to airway irritation and the body trying to clear the accumulation of thick mucus.
Why do some people get asthma? No one knows for sure. We know that allergies play a role in many people with asthma, but not all. Like allergies, family history plays a role in developing the disease because asthma has a vital genetic component.
If you have the disease yourself or a family member with the disease, it is essential to know the disease’s originators. Once you know these triggers and avoid them (or reduce your exposure to them), you can play an active role in controlling asthma and reducing the number of asthma attacks. For example, if you find that allergies cause your asthma, you probably have allergic asthma. Knowing and avoiding environmental, food, and respiratory allergens can significantly reduce the number or severity of asthma attacks. If environmental pollutants appear to be the cause of asthma, the patient should be kept indoors as much as possible when air pollution is severe. The patient should try to find their primers and avoid exposure to them to control the disease better.
Can allergies cause asthma?
Asthma allergies are a common problem. Eighty percent of people with asthma are allergic to individual airborne particles, such as plant pollen, mold, animal particles, dust mites, and beetle particles. According to a study, children living in homes with high beetle particles are more likely to develop pediatric asthma. The worsening of the disease symptoms after exposure to dust is mainly due to allergy to dust mites.
Food allergies can lead to mild to fatal reactions. People with food allergies may also show asthma as part of a food allergy anaphylactic reaction. The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:
- cow milk
- Shrimp and other marine animals
- Fresh fruits
Food preservatives can also trigger the disease. Sulfite additives such as sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium sulfite, potassium sulfite, and sodium sulfite, commonly used in food processing and preparation, may cause asthma in sensitive people.
Intense exercise can cause narrowing of the airways in a large number of people with the disease. In some people, exercise is the leading cause of asthma symptoms. If a person has sports asthma, they will experience chest tightness, coughing, and difficulty breathing during the first 5-15 minutes of anaerobic exercise. These symptoms usually subside within the next 30-30 minutes, but about 50% of people with sports asthma will experience another attack 10 to 6 hours later. Before doing a strenuous exercise, the body should warm up slowly and correctly. This may prevent an asthma attack.
Asthma and heartburn
They often cause severe heartburn and asthma. Recent studies show that up to 89% of people with the condition may also experience severe heartburn (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD). GERD generally occurs at night and when the patient is lying down. Usually, the valve between the esophagus and the stomach prevents stomach acid from returning to the esophagus. In GERD, this valve’s function is impaired, in which case, gastric acid enters the esophagus. Irritation and inflammation can lead to the onset of a name attack. Specific symptoms that indicate reflux may cause the disease include the onset of asthma in adulthood, no family history of the disease, no history of allergies or bronchitis, severe asthma Control, or cough while lying down.
Asthma and smoking
Smokers are more likely to develop asthma. If a person with the disease also smokes, the condition may worsen coughing or sneezing symptoms. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have sneezing in their babies. Lung function is more inadequate in infants whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. If a person has asthma and smokes, they should know that quitting smoking is the most crucial step in protecting the lungs.
Sinusitis and other upper respiratory tract infections
Like asthma, which causes inflammation of the airways’ lining, sinusitis causes inflammation of the sinuses’ lining. This inflammation, like asthma, causes the mucous membranes of the sinuses to secrete more mucus. When the sinuses become inflamed, the airways in many people with the disease react in the same way, leading to sinusitis associated with asthma. In such a situation, the prevention and treatment of sinus infections are essential to relieve asthma symptoms.
Asthma and infection
Colds, flu, and sinus infections can cause asthma attacks. Initial respiratory infections can be viral or bacterial and are commonly caused, especially in children under ten years of age. This airway tenderness, which causes narrowing of the airways, can last for at least two months after an upper respiratory tract infection.
Asthma and medications
Some people with this condition have aspirin-sensitive asthma and may also be sensitive to medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and beta-blockers (used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, and glaucoma). If a person knows that they are allergic to these drugs, they should discuss this with their doctor and discuss this with their therapist before taking any new medication.
Other asthma triggers:
- Stimulants: Most stimulant compounds, including tobacco smoke, smoke from wood-burning appliances or fireplaces, pungent odors of perfumes, and detergents, are all stimulants that can cause the onset of the disease. Also, air pollution, dust, or fumes in the workplace can trigger an asthma attack.
- Climate: Cold weather, changes in temperature, and humidity can cause asthma.
- Extreme emotions: Asthma and stress are often seen together. Anxiety, crying, screaming, stress, anger, or loud laughter can also trigger an asthma attack.
How do primers aggravate asthma?
In people with the disease, the airways are always inflamed and very sensitive, so they react to various external factors (primers). Exposure to these primers causes asthma symptoms; The airways become narrower and more inflamed, the mucosa clogging the airways and exacerbating asthma symptoms. An asthma attack can occur soon after exposure to the primer or even days or weeks later.
This disease has different primers. The response to asthma triggers varies from person to person and varies from time to time. Some of the causes of this disease may be harmless to some people but may play a role in causing inflammation in others. Some people may have many beginnings, while others have no known beginners. Identifying and avoiding exposure to specific asthma primers is a critical way to control the disease. However, it should be noted that the best way to control this disease is to treat it and use the medication as prescribed by your doctor.
Determining what was present when your symptoms began is the first step in identifying the causes. Although there are several triggers, you may not respond to all of them. Some people have only one initiator or cause, while others have many factors. Many causes of symptoms can be identified by examining the reaction and skin or blood tests’ history. Your doctor will also recommend using a tool called a pickup flowmeter. The peak flow meter shows the lungs’ function by measuring the exhaled air’s volume and velocity. This tool can warn you about changes in breathing and the onset of asthma symptoms.
Risk factors for asthma
There are usually risk factors and causes that make you more susceptible to disease and respiratory problems. Of course, it can happen to anyone without these risk factors, but it is less likely to occur when there are no risk factors. In this section, we examine some of the risk factors.
Decide on controlling and trying to make changes in your lifestyle after determining the risk factors for asthma. Avoiding risk factors that you can control is vital to preventing symptoms. Although you can not change your gender or family history, you can avoid smoking, breathing polluted air or allergens, and take care of your general physical health. Control this disease by controlling the risk factors. By knowing all the risk factors, you may be able to prevent or control your asthma.
Asthma and gender:
Pediatric asthma is more common in boys. It is unclear why this happens, but some experts say that the size of the airways in boys is smaller than in girls’ airways, which may increase the risk of wheezing after a cold or other viral infection. At about age 20, the prevalence of asthma in both sexes increases. At age 40, women are more likely to develop adult asthma than men.
One or both parents may be to blame for your infection. Genes play a role in a person’s sensitivity to asthma. Three-fifths of all cases of the disease are thought to be inherited. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person with a parent with asthma is three to six times more likely to be infected than a person without a parent with the disease.
Atopy refers to a person’s genetic predisposition to developing eczema, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and asthma. Atopy increases sensitivity to common allergens, especially those present in food and air. Some children with eczema or atopic dermatitis also develop the disease. Some findings suggest that atopic dermatitis children may develop severe and persistent asthma, such as adult asthma.
Allergies associated with this disease:
Often, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. Indoor allergies can be an indicator of a family member’s risk of developing asthma. A study shows that the levels of bacterial toxins (endotoxins) in house dust and dust are directly related to the disease’s symptoms. Sources of indoor allergens include animal proteins (especially dog and cat allergens), dust mites, beetles, fungi, and mold. The changes that are taking place today to increase energy efficiency in homes increase exposure to these materials.
Indoor air pollution such as cigarette smoke, mold, and toxic fumes from household cleaners and paints can cause allergic reactions and asthma. Environmental factors such as pollution, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, cold temperatures, and high humidity can cause asthma in sensitive people. Hospitalization increases during periods of severe air pollution.
Ozone is the most critical destructive element in smoke. This element causes coughing, shortness of breath, and even pain in the chest area and can increase infection susceptibility. Sulfur dioxide, another cigarette component, also irritates the airways and clogs the airways, eventually leading to the disease’s attacks.
Gas stoves are the primary source of nitrogen oxides, a common indoor pollutant. People who cook with gas are more likely to develop wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, and hay fever than those who use other cooking methods.
Climate change can also cause asthma attacks in some people. For example, cold air increases airway obstruction and increases mucus production. An increase in humidity may also make it difficult for some people to breathe.
Cigarette smoke is a risk factor
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing asthma. There is evidence that smoking among adolescents increases the risk of developing the disease. Even exposure to secondhand smoke early in life is associated with the development of asthma.
Asthma and obesity
Some studies show that the disease is more prevalent among people who are overweight. The disease seems to be more challenging to control in overweight people, and they need to take more medication.
Asthma and pregnancy
Maternal smoking during pregnancy reduces the function of the baby’s lungs. Premature birth is also a risk factor for the development of this disease.
Types of asthma
Do you know the difference between the types of asthma? Advances in asthma-related knowledge have helped experts define different asthma types, such as exercise-induced asthma and nocturnal asthma. Understanding the nature of the disease will help you find the most effective treatment for an attack.
- Allergy-related: Allergies and asthma often occur together. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is an inflammation of the nose’s lining and is the only common chronic allergic disease. In people with allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity causes the body’s immune cells to release histamine in response to contact with allergens. Histamines, along with other chemicals, can cause allergy symptoms. The most common allergens enter the body through the airways. A person with allergic rhinitis may experience a runny nose, persistent sneezing, swelling of the nasal passages, excess mucus, runny eyes, and an itchy throat. Many of the symptoms of this disease start with allergic rhinitis. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control allergies that can help relieve coughs and other asthma symptoms in such a situation.
- Exercise-induced asthma: This type of disease begins with exercise or physical activity. Many people with this type have some exercise-related symptoms. There are many people with these symptoms who only show symptoms during exercise. In the case of exercise-induced asthma, airway narrowing peaks within 5 to 20 minutes after the start of exercise, making breathing difficult. Symptoms appear within minutes of starting exercise and decrease or worsen within minutes of stopping exercise. You may experience wheezing and coughing. Your doctor will tell you if you need an inhaler before exercise to prevent these symptoms.
- Type of asthma cough: In this type of disease, the main symptom is severe cough. Of course, coughing can have other causes, such as sore throat, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, or gastrointestinal reflux. Cough caused by sinusitis with asthma is common. Asthma cough is generally undiagnosed and untreated. Asthma triggers for asthma cough are usually respiratory infections and exercise.
See your doctor if you have any persistent cough. Your doctor will perform specific tests to diagnose asthma, such as lung function tests.
- Occupational asthma: This type of asthma occurs due to the workplace’s primers’ presence. In this type, you may have difficulty breathing only on the days you are at work and have symptoms of this disease. Many people with this cough experience coughing, runny nose, or stuffy eyes, or burning eyes instead of asthma’s usual symptoms. Some common occupations associated with this occupational disease include animal farming, agriculture, hairdressing, nursing, painting, and woodworking.
- Nocturnal Asthma: If you have asthma, you are more likely to have these symptoms during sleep because the disease is severely affected by the sleep-wake cycle. Symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing are common and dangerous, especially at night. Most deaths associated with the disease occur at night. This is thought to be due to increased exposure to allergens (asthma triggers), cold airways, a crouched body position during sleep, or even hormonal secretions that follow circadian rhythms. Sometimes heartburn can also cause the disease at night. Sinusitis is often a problem at night, especially when secretions from the back of the throat, causing coughing symptoms. If you have the disease and find that the closer you get tonight, the worse your symptoms will be, you should see a specialist and find the cause of your asthma. Identifying the right asthma medications and when to take them is the key to managing nocturnal asthma and improving sleep quality.
Health problems that may look like asthma
Several diseases can cause symptoms, such as asthma. For example, cardiac asthma is a heart failure type whose symptoms are similar to some common asthma symptoms. Dysfunction of the vocal cords is another health problem that is similar to asthma. Recently, many reports of a specific syndrome in which the vocal cords’ abnormalities cause a rash are confused with the disease. This condition is more common in young women who have loud wheezing and do not respond to medications prescribed to open the airways.
Proper diagnosis of this disease is the first step to self-management of this chronic lung disease. After the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe the most effective and safest drugs to treat the disease’s symptoms so that the patient can lead an active and productive life. There are many treatments available to relieve the symptoms of this disease, which the doctor prescribes in the form of an “asthma action plan,” the patient’s treatments and medications.
Asthma diagnosis problems
The problem with diagnosing asthma is that it often has no apparent symptoms when you see a doctor. For example, you may have a cough and itching for a week, but you may not have any of these symptoms when you go to the doctor’s office. Suddenly, when you least expect it, attack symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and wheezing appear.
Sometimes allergies to plant pollen or climate change can trigger the onset of symptoms. At other times, a viral infection such as a cold or the flu can trigger an attack. Smoking can aggravate the symptoms, as can sinusitis and environmental allergies. Even sudden exercise or stress, or allergies to aspirin or other medications can cause asthma attacks.
If you have the disease, you may not have asthma symptoms for weeks or even months. This can make it harder to diagnose unless you do a series of exercises at home, know the triggers and causes of your asthma, and help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.
Your doctor has the first and most crucial role in helping to control asthma. Your doctor will ask you for a detailed medical history at the initial examination, including any information about your asthma symptoms, your feelings, known asthma and allergy triggers, activity and diet levels, home and work environment, and family history. During this evaluation, you should talk about the symptoms and triggers of asthma. Some of the questions you should consider beforehand are:
Can you describe your asthma symptoms? (Check which of the following signs and symptoms you have)
- Shortness of breath
- Itching that may be triggered by allergies, colds, sinus infections, or bronchitis
- Frequent cough or cough only at night
- Severe wheezing when inhaling and exhaling
- Fast breathing
- Feeling of pain or pressure in the chest
- Difficulty speaking
- Feeling anxious or scared
- Paleness and transpiration of the face
- Blue nails or fingernails
- When do you experience these symptoms?
- All times: Unpredictable
- Only when exercising
- At night
- Early morning hours when sleeping
- During the pollen season
- When you feel anxious or stressed
- When you inhale smoke
- When you smell the perfume
- When you approach dogs and cats
- When you are in air conditioning or breathing cold air
- When you laugh or sing
- Related to allergies, sinus infections, or sore throat secretions
- Associated with heartburn or gastrointestinal reflux
- When taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Do you have a family history of asthma or allergies?
- Do you have frequent bronchitis?
- Have you been diagnosed with asthma before?
- Have you ever been in a hospital intensive care unit for asthma or taken prednisone for this condition?
After discussing the disease’s possible symptoms and triggers, the doctor will perform a physical examination and tests related to its diagnosis. These tests will allow you to gain an accurate understanding of your respiratory problem and will be the basis for proposing a treatment plan. Your doctor may use one or more diagnostic tests. These tests will be used to evaluate respiration and monitor the effectiveness of treatments.
Spirometry: A lung function test that measures the amount of air you send out. This asthma test confirms airway obstruction, a common feature of the disease, and can accurately determine the extent of lung dysfunction. This test is also used to monitor asthma medications’ response and is recommended for adults and children over five years.
Picoflometry test: A self-assessment that you can do at home to assess lung function
Maximum expiratory flow (PEFR) is a reliable objective measure of airway function. This experiment involves taking a deep breath and exhaling at maximum power. “Peak flow” is the maximum current that the device shows (maximum number). When performed accurately, this measurement indicates a decrease in the maximum amount of current, indicating the presence of airway congestion. Although pickup flowmetry is less accurate than spirometry, home monitoring helps you control your symptoms and indicate when an asthma attack is approaching.
Chest radiograph: Although this method is not usually used to diagnose the disease, if there are symptoms with other causes, such as pneumonia, your doctor will recommend a chest x-ray (X-ray). Also, if the asthma treatment does not have the expected effect, a chest radiograph may help diagnose the problem. (Symptoms Of Pneumonia, Causes And Treatment Methods)
Accurate diagnosis of asthma: Other tests, such as the methacholine test, may be used to diagnose asthma. Methacholine is a substance that, when inhaled, causes spasm and narrowing of the airways if present.
Not everyone needs all the asthma tests. Trust your doctor to decide which tests are right for you. If you still do not feel comfortable about your diagnosis, talk to your doctor to order more tests if needed, or try to believe that your respiratory problem or asthma has been correctly diagnosed and begin appropriate treatment. Success in controlling this disease depends on accurate diagnosis and support. Once correctly diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe the most effective treatment, which usually includes an inhaler spray and inhaled steroids that relieve your breathing problems and help prevent symptoms.
If you or a loved one has the disease, you need to know about the most effective treatments for short-term relief and long-term control. Knowing about its treatments will help you to be effective in managing your symptoms. When you have an asthma attack or symptoms, you need to know when to see a doctor prevent an emergency.
Asthma medications can save your life and allow you to live an active life despite having asthma.
Steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs, especially steroid sprays, are the essential treatment for most people with asthma. These drugs prevent the onset of the disease by reducing swelling and mucus production in the airways. Taking this drug reduces the airways’ sensitivity and reduces the chance that these airways will react to asthma triggers and cause asthma symptoms.
Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators relieve asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways. They help open the airways. Quick-acting bronchodilators, often known as “rescue sprays,” are used to quickly relieve coughs, sneezes, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. People with exercise-induced asthma may also need to use these sprays before exercising. These medications should not be used daily in the routine treatment of asthma. If you have to use life-saving sprays more than twice a week, it means that your illness is not well controlled. Ask your doctor to improve your control medications. Long-acting bronchodilators are sometimes used in combination with respiratory steroids or corticosteroids to control asthma symptoms or develop asthma symptoms despite daily breathing steroid treatment. These drugs are never used alone as a long-term treatment for asthma.
Respiratory sprays: Respiratory sprays are the most common and effective way to deliver asthma medications to the lungs. They have different types and are used in different ways. There is only one type of medicine in some sprays, and in others, there are two types of medicine.
Asthma Nebulizer: If you have trouble using small sprays, your doctor may prescribe an asthma nebulizer. This device has an oral part or mask and is usually prescribed for infants, young children, the elderly, and people who have difficulty using sprays. The nebulizer switches asthma medications from liquid to foggy, making it easier to deliver medications to the lungs.
Asthma and prednisone attacks
If you have a severe asthma attack, your doctor may prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroids. When these drugs are taken orally for less than two weeks, they are less likely to have side effects, but they will have severe and lasting side effects when taken for months. Once your asthma attack’s severe symptoms have been successfully treated and controlled, your doctor will work to minimize your need for this medication. Proper daily use of inhaled corticosteroids is the most successful way to do this.
Talk to your doctor
If your asthma has been diagnosed, but your treatments do not seem to be working, it is time to see your doctor again. If your asthma has been diagnosed, but you have to use rescue spray frequently, you still need to see your doctor. Your medication regimen may need to be changed to control the disease better. Your doctor can diagnose the problem and offer a solution to improve your condition. Although asthma is a common disease, it is also a serious condition that requires proper medical diagnosis and targeted treatment.
Living with asthma
If you have had asthma symptoms even for a short time, you still need to seek help for your illness. Frequent coughing, airway congestion, wheezing, and difficulty breathing can make anyone nervous and upset. Living with asthma symptoms can lead to severe stress. Likewise, increased stress can trigger asthma symptoms. So help should be sought.
Asthma and stress
Although stress does not cause asthma, the two are related. Asthma causes stress, and stress makes it harder to control. Even everyday stress can make symptoms worse. Gaining the ability to control stress is critical to reducing asthma symptoms. It would help if you also planned to get the things you want to do without stress. The longer the respiratory problems go unchecked, the more symptoms you will experience as a result of stress. This can make it harder to breathe and even cause more problems, such as the following:
- Sleep problems or night asthma that lead to persistent fatigue
- Inability to exercise or exercise-induced asthma that leads to inadequate aerobic capacity and decreased physical fitness
- Difficulty concentrating, leading to poor performance
- Increased mood swings and irritability due to lack of sleep or side effects of medications
- Withdrawal from favorite activities due to lack of energy or inability to perform them
- Changes in appetite due to medications
- Feeling depressed
- Asthma and anxiety
As stress increases, you will notice an increase in anxiety and symptoms. As asthma symptoms such as wheezing and coughing get worse, you will become more anxious, and then your symptoms will get worse. Asthma and anxiety cause a vicious cycle, and each of them can start this cycle. Learn about the link between anxiety and asthma, and talk to your doctor or a professional counselor about reducing anxiety and controlling it.
Asthma and smoking
Asthma and smoking have nothing to do with each other. If you have asthma and are still smoking, you should talk to your doctor about quitting smoking. Smoking also increases the risk of lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, heart disease, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and gum disease. Newer smoking cessation drugs are more effective than nicotine gum but require a prescription. Quitting smoking will prolong your life, and at the same time, you will need less medication to control your asthma. Get started today.