What is Asthma
Asthma is the disease or disorder affecting the airways of the lungs. Asthma is nothing but the narrowing of the air pathways leading to obstruction in breathing. The bronchial tubes and the lining of bronchial tube becoming swollen and tender make the breathing process difficult.
Asthma is the chronic condition. It is an incurable disease but controlled to certain extent. The asthmatic patients are hyper sensitive to react to the strong allergic conditions by wheezing and coughing.
Asthmatic attack occur when the normal symptoms of asthma gone very severe.
What are the causes for asthma:
The main causes for the asthma are unknown. But there are some common reasons for asthma. They are
- Pollution of air – air contains more dust particles and various allergens. When exposed can cause asthma occurrence.
- Living in unhealthy conditions – exposure to certain environment with more irritants lead to asthma. Certain infections are also acquirable.
- Allergic – to strong fragrances and other types of fumes.
- Respiratory infections – infections affecting the respiratory tract can narrow the air pathways.
- Pollen – a-this is allergen when exposed provokes the symptoms of asthma.
- Pet related – pet danders are likely to cause asthma in people who are closely living with pet animals.
- Tobacco addiction – tobacco smoke will damage the cilia and prevent clearing of dust and mucus. This lead to obstructions formation in airways.
- Smoking – usually second hand smoking are more dangerous. Mucus formation is increased and disturbs the breathing process.
- Food adulteration – some food with adulteration has more allergic reaction on the air pathways.
- Drug induced – taking some drugs can lead to narrowing of airways. Few drugs taken for other conditions have adverse effect on the respiratory tract.
- Exercise induced – few exercise like fast cycling have the high incidence rate for asthma.
- Obesity – obesity is one of the major risk factor for asthma. Obese people have the short lung capacity.
- Over mental stress – stress is the major cause for all the diseases including asthma.
- Imbalanced hormones – certain hormone imbalance will cause the lung pathway constrictions.
- Family history – some have asthma running in their family. Few genes are more susceptible to the early attack of asthma.
- Climatic changes – some people are not suited for certain climatic changes. They are easily prone to asthmatic attack.
What are the signs and symptoms of asthma:
The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. Some have severe attack and some with mild attack. The most commonly seen are
- Coughing – usually dry cough are seen in asthma. Cough occurs severely during the night time. Some have blood in the cough. Recurring cough is seen in asthma.
- Wheezing – a breathing difficulty seen with the sound during exhalation.
- Chest tightness and chest pain
- Shallow breathing – inability to fill the full lungs with air.
- Rapid increase in pulse – the heart beat increases abnormally.
- Excessive sweating – body`s temperature mechanism is disturbed.
- Over anxious – becoming more alert of the surrounding.
- Neck muscle spasm
- Difficulty in speech – difficulty in breathing making disturbances in the speech pathway or due to over anxiety.
- Disturbances in lying down – in lying position the obstruction of air pathway increases and makes breathing difficult.
- Severe mental confusion – due to association of anxiety provoked stages.
- Fatigue (tired) – due to insufficient oxygen supply.
- Severe Drowsiness – always in feeling of sleeping mood.
Tests to examine asthma:
- Lung function test – this test measures the capacities and the volume of the lungs. This shows the air moved in and out of the lung and also the diffusion of gases.
- Chest x-ray – show the size of the lungs and the area affected.
- Blood test to determine the WBC counts and immunoglobulin. More importantly measure the oxygen diffusion between lung and blood.
- PEAK FLOW and SPIROMETRY – measures the speed of air flowing in and out.
- Bronco provocation test – this show the irritants and hypersensitivity of the lungs to any type of allergens.
The doctors examine the patient for the asthmatic attack by using the stethoscope and hearing the lung sounds.
How to prevent and control asthma:
Controlling the asthma is a difficult process but achievable. Asthma is a chronic condition so management requires dedication.
- Allergy – Avoid exposure to the allergic conditions
- Irritants – Avoid exposure to irritable substances.
- Pollution – Safe guard you from the air pollution as it contain minute dust particles for asthma.
- Diet – Eat healthy and nutritious food and eat more antioxidant foods.
- Exercise – Keep exercising everyday or at least go for a morning walk.
- Climate – take precaution against sudden change in the climate.
- Indoor allergen – pet hair, pet dander and feathers from cloths and utensils dusts.
- Quit smoking and alcohol – avoid smoking and alcohol and also avoid exposure to other person smoking.
- Stress – Be educated in stress management in the difficult situation.
- Drinking Water – Consume more quantity of water to ease the secretions.
How to manage asthma:
ASTHMA is not completely curable but controllable to a great extent. There are various types of medications available for the control of asthmatic attack.
The most commonly used drugs are
- Inhaled corticosteroids – ASMANEX, ALVESCO, FLOVENT, PULMICORT
- Beta agonist inhalers – FORADIL AND SEREVENT DISKUS.
- LEUKOTRIENE inhibitors – ACCOLATE, ZYFLO and SINGULAIR.
- Apart from these some quick relieving bronchodilators – PROVENTIL, VENTOLIN, and XOPENEX are used.
In some uncontrollable asthma attack doctors prescribes the use of oral corticosteroids.
INHALERS – Using inhaler device is better than drug intake. The drug will take time to react, but inhalers will produce the immediate effect of the drugs. The two types of inhalers used are the metered dose inhalers and the dry powdered inhalers.
Asthma is prevalent in all the countries. Treatment for asthma is available worldwide in different forms. The advanced technology made the asthmatic condition to be in control for life long.
Frequent health checkups and complete monitoring of asthma patient makes the condition even better and living life is made normal. Even asthma is reversible to certain extent.