What is Asthma?
A medical condition that can affect the airways is called asthma. The effects of this Disease are long term and Asthma Causes inflammation in the lungs and sometimes narrows them resulting in difficulty in breathing due to inadequate air supply. An asthma attack can range from being severe to sometimes being fatal.
Types of Asthma
- Childhood Asthma: This is most severe and it can happen at any age. Mostly children between the age of 5-14 experience this and they need help from a pediatrician to manage the condition.
- Adult-Onset Asthma: Asthma in adults can happen at any point during adulthood. Children who have had Asthma are more likely to be having them as adults.
- Occupational Asthma: Sometimes asthma can result as a workplace hazard. People who work under allergen prone environments such as pet shops, bakeries, flour mills, farms, and agricultural settings are more likely to get asthma.
- Severe Asthma: It is estimated that around 5-10% of the people who have asthma for a long time, slowly develops into a severe asthma condition
- Seasonal Asthma: This type of asthma happens mostly due to ingredients that cause allergies such as pollen, cold temperature, or snow.
There are three major Symptoms and Asthma Risk Factors:
- Airway Blockage: During Asthma, the muscles around the lungs are compressed leading to blockage of air that flows into the lungs.
- Inflammation: Asthma Causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Over the long term this can lead to damage to the lungs.
- Airway Irritation: Even the smallest trigger can lead to a huge asthma attack. The airways become sensitive leading to overreaction whenever anything allergic comes into contact.
A person who is struggling with Asthma faces the following challenges:
- Chest tightness
- Feeling breathless
Who is at Risk?
There are many Risks associated with Asthma.
- Hereditary: If parents are severely asthmatic, chances are that their children can also be.
- Race: It has been observed that people who are African and Puerto Rican are prone to asthma more than other countries.
- Sex: A study suggests that boys can easily attract asthma than girls.
- Workplace: If you are working in a professional environment that deals with flours or any other ingredients that can cause Asthma, you can be prone.
- People who are prone to dust allergies and old people are more likely to get asthma
- Obesity, Lung conditions, and any other infection in the lungs can be a reason for Asthma.
There are plenty of sources that can cause Asthma. What happens is that Asthma can lead to airways reacting to the smallest of particles in the dust leading to allergies. Here are some of the common Causes of Asthma:
- Exposure to cold air during extremely summers
- Strong odors from perfumes and sprays
- Sinusitis and also having a pet can lead to leakage too.
How is Asthma Diagnosed?
If you suspect you may have asthma, it is time to visit a Pulmonologist doctor and get it checked.
Asthma Diagnosis begins with a physical examination and may ask to perform certain advances tests as mentioned below:
Spirometry; This Asthma test measures how much air you are able to breathe out and at what rate.
Peak Flow: This test measures how much air can be pushed out by the lungs. This is a good way to check how severe Asthma is.
Methacholine Challenge: This test tries to measure how compressed airways are. If the result is greater than 20%, you have Asthma.
Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test: This test is used for measuring the amount of nitric oxide in the blood.
Apart from the tests mentioned above, there may also be other tests such as X-ray, CT scan, allergy, and a sputum test.
How is Asthma Treated?
Asthma Treatment is very helpful in managing the disease effectively. Your doctor may curate a course of medicine for Asthma to overcome the condition with some rest. Depending on the complexity, your doctor opts for a series of Treatment methods. Most of the asthma patients are prescribed an inhaler that helps in easing the problem immediately.
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Asthma Cure: Unfortunately, there is no cure for Asthma. The condition can only be managed with medicines. This condition must be taken seriously as a severe asthma attack can sometimes lead to death too.
How can Asthma be Prevented?
For asthma Prevention, the following are some of the strategies you can follow to not get Asthma:
- Understand what triggers it and stay away from it
- Make sure that you complete the course of medicines your doctor has prescribed without fail
- Understand your body and watch for signs that your attack might get worse
- Use the inhaler immediately if you feel asthma is getting worse.