Asthma is a respiratory problem where the lungs develop complications like narrowed trachea (airway) from inflammation in the bronchi and bronchioles. While not a frequent condition, it causes prolonged discomfort and can lead to asphyxiation, causing death without prompt clinical care.
Asthma disease is a frequently reported respiratory illness. Living in a polluted climate, frequent allergies, and anxiety bouts can trigger an asthma attack. Some people also inherit asthma issues, while the rest may develop it from respiratory complications.
Asthma causes constrained breathing for various reasons (allergic reactions, climatic factors). Although non-infectious, asthma affects the lungs, bronchioles, bronchi, and tracheal tract (air pipe). Inflammation leads to mucous accumulation in organs, obstructing the natural pathway and triggering breathlessness with a wheezing feature.
People with suppressed immunity are prone to suffer from asthma disease. Also, those with potential breathing issues can develop from prolonged exposure to allergic reactions. A deterrent approach (staying away from the triggers) and prompt medication help manage asthma symptoms without discomfort.
Susceptible individuals may develop or inherit asthma, but it’s still under research to discover its prognosis. Here are some of the underlying factors that trigger asthma symptoms:
- Prone to allergies (susceptible individuals can experience minor breathing issues to an anaphylactic shock, completing choking their throat)
- Environmental incompatibility (weather plays a crucial role since most asthma patients experience discomfort during winter, pollution, and breathlessness if travelling to high-altitude locations)
- Developing lung infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, and COVID-19 decreases breathing potential, making it uncomfortable for asthma patients
- Having asthma in the family makes it most prone to develop one, if not in the future.
Asthma condition varies among individuals. Some may show an occasional bout, while others are prone to persistent breathing issues. It includes:
- The severity of asthma symptoms
- Potential triggers
- Onset of condition
- Associated factors triggering asthma
Individuals may experience persistent asthma symptoms with recurring flares (exacerbation). Depending on your condition, it could be mild or severe and requires therapeutic care. Others may show occasional asthma, often from exposure to potential allergens, as the patient stays naturally otherwise.
Besides, asthma symptoms can develop from:
- Allergic exposure (pollen reaction, hair intolerance, or food incompatibility)
- Lifestyle exposure (unsuitable weather, sudden exercise, underlying respiratory complication, and anxiety)
Temporary breathlessness is among the most observed asthma symptoms. However, typical asthma flare includes:
- Overall discomfort (abrupt pulse and heartbeat)
- Feeling choked (stone on the chest phrase)
- Wheezing while gasping for breath (whistling noise confirms an asthma attack)
- Violent coughing while attempting to breathe
Always keep asthma medications near you to counter uncomfortable symptoms. It reduces the chances of experiencing asphyxiation.
Asthma is a selective respiratory illness. Children comprise most asthma patients, followed by old folks and then adults. Here are the potential factors that trigger asthma disease:
- Poor or immature immunity (prevalent among old folks and children)
- Prone to allergic reactions from dust, moulds, pests, and pets
- Exposure to smoke (vehicular emission and tobacco)
- Exposure to occupational hazards (poisonous fumes, SPM, wood dust, grinding particles)
- Potential contact with allergens triggering anaphylactic shock triggers a violent asthma attack
- Prolonged exposure to pollution or living in a harsh environment triggers asthma
When you visit a pulmonologist (lung specialist), they’ll inquire you to match potential asthma symptoms. Here’s how it happens:
- You get tested for susceptible allergies to figure out the triggering factors
- Spirometer to measure your breathing capacity (asthma patients have poor breathing rate)
- A chest X-ray to determine underlying lung condition from past illnesses
- Pathological examination of blood for other underlying issues
Asthma diagnosis helps find out the state of your pulmonary health. Prompt treatment helps prevent further lung damage while you notice the potential triggers that lead to an asthma flare.
Treating asthma includes therapeutic and lifestyle precautions. Medications available for relieving asthma symptoms include:
- Steroidal preparations like methylprednisolone and dexamethasone help reduce inflammatory reactions. It clears the mucus congestion and frees the trachea from breathing difficulty. These are vital for treating individuals having frequent severe asthma attacks.
- Bronchodilator drugs like salbutamol and formoterol relieve congested bronchioles. It reduces the characteristic asthma wheezing, enhancing normal breathing.
- Asthma treatment includes oral medications and parenteral dosage (metered-dosage inhalers). Nebuliser is also used to decongest the nasal pathway, while inhalers are most effective in containing any sudden onset of asthma.
- Individuals with anxiety/stress require psychotherapy to develop effective coping mechanisms to counter asthma triggers.
- Using an incentive spirometer and deep breathing to develop resistance against asthma breakouts
Managing asthma symptoms is a crucial part of treating this respiratory complication. When you undergo diagnosis, keep the physician informed about the potential causes you experience leading to asthma. Take precautionary measures that include:
- Recognise the triggers and prevent them
- Take medications (carry them if you have adverse symptoms)
- Wear a face mask and associated protection (keeping your mouth and nose covered lowers the risk of exposure)
- Wear comfortable fabric (full sleeves) to counter skin exposure
- Get therapeutic help if you have anxiety or stress issues
- Stay away from passive smoking or fumes
Asthma is a lifelong condition. However, affected individuals lead a healthy life with effective medication besides precautions to counter potential triggers. Those with adverse asthma symptoms carry inhalers for immediate relief at the onset of breathing issues. Besides, asthma risks are mostly limited to cities that lack fresh air and have excess pollution.
If you have sudden breathing difficulty or have a family history of asthma disease, visit a specialist pulmonologist at the CK Birla hospital near you. Confirm your appointment to know more about diagnosis and treatment for any potential underlying respiratory issue today with our best pulmonologist Dr Ashok Rajput.