Asthma is the chronic airway disease characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. This airways swell and become extremely sensitive to some of the substance a person might inhale. This increased sensitivity causes a reaction, the muscles that control the airways tighten. In doing so, they might obstruct the airways even further and trigger an overproduction of mucus, these further makes breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some asthma can be a minor problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to life-threatening asthma.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Episodes of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath.
What are the types of asthma?
Allergic,occupational,exercise induced,occupational,aspirin induced asthma,adult onset asthma,nocturnal asthma ,cough variant asthma.
What are the causes/triggers of asthma?
Allergies to airborne substances like pollen, mold, animal dander, dust mites, cockroach particles.
Food allergies-eggs, cow’s milk, wheat, peanuts, wheat, etc
Exercise, smoking, sinusitis and other respiratory infections
Medications like beta blockers, aspirin, etc
How to diagnose asthma?
Physical examination –on auscultation wheezing is the main finding
Pulmonary function testing
Complete blood count which may show raised eosinophil counts
When to consult your doctor?
You should immediately consult your doctor when you have symptoms suggestive of asthma or when you are already suffering from asthma and you have increased breathlessness, cough, wheezing. For regular monitoring and for titrating treatment of asthma.
What is the treatment for asthma?
Inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled steroids are the mainstays of treatment. Oral steroid and bronchodilators. Immunotherapy is also useful in many patients
How to prevent an asthma attack?
To avoid smoke or dust exposure
To avoid going out when air quality index is very high
Use of personal protective equipment while on work in people with occupational asthma
Dr. Sachi Dave | Consultant – Critical Care Services & Pulmonology | Narayana Multispeciality Hospital Ahemdabad