Asthma is a chronic condition or disorder of your lungs in which the airway grows narrow. It is seen in every age category. It is a noncommunicable disease. People with asthma face difficulties in breathing. Shortness of breath and wheezing are commonly seen in asthma patients. People with a major case of Asthma may find it challenging to complete the daily chores and may also need an inhaler for support. Sudden and random asthma attacks are also a threatening factor in asthma patients.
According to recent studies, India has around 30 million asthma patients, and among them, 2.4% in adults, and the rest of the numbers are children. Let us know more about the causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, and treatments of Asthma.
Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the lungs. Asthma patients face difficulties in breathing because of the narrowing of the airways and extra production of mucus. The inflammation and tightening of airway muscles cause the narrowing of the airways. It might be a minor problem in some people, but in some, it might be a major chronic disease. Chronic cases of Asthma might not be cured completely, but the symptoms and risks can be controlled to an extent. Allergies, exposure to smoke, dust, fumes, weather changes, and many other factors can trigger an asthma attack.
The primary causes of Asthma are:
The standard symptoms of Asthma include:
The doctor will inquire about any family history of similar cases and if there are any incidents, let the doctor know. The doctor will also perform a physical exam by listening to your breathing using a stethoscope. He might also take a skin test to test the chances of any allergic reactions. Breathing tests are performed to measure the airflow of your lungs. You will be asked to blow in and out into a device known as spirometry. Such tests are known as pulmonary function tests (PFT). Other tests like imaging tests to find any structural abnormalities of the lungs, sputum eosinophils, etc., are also taken to confirm the condition of Asthma.
If Asthma is confirmed, the doctor will start with your medications and treatments depending on your age, symptoms, and cause. The doctor might prescribe you quick-relief medications and allergy medications for sudden relief if allergies cause your Asthma. To reduce the symptoms, he might also give you long-term asthma control medications like anti-inflammatories, anticholinergics, etc. Biological medications are also prescribed if your body doesn’t respond to other medications.