Asthma Causes, Symptoms,Types, Diagnosis

Asthma 2

Asthma is a chronic lung disease.It affects your airways, the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.This can cause wheezing, coughing, tightness in your chest.

How Does Asthma Affect You ?

Asthma is a condition that causes your airways to shrink and swell, as well as create excessive mucus. This can make breathing difficult and cause coughing, whistling (wheezing), and shortness of breath.
Asthma is a minor inconvenience for some people. For others, it can be a severe issue that prevents them from going about their everyday lives and can even result in a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.Because asthma symptoms and signs can change over time, it’s critical to work with your doctor to keep track of your signs and symptoms and alter your therapy as needed.

What is an asthma attack, exactly ?

When you breathe normally, the muscles surrounding your airways relax, allowing air to flow freely. Three things can happen during an asthma attack:
Bronchospasm : Bronchospasm is a condition in which the muscles surrounding the airways constrict (tighten). They restrict the airways when they tighten. Constricted airways prevent air from flowing freely.
Inflammation : The linings of the airways swell. Swollen airways restrict the amount of air that enters and exits the lungs.
Mucus production : Your body produces more mucus during an assault. The mucus is so thick that it plugs the airways.

Symptoms

Wheezing, a squealing or whistling sound created as you breathe, is the most prevalent symptom of asthma.
Asthma symptoms can also include :

  • coughing, especially at night, when laughing, or while exercising
  • Breathing problems
  • difficulty in communicating
  • Panic or nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Chest tightness or pain

Which symptoms you have will depend on the type of asthma you have.
These symptoms aren’t experienced by everyone with asthma. Make an appointment with your doctor if you believe the symptoms you’re experiencing are indicative of an illness like asthma.
It’s possible that the first sign of asthma isn’t an asthma attack.

Types

Asthma comes in a variety of forms. Bronchial asthma is the most prevalent form, and it affects the bronchi in the lungs.
Childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma are two other types of asthma. Symptoms of adult-onset asthma do not present until at least the age of 20.
Other kinds of asthma are explained further down.

Asthma caused by allergies (extrinsic asthma)

This prevalent kind of asthma is brought on by allergens. These could include the following :
• pet dander, such as that from cats and dogsfood
• mould
• pollen
• dust
Allergic asthma is frequently seasonal, as it commonly occurs in conjunction with seasonal allergens.

Nonallergic asthma (intrinsic asthma)

This type of asthma is caused by irritants in the air that aren’t related to allergies. The following are examples of irritants:
• wood is being burned
• smoke from cigarettes
• air that is quite chilly
• pollution of the air
• Infections caused by viruses
• freshening agents
• cleaning supplies for the home
• perfumes

Asthma caused by work

Occupational asthma is a kind of asthma brought on by job stressors. These are some of them:
• dust
• dyes
• fumes and gases
• chemicals used in industry
• proteins derived from animals
• latex rubber

Irritants can be found in a variety of sectors, including :

• farming
• textiles
• woodworking
• manufacturing

Bronchoconstriction caused by exercise (EIB)

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) occurs within a few minutes of beginning exercise and can last up to 10–15 minutes afterward.
Exercise-induced asthma was the prior name for this condition (EIA).
EIB affects up to 90% of persons with asthma, but not everyone with EIB also has other kinds of asthma.

Diagnosis

There is no single test or exam that can tell you or your child if they have asthma. Instead, your doctor will use a number of factors to assess whether your symptoms are caused by asthma.
The following can aid in the diagnosis of asthma :

Medical history. If you have a family member who suffers from a breathing disorder, your chances are even higher. This genetic relationship should be discussed with your doctor.

Examination of the body. Your doctor will examine your breathing with a stethoscope. A skin test may be performed to check for symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives or eczema. Asthma is more likely if you have allergies.

Breathing tests are performed. PFTs (pulmonary function tests) evaluate the amount of air that enters and leaves your lungs. The most common test, spirometry, involves blowing into a device that measures air velocity.

Because it’s difficult to acquire an accurate reading in children under the age of five, doctors rarely perform breathing tests on them.

Instead, they may give your child asthma medicine and wait to see whether the symptoms improve. If they do, your youngster is most certainly suffering from asthma.
If test results reveal asthma in adults, your doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator or other asthma medicine.
Your doctor will continue to treat your disease as asthma if your symptoms improve while using this medication.

Classifications

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) classifies asthma depending on severity before therapy to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
There are several types of asthma classifications :

Intermittent. This type of asthma affects the majority of people and does not interfere with daily activities. The symptoms are minor, lasting no more than two days or two nights every month.

Persistent mild. More than twice a week — but not every day — and up to four nights per month, the symptoms appear.

Persistence is moderate. The symptoms occur on a daily basis and at least once a week, but not on a nightly basis. Some daily activities may be restricted.

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