Asthma causes repeated periods of wheezing (which are like whistling when breathing), tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing and coughing. Cough often occurs at night or in the early morning hours. The majority of people affected by asthma who comply with the appropriate treatment, can lead a normal life, but if they leave the treatment, asthma can cause permanent damage to the respiratory tract. On very rare occasions a severe asthma attack can be fatal.
Asthma is a common disease that affects around four million people in which 500,000 are children. It usually begins in childhood in 80% of cases, but may debut for the first time at any age. If you have asthma, your airways will become irritated and inflamed. As a result:
This makes the flow of air in your lungs more difficult.
Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe and include:
These symptoms tend to be variable and can stop and start again. They can often get worse at night.
The causes of Asthma
The cause of asthma is not always clear. However, there are often factors that can trigger the symptomatology. The most common reactions include:
If you smoke during pregnancy, your baby will be more likely to have asthma. If you have children and smoke, your children are more likely to have it.
Diagnosis of Asthma
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and explore you. You will probably also ask about your medical history and will ask you questions about some factors that may have caused your symptoms. Your doctor can do one or more of the following tests to confirm the diagnosis.
In children under the age of five, the diagnosis can only be made by seeing if they respond to asthma treatments.
In case of Asthma Attack?
If you have an asthma attack you should follow the following steps:
Living with Asthma
You will have to deal with the things that cause you wrong. Keep a diary to record something that causes your asthma – this `can help you discover a model. The use of a maximum flow meter to monitor your lung function may also help. If you suddenly have low situations in a certain situation (for example at the end of a work day, after exercise or after contact with an animal) this may indicate irritation. Quitting smoking is good for your health and will improve your asthma symptoms. With good management and proper treatment, most people with asthma lead completely normal lives.