Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, which makes the airways of lungs narrow and breathing difficult. Symptoms of asthma occur when the lining of airways of lung swells up and the muscles around them become tight. The secretion of mucus occurs which makes it worse by reducing the amount of air passage. A significant percentage of children in the world suffer from asthma. And, you might be wondering what symptoms of asthma are, its causes, and tips to combat it, aren’t you? Read on to learn all about it.
Symptoms of Asthma:
Here are some common symptoms of asthma.
- Coughing more at night with the tightness of the chest that worsens on laughing or on exertion.
- Wheezing or whistling sound may be present on breathing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tightness in the chest.
Causes of asthma
Multiple factors are responsible for the development of asthma
- Genetics: One of the important causes of the development of asthma is genetic predisposition. If your parents are having asthma, you may develop it.
- Viral exposure in childhood: History of viral infection may develop asthma
- Poor immunity: In the case of small babies, if their immunity is not enough to fight from various bacteria, it may lead to the development of asthma.
- Early allergen exposure: Frequent exposure to various pollen or allergen may lead to the development of asthma.
Asthma Triggering Factors:
Here are some common triggers of asthma.
- Irritants in the air
- Extreme weather changes
- Frequent emotional changes
- Illness: Illness, such as Flu or pneumonia, may cause asthma.
Types Of Asthma
There are various types of Asthma depending up on triggering factors. Find them below.
- Extrinsic asthma (Allergic asthma)
It may get triggered by various types of
- Pets, such as dog and cat
- Intrinsic asthma (Non-allergic asthma)
Asthma may get triggered by
- Fumes and smoke
- Cold air
- Air pollution
- Viral diseases
- Perfumes or sprays
- Household cleaning products
- Occupational asthma
Triggers of occupational asthma are:
- Asthma triggers by places or closed spaces
- These may include
- Dust and dyes
- Gases and fumes
- Industrial chemicals
- Rubber latex
- Animal proteins
- Adult-Onset Asthma
- Allergic Asthma
- COPD overlaps with Asthma
- Child Asthma
- Exercise-Induced Asthma
Diagnosis of Asthma:
Tests you need to perform for Asthma are listed below.
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood Test: Eosinophil
- Peak Flow Measurement
- Spirometry: To check the amount of air you breathe in, breathe out, and how quickly you breathe it out.
- Sputum’s sample
- Allergies test
Things which you might not know about childhood asthma
For children suffering from asthma and their caretaker and parents, it’s very important to understand what its symptoms and triggering factors of asthma are. As you all know a correct prescription always depends on the correct diagnosis, early diagnosis is beneficial.
- Asthma may be present without wheeze.
Wheeze is not at all obvious. Coughing is the characteristic symptom of asthma, where coughing may be present without wheezing.
There are multiple reasons for a cough. But, if your child is coughing often at night or having cough after exertion or exercise with frequent episodes of dry nagging cough that becomes worse with the cold then you must consult your doctor because it could be asthma.
- Childhood Asthma is treatable if diagnosed and treated on time.
Every parent of an asthmatic child wants his or her child to lead a healthy and normal life. So, let me tell you that every treatment is not only for avoiding or managing triggering factors, and not every medication is only to treat or relieve the symptoms. There is medication available which you can use to prevent your disease. So, if you think that your child might have asthma, talk to your doctor and get your child treated to lead a happy and healthy life they deserve by keeping them on medication before it’s too late.
- Symptoms can come and go
Lots of people, even parents of an asthmatic child, don’t understand what asthmatic attack means, and they usually misunderstand by saying that their child doesn’t have asthma just because their child hardly ever wheeze. We can’t assume without making any diagnosis because wheezing may be present in some cases, such as the bad cold or any lung diseases, and the child may not have asthma. So, an appropriate diagnosis is beneficial.
Treatment for Asthma:
Here are some treatments for asthma
- Breathing Exercises
- Your doctor or occupational therapist can better suggest you variable breathing exercises which may help you increase your lung capacity by breathing in and breathing out and get more air into your lungs.
- Long-term Medication
- Frequent consultation of your doctor should be done to adjust your dosages to prevent the symptoms and flare-ups of the condition and to avoid any rescue condition.
- Rescue treatments
- Rescue inhalers and nebulizers should be used in the event of an asthma attack to provide quick relief to help you breathe, and you will be able to inhale deep into the lungs.
- Bronchodilators help you relax your tightened muscles and offer relief to your lungs.
- Anti-inflammatories can act better during asthmatic attacks and helps you breathe smoothly.
- Seek medical attention if asthma attack persists for more than 24 minutes and when the second round of the medication and inhaler doesn’t help.
Home Remedies for Asthma:
Here are some home remedies for asthma.
- Caffeine or Tea: Having tea or coffee gives you short relief by opening up your airways and may ease your symptoms of asthma for up to 3-4 hours.
- Essential oils: Eucalyptus, basil, and lavender essential oil may ease breathing difficulties.
- Mustard oil: Mustard oil massage directly on skin gives relief.
Asthma Prevention & Management:
Here are some tips to prevent and manage asthma.
- Avoid triggering factors, such as chemicals pollens fumes and allergens
- Reduce stress
- Follow medication regularly
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet can improve immunity and reduce the risk of an asthma attack
- Avoid processed foods
- Maintain weight
- Quit Smoking and Tobacco
- Exercise regularly
- Do Regular Breathing exercises with meditation and yoga.
- Never try any herbs without any doctor consultation as it may be dangerous to your health
Asthma itself is a lifelong condition which goes through cycles. But, you can control the symptoms and avoid exposure to triggering factors by following the above tips.
- Written by Jyoti Kumari, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah