Asthma

Asthma is a chronic long-term lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when we breath), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children. Asthma is the disease of airways which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. People who have asthma have inflamed airways. The inflammation makes the airways swollen and very sensitive. The airways tend to react strongly to certain inhaled substances. When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. This narrows the airways, causing less air to flow into the lungs. The swelling also can worsen, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways might make more mucus than usual. Mucus is a sticky, thick liquid that can further narrow the airways For many asthma sufferers, timing of these symptoms is closely related to physical activity. And, some otherwise healthy people can develop asthma symptoms only when exercising. This is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), or exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Staying active is an important way to stay healthy, The physician can develop a management plan to keep the symptoms under control before, during and after physical activity.

People with a family history of allergies or asthma are more prone to developing asthma. Many people with asthma also have allergies. This is called allergic asthma.Asthma Symptoms

Occupational asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while on the job.

Childhood asthma impacts millions of children and their families. In fact, the majority of children who develop asthma do so before the age of five.

There is no cure for asthma, but once it is properly diagnosed and a treatment plan is in place The person will be able to manage the condition, and quality of life will improve

Asthma Symptoms

According to the leading experts in asthma, the symptoms of asthma and best treatment may be quite different than for someone else with asthma. Asthma symptoms, also called asthma flare-ups or asthma attacks, are often caused by allergies and exposure to allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen or mold. Non-allergic triggers include smoke, pollution or cold air or changes in weather. Asthma symptoms may be worse during exercise, when we have cold or during times of high stress. Children with asthma may show the same symptoms as adults with asthma: coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. In some children chronic cough may be the only symptom. Coughing that is constant or that is made worse by viral infections, happens while our child is asleep, or is triggered by exercise and cold air

  • Wheezing or whistling sound when our child exhales
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing, which may be associated with exercise
  • Chest tightness (a young child may say that his chest “hurts” or “feels funny”)
  • Fatigue (if child may slow down or stop playing)
  • Problems feeding or grunting during feeding (infants)
  • Avoiding sports or social activities
  • Problems sleeping due to coughing or difficulty breathing

Patterns in asthma symptoms are important and can help our doctor to make a diagnosis. One should give more attention to when symptoms occur:

  • At night or early morning
  • During or after exercise
  • During certain seasons
  • After laughing or crying

ASTHMA TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT
There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms can be controlled with effective asthma treatment and management. This involves taking the medications as directed and learning to avoid triggers that causes asthma symptoms. Allergist will prescribe the best medications for the related condition and provide the specific instructions for using them.Controller medications are taken daily and include inhaled corticosteroids(fluticasone Combination inhalers contain an inhaled corticosteroid plus a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA)..

 

By – Dr. Rashmi Duggal Dhingra
PRINCIPAL
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital