What is Asthma?
Asthma is a condition in which there is inflammation in the lung airways. It is also a long-term disease. Furthermore, a person going through Asthma may experience frequent wheezing and coughing. Additionally, it is a breathing problem and becomes worse with time. Also, Asthma is a combination of environmental factors and genetics. Although, Asthma is treatable and its exact cure is yet to be known. Asthma is also quite common among people. In 2019, more than 4 lakh deaths occurred due to Asthma, and around 262 million people are diagnosed with this condition. Additionally, people going through Asthma find it difficult to perform simple physical activities in their day-to-day life.
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma is a condition that is caused due to combination of both genetic and environmental factors. However, this medical condition is very complex and its causes are as follows:
- Indoor allergen exposure
- Air pollution
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Low air quality
- Traffic pollution
- Indoor volatile organic compounds exposure
- Exposure to Phthalates in certain types of PVC
- Psychological stress during pregnancy
- Acetaminophen consumption during pregnancy
- Viral respiratory infections like COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinovirus. Use of antibiotics in early life
- Family history
- history of atopic disease
- Hay fever
- Beta-blocker medications usage
- Use of other drugs like angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, aspirin, and NSAIDs
- Use of acid-suppressing medication during pregnancy
- Animal dander
- Bacterial and viral infections
What are the Types of Asthma?
You can cope with your condition of Asthma after getting diagnosed in better ways if you have an understanding of their types. Here are the types of Asthma as follows:
- Seasonal Asthma- Asthma that affects patients comes up frequently in certain periods annually. Most occur during fever and pollination seasons
- Allergic Asthma- It is Asthma that is triggered by things that can possibly cause allergies like pollen, dust, and pet fur
- Non-allergic Asthma- It is also known as non-atopic asthma and does not get triggered by allergens but rather other unknown factors
- Occupational Asthma- Occupations like bakery, textile, and cotton industry work can also affect and lead you to Asthma. Furthermore, an indoor work environment can lead you to this condition
- Severe Asthma- It is a severe level of Asthma and affects only 4% of patients with Asthma problems
- Difficult Asthma- Asthma is difficult to cope with because the patient is also going through other health issues already
- Brittle Asthma- It is also a former term used to address severe Asthma
- Exercise-induced Asthma- Patients with this type of Asthma go through symptoms of Asthma because they are triggered by physical activities or exercise. It happens because exercise narrows those patient’s airways
- Childhood Asthma- This type of Asthma occurs during childhood and usually, the condition improves or disappears gradually with age
- Adult-onset Asthma- It usually starts from childhood but in this type, patients suffer from Asthma when they turn adult
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?
Usually, people can detect this medical condition pretty easily as their signs and symptoms are pretty clear enough. Still, in some cases, it is hard to detect. However, here are some signs and symptoms of Asthma as follows:
- Short of breath
- Chest pain
- Pressure in chest
- Wheezing frequently
- Trouble sleeping
- Coughing a lot
- Fast heart rate
- Blue lips or fingers
- Getting short of breathe doing tasks that require physical efforts
How to Treat Asthma?
If you find any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of Asthma relatable to you then seek immediate help from a doctor as this condition can make your life very difficult and can turn fatal. Furthermore, Asthma is treatable.
Before getting into treatment your doctor may also run a few tests to understand your Asthma conditions in better ways. Moreover, common tests like Spirometry and Peak Flow may be done to measure your lung functioning. Additionally, the treatment differs and depends upon the patient’s age, severity level, and weight.
Asthma action plan
After understanding your Asthma condition in detail, your doctor will also help you create an action plan which will include a list of triggers you need to avoid, steps to avoid them, how to manage your Asthma attack, and dosage regulation properly.
Short-term or quick-relief medications include
- Short-acting beta agonists like levalbuterol (Xopenex, Xopenex HFA) and albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, others)
- Oral and intravenous corticosteroids like methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol) and prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)
Long-term medications for treating and controlling Asthma include:
- Corticosteroid Inhalers like fluticasone propionate (Flovent HFA, Flovent Diskus, Chance), beclomethasone (Qvar Redihaler), mometasone (Asmanex HFA, Asmanex Twisthaler), budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler, Pulmicort Respules, Rhinocort), ciclesonide (Alvesco), and fluticasone furoate (Arnuity Ellipta)
- Combination inhalers like fluticasone furoate-vilanterol (Breo Ellipta), fluticasone-salmeterol (Advair HFA, Airduo Digihaler, others), budesonide-formoterol (Symbicort) and formoterol-mometasone (Dulera)
- Leukotriene modifiers like zileuton (Zyflo), montelukast (Singulair) and zafirlukast (Accolate)
- Theophylline (Theo-24, Elixophyllin, Theochron)
- Allergy medications like omalizumab (Xolair), mepolizumab (Nucala), reslizumab (Cinqair), benralizumab (Fasenra), and dupilumab (Dupixent)
- Anticholinergic agents like ipratropium (Atrovent HFA) and tiotropium (Spiriva, Spiriva Respimat)
Moreover, this surgery is done when severe Asthma patients don’t improve. With the help of long-term Asthma medications. Furthermore, in this method, your lung airways start to heat helping your airway muscles to get smoothen up limiting the ability of airways to get tightened. This surgery also helps to make your breathing easier and reduce the frequency of Asthma attacks.
Asthma is a condition in which there is inflammation in the lung airways. It is also a long-term disease. Furthermore, a person going through Asthma may experience frequent wheezing and coughing. Also, Asthma is treatable. Its exact cure is still unknown. Asthma is a condition that occurs due to a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Usually, people can also detect this medical condition pretty easily as their signs and symptoms are pretty clear enough. If you find any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of Asthma relatable to you then seek immediate help from a doctor as this condition can make your life very difficult and can turn fatal.