Asthma is a continuing inflammatory disorder that makes airways especially tender to irritants, and this is characterized by problems in breathing. The symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing, and/or coughing. The most common trigger of asthma is a respiratory tract infection. In adults, it is the common cold virus. In children, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is the common culprit. Other common triggers include allergens and irritants. The most common allergens include environmental allergens such as pollens, animal dander, dust mite and molds. Food allergies may also trigger asthma symptoms, and may lead to anaphylaxis. Irritants, such as smoke and strong odors, can also trigger asthma symptoms. The most common symptoms of asthma include wheezing , a sensation of chest tightness or heaviness, a sense of not getting enough air, and coughing. There are no symptoms between attacks. With moderate asthma, symptoms occur almost every day and require an inhaler almost every time an attack occurs for symptom relief.
Asthma can be a life-threatening disease, and there are typically a few thousand deaths in the United States every year as a result of this disease. Someone having an asthma attack may feel as though he or she is breathing through a narrow straw or, in the case of a severe attack, may even have the feeling of near suffocation. Children born to families with a history of allergies or asthma are more likely to have asthma. Children who live in urban areas, where there is a higher incidence of air pollution, or live in a home that has high levels of dust mites or cigarette smoke, are also at a higher risk for asthma. Infants born prematurely or who suffer lung damage shortly after birth are also more likely to have asthma. It may also help distinguish asthma symptoms from symptoms of coexisting heart and lung diseases. Peak expiratory flow (PEF) monitoring can contribute significantly to management. Non-allergic asthma is triggered by irritants in the air that you breathe such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, fresh paint, perfume, etc.
It may also help distinguish asthma symptoms from symptoms of coexisting heart and lung diseases. Treatment options today are sort of categorized into two general categories: reliever medications and controller medications. Reliever medications, which we generally call bronchodilators, relieve symptoms such as wheezing. This anti-inflammatory treatment has the effect of easing the swelling, usually chronic, around the bronchial area thus making their job of forcing out any irritants a lot easier. Oral steroid use is sometimes associated with confusion in the elderly. Methylxanthines (aminophylline, theophylline) are potent bronchodilators, but with equally powerful side effects including nausea, rapid heart rate, headache and seizures. Steroids (inhaled and oral) are available as an inhaled medication and usually recommended when asthma is persistent. Some breath-actuated MDIs are available (Maxaire). There are also special devices for inhalers for people with severe arthritis.
Common Asthma Symptoms
3. Shortness of breath.
4. Episodes of wheezy problems in breathing.
5. Faster breathing or loud breathing.
6. Narrowing of the air passages in the lungs and thus increased obstruction to airflow.
7. Frequent happening of allergy
8. Inflammation of the air passages, characterised by eosinophils in the airway wall
9. Bronchial hyper-responsiveness to non-specific stimuli such as chill air or histamine.
10. Wheezing when they have a cold or other disorder
11. Frequent coughing, specially at night.
12. Coughing or wheezing brought on by prolonged crying or laughing