Asthma is a long-term, chronic respiratory disease, caused by the chronic inflammation of the airways. It narrows and inflames your airways which produces extra mucus, causing difficulty in breathing. This condition can be controlled with effective asthma treatment.
Read more to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of asthma.
What Happens During an Asthma Attack?
Asthma is a condition that blocks the airways of the lungs.
- The walls of the airways swell and the openings accumulate with mucus when the inflammation is triggered by internal and external factors.
- Muscles within the airways contract and further narrow the airways.
- Exhaling can be difficult with the narrowed airways.
- The difficulty in exhaling develops the symptoms of an asthma attack.
What Are the Causes of Asthma?
Asthma can be caused by:
- Respiratory infections such as a cold
- Food and food additives
- Air pollutants such as smoke
- Airborne substances such as mold spores, pollen, dust mites or pet dander
What Are Asthma Symptoms and Signs?
Common asthma symptoms and signs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Difficulty in speaking and sleeping
You can experience these signs when your condition is getting worse:
- Asthma symptoms are more frequent and troublesome
- Increased difficulty in breathing
- Need to use the inhaler more frequently
Asthma signs and symptoms widen for some people in certain circumstances.
- Workplace pollutants such as gases, dust or chemical fumes can trigger occupational asthma
- Airborne substances such as particles of cockroach waste, pollen, mold spores or pet dander can trigger allergy-induced asthma
- The dry and cold air can worsen the exercise-induced asthma
What Are the Treatment Options for Asthma?
Asthma treatment varies from person to person depending on the individual conditions. Regular visits to your doctor are required to monitor your symptoms and the functioning of your lungs. This helps your doctor to create an asthma action plan that provides quick relief and long-term control.
An asthma action plan will guide a person to:
- Work with their doctor and follow the action plan to reduce the impacts of asthma
- Become aware of their asthma triggers and how to avoid them
- Take medications correctly and as prescribed by their doctor
- Visit their doctor as per the schedule or when required
- Report any changes immediately to their doctor
- Report if any side effects caused by the medications
An effective asthma treatment can:
- Normalize your lung function
- Help you continue with your routine activities without any discomfort
- Prevent troublesome symptoms
- Prevent asthma attacks that require hospitalization or a visit to your doctor
- Have less to zero side effects of medications
Two types of medications are used to treat asthma, which includes:
These inhalers quickly open your breathing passages and make breathing easier. These inhalers can prevent impending asthma attacks.
Long-Term Control Medications
These medications treat the airway inflammation that develops asthma signs and symptoms and keeps the condition under control. These medications can eliminate or decrease asthma flare-ups.
Properly using the asthma medications suggested by your doctor can control your asthma.