Asthma is a disease that causes the swelling and narrowing of the airways of lungs, resulting in shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, breathing problems and chest tightness. It is sometimes called reactive airway disease and most people with the problem normally experience it early in the morning and during the night.
Asthma has no cure. However, with proper management and treatment, there is every chance that a person with the disorder can live an active and normal life. Therefore, one should know the cause of the problem before seeking medical care.
Symptoms and Types
There are various types of asthma depending on the cause. There are those induced by exercise, coughing, occupation, nighttime/nocturnal and age, for example child-onset and adult-onset asthma. All these types have various symptoms and the most common ones include: chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing, wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling and wheezing or coughing attacks worsened by flu or cold. Wheezing is a quite common sign in children.
The symptoms of asthma can be severe or minor and are different from one person to the other. Basically, one can get infrequent attacks, attacks at specific times only, or attacks all the time. When it gets worse, people display symptoms such as increased breathing difficulties, frequent and bothersome signs and the need to make use of a quick-relief inhaler quite often. All these signs and symptoms should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Tests and Diagnosis
During diagnosis or in the course of treatment, one is likely to go through various types of tests. One may undergo some tests quite frequently, and not undergo others. Some of the tests can be done at the doctor's office, at home, or at a highly specialized physician's office.
Treatment and Care
Treatment may vary from bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory inhalers to asthma drugs to oral medications delivered in a breathing machine or asthma nebulizer. It is important to understand how medications work so that you know which ones can prevent the symptoms of the disorder. In addition, it is also important to learn about the various natural remedies as well as ways to monitor breathing at home.
People who have asthma should always control their problem by working with a doctor and carefully following their treatment regimen. Those who do not follow the right treatment plan or seek medical care are likely to worsen their condition and lead to an inability to function properly.