Asthma is a disease which affects airways of lungs. Asthma can occur in any age group. Patients can have symptoms throughout the year in perennial variant or can have intermittent symptoms with periods of recovery in between.
Asthma is a chronic and inflammatory disease like other chronic disorders such as hypertension and diabetes which can’t be cured but can be controlled with the help of medications. Medications improve quality of life. The treatment of choice is inhalation therapy.
Signs and symptoms associated with Asthma:
Common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness. These symptoms vary in severity among different patients and also varies in the same patients according to disease activity.
Variants of Asthma:
- Genetic Predisposition: Like allergic asthma, in which family has asthma and allergy which can run in family.
- Exercise related asthma: Some apparently healthy people develop symptoms of asthma during exercises only, which is called as exercise induced bronchoconstriction.
- Occupational asthma: It is caused by gases, dust or fumes while doing jobs in industries.
- Childhood asthma: Many children develop symptoms similar to asthma before the age of five years.
Exact cause of asthma is not clear but it seems to be due to combination of genetic and environmental factors.
On the basis of symptoms frequency during day and night time per day, week or month—it is classified as below:
|Asthma classification||Signs and symptoms|
|Mild intermittent||Mild symptoms up to two days a week and up to two nights a month|
|Mild persistent||Symptoms more than twice a week, but no more than once in a single day|
|Moderate Persistent||Symptoms once a day and more than one night a week|
|Severe persistent||Symptoms throughout the day on most days and frequently at night|
This classification helps in choosing treatment or in modification of treatment.
Aspects to be kept in mind if you are an asthma patient:
If you or your loved one is suffering from Asthma, it is important to keep the following points in mind. Ignoring the signs and symptoms can aggravate the condition and lead to severe asthmatic attacks while can also result in affecting multiple organs.
- Beware of the changing seasons and the pollens in the air
- Avoid going out incase of dust storms
- Try and keep your nose and mouth covered when you are going out
- Keep the car windows up while travelling
- Keep your inhaler as recommended by your doctor handy
- Keep your emergency contact numbers always stored in your phone
- Keep a good follow up with your doctor and donot self medicate.