Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that transport air to and from the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and even some physical activities difficult. Approximately 27 million (8.3 percent people) American have asthma as per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. Every year worldwide, around 250,000 people die as a result of asthma.
What is Asthma?
The inside walls of the airways known as bronchial tubes. A person with asthma, his airways become narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This condition makes your airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases their susceptibility to an allergic reaction.
In an allergic reaction, muscles around the airways tighten, and difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. Asthma is an incurable illness, but some of the best management methods can control the symptoms and help to lead a full and active life.
Symptoms of Asthma
Normally, Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may have frequent asthma attacks, some people have infrequent asthma attacks. The following are some symptoms of asthma.
- Cough, especially at night time.
- Wheezing, a whistling sound comes when breathing
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath (unable to breath)
The type of asthma can be determined by which symptoms you experience. If you think the symptoms, you’re experiencing could be a sign of asthma, the best way is to make an appointment with a specialist doctor.
Types of Asthma
Although “Asthma” is considered as one disease, there are variety of types of asthma with differing symptoms and triggers that can lead to discomfort. Here, researchers recently classified different types of asthma.
- Allergic induced Asthma
- Nonallergic Asthma
- Exercise-induced Asthma
- Occupational (work related) asthma
- Aspirin-Induced Asthma
- Night-time (nocturnal) Asthma
- Cough variant asthma
- Asthma with obesity
Allergic induced Asthma
This is the most common type of asthma causes an allergic reaction. Allergens enter the body through inhalation, swallowing, hand touch, or injection. Cockroaches, household dust mites, mold, fungi, and pollen are some allergenic substances.
This type of asthma occurs after middle life and results from recurrent infections of the respiratory tract. Respiratory infections, mechanical and chemical irritants, hormonal deficiencies and psychogenic influences are playing some important role in nonallergic asthma.
When airflow is obstructed as a result of exercise, then that is exercise-induced asthma. As per the recent report, 70 to 90 out of 100 people suffering from exercise-induced asthma. Now Exercise-induced asthma is called as Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Exercising in cold, or dry is more likely to cause this type of Asthma. Better to exercise in warm and humid air environment.
If your asthma started during your job, improves when you’re away from your work environment then you may be suffering from occupational Asthma. Paints, cleaning products, dust from wood, grain or flour and latex gloves are some reasons for occupational asthma.
Taking aspirin or other NSAIDs trigger to an asthma attack. This type of asthma called Aspirin asthma. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
Night-time (nocturnal) asthma
Some people experiencing sleep disturbance due to asthma. This type of asthma called “night-time asthma” or “nocturnal asthma”. Even experts do not know whether this is a separate type or severe asthma. People with nighttime asthma have lower lung function. This cause more inflammation at night.
Cough variant asthma
A severe cough is the predominant symptoms in this type of asthma. Cough-variant asthma is underdiagnosed or undertreated. Better to visit a doctor without any delay. The doctor may order some specific asthma test, include lung function test. To know how well your lungs work.
Asthma with obesity
Generally, if you’re overweight or obese and find yourself having trouble catching your breath. This might be due to asthma. Recently, researchers recognized a possible link between obesity and asthma.
Asthma in Children
There is no proven way to predict which child will develop asthma. The fact is that not all children have the same asthma symptoms. No one knows the exact reasons why more children having this problem. But some experts suggested that children who are spending too much time indoors or more exposed to dust, air pollution some reasons for asthma. Here are some signs and symptoms of asthma in children.
- Wheezing, whistle-like sound when exhaling
- A tight, uncomfortable feeling in chest
- Shortness of breath
How to diagnose asthma?
There are many ways to diagnose asthma. Your doctor will suggest one or more the following tests.
Lung function test
This test will assess how well your lung function. Lung function test also called pulmonary function tests or breathing test. This test can be done for adults and children older than 7 years. This test measures airflow includes peak expiratory flow, spirometry.
X-ray test helps to take a photographic or digital image of the structures of the inside body. it is not the exact asthma test, but to make sure nothing else causing your asthma symptoms. Your doctor may suggest this test in order to see the structure inside your chest.
The spirometry test is the main test to diagnose asthma. This test helps to determine how well your breathing system is. Spirometry measures the volume your breath in and out.
An allergy test may be recommended to test how allergy is causing to your asthma. This test might be a skin test or a blood test. An allergy test may result in mild redness or swelling on your skin. After this test, your doctor prefers some food you have to avoid because you might have a food allergy.