What is asthma?
An asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease (lung disease) of the airways characterized by increased production of sticky secretions inside the bronchial tubes. Asthma is oftentimes characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. It is commonly associated to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In short, asthma is a condition that makes it difficult for a person to breathe properly.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance that usually becomes a routine for them. However for other people, it can be a major problem that interferes with their daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. The condition can’t be cured, but it is controllable. Since asthma and its symptoms changes over time, it is recommended to have a regular checkup with your pulmonologist and allergist to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
Asthma is one of top 10 causes of death in the Philippines. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data of 2014, 12,342 Filipinos died because of asthma. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that over 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma with over 80 percent of deaths attributed to the disease occurring in low and lower-middle income countries.
Most people with asthma experience a tight feeling in the chest along with recurrent episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma is life-threatening, but its symptoms can be managed so people living with this condition can live actively and healthy. The initial common signs of asthma include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing
- A whistling sound when exhaling – This symptom is common in children.
- Wheezing attacks – Often caused by a respiratory virus.
For some people, signs of asthma can occur depending on their current state.
- Exercise-induced asthma – Main symptoms often shows up when the person is exercising. Although this might be difficult to notice.
- Occupational asthma – Workplace irritants such as gas and dust triggers one’s asthma attack.
- Allergy-induced asthma –Allergens such as pollen dust and dogs often are the main cause of one’s attack.
If you experience any of these early signs of asthma, you must get to your pulmonologist and allergist to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed. Make sure to seek their medical assistance and advice. Even though discomfort may be mild, asthma can worsen if they aren’t treated and controlled properly. Diagnosis and treatment for asthma depends on the severity of one’s case. For the pulmonologist and allergist to diagnose one’s stomach ulcer, she or he must review your medical history along with the cause of one’s asthma, symptoms and any medications you are currently taking.
Knowing all about your asthma triggers and symptoms can help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the most effective treatment. Meanwhile, for one’s treatment, it will vary depending on one’s asthma. Get a better understanding of how asthma medications work so you'll know which medications can prevent asthma symptoms. Also, learn about natural asthma remedies and ways to monitor your breathing at home.
“Asthma Health Center” by WebMD
“Asthma” by American Lung Association
“Asthma” by Mayo Clinic