Asthma is a long-term lung disease that causes the airways to get inflamed and narrow. Patients with asthma will find it hard to breathe. Asthma is also sometimes referred to as bronchial asthma or chronic respiratory disease.
Asthma is a serious condition that affects millions of people around the world. Fortunately, with the right treatment, you can get along just fine. Without proper treatment, you might need to visit the emergency room often, which can affect your quality of life significantly.
Bacteria and viruses
The following are the different types of asthma:
Allergic asthma – Things that trigger allergies like pollen and dust may also cause asthma attacks.
Occupational asthma – This type of asthma often affects individuals that work around certain dust, chemical fumes, or other irritants. Symptoms go away on weekends or on holidays when the person is away from the workplace.
Exercise-induced Asthma –This is triggered by vigorous physical activity such as running, when you breathe in cold air during the physical activity.The symptoms will often manifest after completion of the physical activity instead of during the activity.
Asthma in children – Symptoms can differ from one child to another. Some of the common symptoms to watch out for include:
Nonallergic asthma – This kind is triggered by extreme weather (the heat of the summer or the cold of winter). Nonallergic asthma can also manifest when a person has a cold or is stressed.
Nocturnal asthma – Patients with nocturnal asthma experience worsening of the symptoms at night.
Cough-variant asthma – Unlike other types, cough-variant only has one symptom: long-term cough and tests done to diagnose asthma are negative.
Aspirin-induced asthma – Patients with this type of asthma will experience asthma symptoms when they take aspirin. Other symptoms that can manifest include cough, sinus pressure, sneezing, and runny nose.
Status asthmaticus – This is an emergency situation where the person develops a severe attack of asthma requiring admission to the Intensive Care Unit and life support machine.
Asthma is ranked based on its symptoms. For example:
Mild intermittent asthma
Patients only experience mild symptoms less than twice a week. Nighttime symptoms are experienced less than twice a month. Patients experience just a few asthma attacks overall.
Mild persistent asthma
Symptoms can manifest at least three to six times a week. Nighttime symptoms can manifest at least three to four times a month. The attacks might affect some activities patients have.
Moderate persistent asthma
Symptoms of moderate persistent asthma can manifest three to six times each week. Nighttime symptoms may also appear three to four times a month. The attacks can also affect most activities.
Severe persistent asthma
Ongoing symptoms can occur both day and night. Patients might need to limit their activities.
Some of the most common asthma triggers include:
Factors that might make you more prone to asthma include:
If you suspect you have asthma, visit your doctor right away. You will be referred to an asthma specialist known as a pulmonologist. You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms. Tests to check how your lungs work may also be recommended.
When not under control, asthma might cause problems that can affect your way of life such as:
Asthma may also lead to other serious medical conditions such as:
There are various ways to prevent attacks and keep your asthma under control.