Overview of asthma and its symptoms
Asthma is a chronic disease, which directly affects your airways. The airways are the tubes carrying air in and out of your lungs. Asthma is caused by inflammation and subsequent constriction of your airway. The condition is characterized by an instantaneous reaction by the airways in response to various triggers or allergens and substances.
During an asthma attack, the airway gets inflamed and restricts the airflow to the lungs. It directly effects your breathing and leaves you short of breath. It makes you wheeze and you can experience chest tightness. During an asthma attack the production of mucus by airway cells increases and it further causes obstruction in the air flow through tubes. You can die due to the lack of oxygen, if the attack is severe and prolonged.
Asthma, if not treated and controlled, can cost you your life.
It is widely known disease, effecting millions of people, still there is no concrete evidence towards its cause. Studies have revealed that it is caused due to allergic reactions caused by the presence of certain antibodies or certain conditions. Some studies also reveal that it is caused due to obesity and weight related problems. Various triggers or allergic reactions are known to cause asthma in people. It might not be necessary that the same trigger causes an asthma attack in all people. There are numerous triggers, which can cause asthmatic attacks. Triggers can be categorized as allergens, irritants and other triggers. Among the common triggers which initiate asthma attacks are as follows:
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
- Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution
- Strong odor/li>
- Workplace chemicals
- Common cold
- Respiratory infection
It is important for you to identify what triggers an asthma attack for you. It would help you greatly if, once recognized, you in stayed away from any known causes.
Like other diseases, asthma also presents symptoms that characterize its early, advancing and later stages. Some of the common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.
The first stage -- Early warning signs of Asthma
If you are in the early stages of an asthmatic event, you might experience some common symptoms. These common symptoms are characterized during the inception periods of the asthma episode. The symptoms include:-
- Frequent coughing during sleep in the night.
- Experiencing wheezing or coughing after exercising.
- Shortness of breath.
- Extreme exhaustion following exercise.
- Feeling tired and upset all the time.
- Experiencing a running nose, sore throat, headaches and sneezing frequently.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should immediately get yourself checked for asthma. The swifter you act, the more you will be able to control it.
The second stage - Advancement and worsening of Asthma
If you are not able to identify the initial symptoms of asthma, or if you ignore those symptoms, asthma could get even worse. The advancement of asthma starts affecting your daily activities and sleep. Some of the symptoms of worsening asthma include.
- Regular and undying cough.
- Declined response to medications.
- Shortness of breath.
- Experiencing regular tightness in the chest.
Asthma should be diagnosed immediately upon countering these symptoms or it could further advance into a severe stage causing damage to your body.
The final stage and its symptoms
When asthma enters into its last stage it starts affecting you severely. It makes life difficult for you and can even cause the death. You would need immediate medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms listed below:
- Rapid breathing.
- Undying chest pain and pressure.
- Non-stop coughing.
- Sweaty and dull face.
- Blue fingernails and lips.
- Hampered talking.
- Retraction of neck and chest muscles.
- Frequent gasping for breath.
- Severe wheezing.
Asthma can only be controlled, not cured. So you must abide by proper medication and medical instructions. It is also important to stay free of any known triggers, which can cause an asthma attack.
You should visit your doctor immediately if you are concerned you may be suffering with asthma.