Asthma is a chronic disease that directly affects the lungs. Although, this disease is very common in children, adults also suffer from the disease. Asthma is directly responsible for repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. You may have asthma attacks when you come in the contact of allergies. Patients can easily avoid asthmatic attacks by learning the signs and symptoms and by staying away from the elements that trigger the attack.
Causes of Asthma:
Asthmatic attack occurs in the airways. Airways are the path that carries air to your lungs. During an asthma attack the sides of the lungs airways swell. Asthma is also triggered when the patient is exposed to dust, mites and tobacco smoke. Some painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen may also exacerbate asthma symptoms. Some of the other factors that trigger asthma attacks include:
Symptoms of Asthma:
The initial symptoms of the asthma are slow but these symptoms gradually worsen. Not all asthma attacks are the same and its severity varies from person to person. A person may experience the following symptoms during the attack.
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
During the asthma attack, airway muscles tighten and make the airways smaller. During the attack the lining of the airways turns swollen.
Diagnosis and Medication:
Doctors start diagnosing the asthma with a thorough physical examination of the patient. They also measure airflow in the lungs using spirometer. Spirometer is a machine that measures the amount of air inhaled and exhaled by the patients. It clearly indicates the level of airway obstruction. Another important clinical test called allergy skin testing is also conducted to track which specific substances triggered the inflammation of the airways. Once the tests are done, doctors recommend medication to treat the asthma attack. Singulair is the most effective and highly prescribed medication for the disease.