Asthma is a condition where the lungs become inflamed and airways become constricted, blocking air from flowing. These blockages can result in mild coughing to a full blown asthma attack. Asthma affects millions of people each year.
Causes of Asthma
The specific cause of asthma is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as:
- Allergens such as pollen or animal dander
- Respiratory infections
- Cold air
- Physical activity
- Food allergies
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Air pollutants
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing
- Trouble sleeping due to coughing
- Whistling sound when exhaling
Cases of asthma can vary from occurring a few times a week up to a few times everyday.
Diagnosis of Asthma
Certain diagnostic tests like a spirometry and peak flow can be used to diagnose asthma if symptoms are present.
Treatment of Asthma
While asthma is a serious condition with no cure, it can usually be controlled through long-term medications. The method to controlling asthma is based on the prevention of an attack and the treatment of symptoms when recognized. Quick-relief medications can also be used to treat attacks. It is important to monitor your asthma symptoms and take measures to avoid triggers and prevent serious attacks.