Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways, which carry the air in and out of the lung.
The airways in asthma become inflamed, narrow, swell and produce excess mucous. This causes symptoms like cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Since the airway inflammation is reversible, the symptoms are often episodic and recurrent. Asthma can affect the quality of life of an individual by causing various compromises like…
- Food restrictions
- Missing out on sports
- A constant scare of attack
- Missing out on school days
- Psychological impact
There are many factors that can precipitate or trigger the symptoms of asthma
- Exercise –physical activity in some people can trigger asthma
- Allergies –some patients may have family history of allergies. The triggers can be house dust,molds, cold exposure, animal dander, pollens from plants, perfumes, mosquito coils
- Occupational- due inhalation of fumes, gases, dust or other such harmful substances while being on job
Asthma is diagnosed by medical history, physical examination and measurement of lung function (PEFR/Spirometry)
Recognition of asthma triggers and avoiding them including smoking is the first step towards controlling asthma.
Treatment of Asthma Today…
Most Asthma Drugs are to be taken through the Inhaled Route –either through inhalers, rotahalers or nebulizers, as advised by the physician. Inhalational therapy is associated with less drug usage, fewer side effects and effective delivery of drug, straight to the lungs. Inhalation therapy relieves and also controls symptoms. It is often a necessity and not an addiction.
If a patient has acute severe asthma, as evidenced by severe breathlessness at rest, not able to talk in sentences, reliever medications not helping, then he should seek immediate medical attention!
SENIOR CONSULTANT PHYSICIAN,