Asthma: Understanding its Symptoms and Treatment.


What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the airways, the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs. It causes the airways to swell and narrow and produce extra mucus. These can make breathing difficult and trigger persistent coughing during the day, at night or during stressful activity. It is one of the most common chronic (long-term) diseases in children but adults can also have asthma. People with asthma don’t have it all the time, but may develop asthma attacks when something irritates their lungs.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms vary from person to person. It is therefore advised to work closely with your doctor to identify your particular signs and symptoms of worsening asthma — and what to do when they occur. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Severe shortness of breath,
  • chest tightness or pain
  • wheezing or labored breathing
  • Persistent cough

Is there a cure?

No, not yet! however, scientific discoveries have made treatments easier than it used to be. Fortunately, it can be managed and checked with proper information and medication.

How to manage asthma

-Understand your body and your environment to identify your asthma triggers. Stay away from those asthma triggers, some of which may include dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, strong perfumes etc

-Adhere strictly to prescribed medicines. These medicines could either be:

  • For quick-relief (rescue): these relieve the symptoms of an asthma attack by relaxing the airways and letting more air into the lungs. They are to be carried around in case of an attack. However, if you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine.
  • For long term control: these medications are aimed at helping patients have fewer and milder attacks. It doesn’t impact an ongoing asthma attack. They are to be taken even when there are no symptom

Some asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and go away quickly. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medicines.

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