Asthma is the medical condition where the airways get inflated and narrowed and extra mucus is produced that makes breathing complicated and difficult. It also triggers wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. In many patients Asthma is a minor nuisance, while for others it is a condition interfering their daily activities and may lead to Asthma Attack which is life threatening. Asthma is not a curable condition, but the associated symptoms can be managed. The condition keeps on changing over time and hence it is necessary to work with doctor to track the signs and symptoms and adjust the treatments accordingly.

Symptoms of Asthma

The symptoms of Asthma range from minor to major and it may vary from person to person. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Asthma include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Coughing and wheezing attacks which worsen by respiratory virus
  • Wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling
  • Difficulty in sleeping because of shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing

Causes of Asthma

There is no clear evidence to prove what causes Asthma in people. But some believe that it is because of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the factors that trigger Asthma are:

  • Airborne allergens like animal dander, pollen, mold, dust mites and cockroaches
  • Cold air
  • Physical activity
  • Respiratory infections like common cold
  • Air pollutants and irritants like smoke
  • Sulphites and preservatives included in the foods, beverages and processed foods
  • Menstrual cycle in women
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • Certain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, beta blocker and naproxen
  • GERD which is a condition where stomach acid is reversed back into the throat      

Risks and Complications!

There are a number of factors which are believed to enhance the chance of developing Asthma and these factors are:

  • Being overweight
  • Being smoker
  • Allergic conditions
  • Blood relatives with Asthma
  • Having a mother who smoke while pregnant
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke, exhaust fumes and other pollutions
  • Exposure to occupational triggers like hairdressing, manufacturing and chemicals that are used in farming    

There are lots of complications like it interfere with work, sleep and recreational activities.


In order to find out the underlying triggers of Asthma, the doctors may ask you about the signs and symptoms and about other conditions. Your doctors will conduct tests to measure the lung functions. The lung pulmonary function test is done to find out how much air moves in and out when you breathe. Some of the test are Spirometry, peak flow etc. These are the test which is conducted in order to measure the air flow and the functioning of the lungs.

Doctors may also ask you to undergo several other test to diagnose Asthma and this includes:

  • Nitric oxide test
  • Methacholine challenge
  • Imaging test
  • Sputum eosinophilis
  • Allergy testing
  • Provocative testing for cold induced Asthma and exercise 

Treatments for Asthma

As mentioned there is no permanent treatment available for v. But with long term control and presentation the Asthma attacks and symptoms can be controlled. The treatments usually include the steps to recognize the triggers and tips to avoiding them and tracking the breathing so as to ensure that your daily medications for controlling symptoms are working optimally. If the Asthma worsens then it is suggested that you must use quick relief inhaler like albuterol.

The medications that are used for controlling the symptoms of Asthma include:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Long-acting beta agonists
  • Combination inhalers
  • Theophylline

Doctors may also ask you to use the quick relief medications which are prescribed for short term symptom relief during your Asthma attack. This includes:

  • Short-acting beta agonists
  • Ipratropium (Atrovent)
  • Oral and intravenous corticosteroids

If the condition is triggered by allergens in environ, then doctors may ask you take allergy medications to help alleviate the symptoms of Asthma. This includes:

  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
  • Omalizumab (Xolair)
  • Allergy medications

The treatment plan for Asthma is based on the severity and symptoms of the condition and hence it is necessary that you provide complete details of symptoms that you are facing to get exact treatment for your condition. 

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