In this article we will take on understanding asthma pathophysiology including causes, symptoms, and possible remedies.
For easy understanding, the facts will be organized in various subheadings and, at times, bullet points will be utilized.
1. What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory system condition in which the airways of a patient narrows, swells and produces mucus.
Patients experience breathing difficulties, and this causes coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.
For some people this condition is just a minor nuisance, but for others it can be a major problem, interfering with their day-to-day activities, or it may even lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
2. What Are The Causes of Asthma?
It is still not clear why some people get infected with asthma while others don’t, even when exposed to similar environmental conditions.
Probably, the discrepancy is due to a combination of genetic factors, which are inherent, and environmental factors.
Generally speaking, exposure to substances that cause an allergy is known to trigger symptoms and signs of asthma.
These triggers are different from person to person, and may include the following:
a. Air contaminants such as fumes and smoke.
b. Physical activities can cause exercise-induced asthma.
c. Menstruation also triggers asthma in some women.
d. Preservatives and sulfites added to some foods and beverages may trigger asthma in some people.
e. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition whereby stomach acids back up in the throat, is a known cause of asthma.
f. Some medications such as aspirin and beta blockers among others also can cause asthma in some people.
g. Other common causes include cold air, strong emotions, and stress.
3. What Are The Symptoms of Asthma?
Asthma symptoms are not hard to detect. They range from minor to severe, but they vary from one person to another.
The asthma signs and symptoms are as listed below:
a. Wheezing and coughing attacks. This can get worse when there is viral infection of the respiratory system such as a flu or cold or other viral infections such as we have experienced of late.
b. Patients may also experience whistling sounds when inhaling.
c. Shortness of breath is a common symptom.
d. Chest tightening and pain
e. Patients may experience difficulties in sleeping due to constant coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
When the above symptoms become more troublesome, and breathing becomes more difficult, then it may more often necessitate the use of a quick-relief inhaler.
At this point then patients should realize that their asthma condition is worsening.
4. What Are The Remedies For Asthma?
There are a myriad of asthma medicines available, but it may be difficult for patients to choose which one to buy.
It is important to know that asthma medicines occur in two different types, the controller and the quick relief.
The controller type is taken to prevent a patient from asthma attacks and symptoms. They can be used on a day-to-day basis.
The relief type is taken when a patient already has an attack, for the purpose of nullifying the symptoms.
However, it is important to always seek the advice of a doctor in the case of the symptoms.
Remember that asthma can be life-threatening!