What Should You Know About Asthma?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways swell, get narrow and produce extra mucus resulting in coughing, wheezing and shortness or difficulty in breathing.

What Are the Effects?

The effects of Asthma may vary from person to person. For some, Asthma may not be more than just a minor nuisance while for others it may be something that causes major problems and interfere with their day to day activities. In some cases, it may also lead to asthma attacks which may even get fatal sometimes.

What Are the Causes?

There are no set causes for asthma as it may occur as a result of combination or environmental and genetic factors. Factors that may play a part in having this condition may include:

  • Infections of the respiratory tract such as a common cold.
  • Cold air.
  • Extreme Physical activities.
  • Air pollutants such as smoke.
  • Natural airborne substances such as pet dander, cockroach waste particles, and pollens.
  • Preservatives added to food and beverages.
  • Certain medications.
  • Stress and strong emotions.
  • As a complication of the kissing diseases (Mononucleosis).

Who is at risk?

Some people are more likely to develop asthma as compared to others if:

  • They are smokers.
  • They are being exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • They are overweight.
  • Their blood relative such as anyone from parents or siblings has asthma.
  • They have an allergic condition.
  • They are being exposed to chemicals used in manufacturing, hairdressing, and farming.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

The signs and symptoms and the frequency of the occurrence of the symptoms of asthma may vary from person to person. Some people may experience all of the symptoms all the time while others may have a few symptoms that too only at certain times.

Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the chest or the feeling of tightness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing sound while exhaling.
  • Coughing attacks that get worse with the flu or a cold.

Following conditions are the signs that your asthma is probably getting worse.

  • More frequent and problematic asthma signs and symptoms.
  • Feeling it more difficult to breathe
  • Increased frequency of need to use the quick-relief inhaler.

Whenever you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit your local walk-in clinic for professional medical assistance.

What Are the Conditions That Flare Up Asthma?

The conditions which may flare up the signs and symptoms of asthma are:

  • During exercise, especially when the air is cold and dry.
  • During exposure to workplace irritants
  • Getting in contact with allergens
  • When under extreme emotional stress

What Are the Complications?

Asthma may cause a ripple effect and may lead to some other problems such as:

  • Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tube.
  • Hospitalizations due to severe asthma attacks.
  • Side effects of long-term asthma medications.
  • Difficulty with sleeping and other activities.
  • Leaves from work or school during asthma attacks.

How to Manage Your Asthma?

There is no cure and prevention for asthma but you can surely plan how to manage this condition. The steps for managing it include:

  • Timely identification and treatment of attacks
  • Making and following an action plan for your asthma treatment. Visit a walk-in clinic for this purpose.
  • Monitoring your breathing
  • Avoiding asthma triggers by first identifying them
  • Getting vaccinated for pneumonia and influenza
  • Taking the medication as prescribed by the medical professionals at your local walk-in clinic.