Asthma is a Chronic (occurs over an extended period greater than 3 months) lung disease that inflames and narrows the lungs. Asthma is not age restricted, but it often starts from childhood. In a study carried out in the United State of America, it was discovered that over 25 million people in America have asthma, and 7 million of these people are children. It is not age restricted but often starts in childhood. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a medical condition characterized by airways narrowing, swelling, and producing extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma is classified as an obstructive disease and a component of a group of a condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD). Obstructive lung disease is disease characterized by difficulty in exhaling all the air from the lungs.
For specific people, asthma is a minor irritation. For others, it can be the main problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma systems affect over 25 million Americas and are the leading cause of school absence in children. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Allergic Asthma Response to Allergens
To comprehend asthma, it helps to know how the airway and respiratory system works. The airways are tubes that transmit air into and out of your lungs. People who have asthma have inflamed airways. The inflammation marks the airways swollen and very sensitive. The airways tend to react strongly to certain inhaled substances called allergens.
When the airways respond to allergens, the muscles around them stiffen. This narrows the airways, causing less air to run into the lungs. The swelling also can deteriorate, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways might produce additional mucus than normal. Mucus is a colorless, sticky, thick fluid that can narrow the airways of the lungs.
This chain response can cause asthma symptoms. Symptoms can happen each time the airways are inflamed.
Sometimes asthma symptoms are mild and go away on their own or after minimal treatment with asthma medicine. Other times, symptoms continue to get worse.
When symptoms get more life-threatening and more symptoms occur, you’re having an asthma attack. Asthma attacks also are called flare-ups or exacerbations. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Treating symptoms when you first notice them is crucial. This will help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing a severe asthma attack. Acute asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can be fatal.
What Causes Asthma?
Allergens, infections, exercise, polution, stress. Asthma is a disease of multifactorial origin; it often occurs as a result of the combination of genetic and environmental factors.. the significant causes include:
- Airborn allergens: Some airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and cockroach waste could cause asthma and trigger an asthma attack.
- Respiratory infections, Infections such as the common cold are a primary predisposition to asthmatic attack
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma): Intense physical activities can exaggerate asthmatic symptoms, or serve as a trigger for an asthmatic attack
- Weather: Cold air and harsh weather conditions could exuberate the symptoms of asthma
- Air pollutants and irritants: such as smoke
- Drugs and medications, Some specific types of drugs such as beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
- Emotional imbalance: Strong emotions and stress could increase the chances of a person developing asthma. Yoga and practicing mindfulness can help keep you calm.
- Additives and preservatives: Sulfites and chemicals added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
- Underlying medical conditions: Underlying medical conditions such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a situation in which stomach acids back up into your throat
Risk factors for asthma
- Genetic or hereditary: Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with asthma
- Underlying allergic condition: Having another allergic disease, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Obesity: Being overweight increases your chances of having various diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and pre-diabetes.
- Persistent smoker: smoking is a predisposing factor to various obstructive diseases of the lungs.
- Passive smokers: Smoking is not only dangerous for the active smoker but also dangerous for people Exposed to secondhand smoke(passive smoker)
- Fume exposure: Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution
- Occupational hazards: Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in farming, hairdressing, and manufacturing
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma symptoms differ from person to person. You may have sporadic asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a universal sign of asthma in children)
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs and Symptoms of Progressive Asthma
- Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
- Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
- The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often
For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations such as:
- Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
- Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
- Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets (pet dander)
When to See a Doctor for Asthma Symptoms
Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Work with your doctor to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms worsen — and when you need emergency treatment. Signs of an asthma emergency include:
- Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing
- No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol
- Shortness of breath when you are doing minimal physical activity
- If you think you have asthma. If you have frequent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma, see your doctor. Treating asthma early may prevent long-term lung damage and help keep the condition from worsening over time.
- To monitor your asthma after diagnosis. If you know you have asthma, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Good long-term control helps you feel better from day to day and can prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.
- If your asthma symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor right away if your medication doesn’t seem to ease your symptoms or if you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often. Don’t try to solve the problem by taking more medication without consulting your doctor. Overusing asthma medication can cause side effects and may make your asthma worse.
- To review your treatment. Asthma often changes over time. Meet with your doctor regularly to discuss your symptoms and make any needed treatment adjustments.
How Do I Know if I Have Asthma
Coughing, wheezing, tight chest, dyspnea. The primary cardinal symptoms of asthma include coughing, Recurrent wheezing, tightness of the chest, and dyspnea. However, some of these cardinal symptoms can be mimicked by other allergic diseases. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
One way to distinguish between allergy and asthma symptoms: Allergies occur in the upper respiratory system and go hand-in-hand with nasal congestion, sinus pain, and nasal drip, which can cause airway irritation and coughing, (Thomas Asciuto) the medical director of pulmonary services at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, while asthma affects the airways that carry air to and from your lungs.
Complicating matters, some people experience asthmatic attacks if they’re exposed to specific allergens, especially cockroaches, mold, and dust mites.
And while asthma is by far the most common cause of a chronic, persistent cough, other culprits can include postnasal drip, sleep apnea, gastric reflux, and COPD.
The cardinal symptoms and specific diagnosis results are the primary way to know if you have asthma. Asthma and Allergy Signs Symptoms and Treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Allergic Asthma Signs Symptoms and Treatments
If you have allergic asthma, your airways are hypersensitive to the allergens to which you have become sensitive. Once these allergens get into your airways, your immune system overreacts. The muscles around your airways tighten (an effect called bronchospasm). The airways themselves became inflamed and flooded with thick mucus.
The chemicals released by your immune system lead to allergy signs and symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes or skin reactions. For some people, this same response also affects the lungs and airways, leading to asthma symptoms.
The allergic asthma symptoms include the cardinal asthma symptoms, and other symptoms indicating allergies such as nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes or skin reactions. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Types of Allergens that Cause Allergic Asthma
- Windblown pollens, especially tree pollens, grasses, and weeds
- Mould spores and mold fragments
- Animal fur, feathers, skin, saliva or urine
- House dust feces
You may also have allergic reactions if you are scratched with an allergen (causing itchy, red skin), get some in your eyes (creating itchy, red eyes), or eat it, which in rare cases can cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock (including a severe asthmatic attack).
Remember that allergens are not the only things that can worsen your allergic asthma. Irritants may still initiate an asthma attack, even though they do not cause an allergic reaction. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Causes of Asthma
- Tobacco smoke
- Smoke from a fireplace, candles, incense or fireworks
- Air pollution
- Cold air, especially vigorous exercise in cold air
- Strong chemical odors or fumes
- Perfumes, air fresheners or other scented products
- Dusty workplaces
Common Test to Differentiate Allergic Asthma
Specific tests are carried out to identify the etiology and source of the allergy-causing allergic asthma. The most frequent allergic tests include:sSkin-prick test – pricking the skin with a little amount of the allergen and measuring the size of the red bumps 20 minutes later
- A blood test: specific IgE test – used to be called RAST test
Specific Treatments for Allergic Asthma
Most treatments aim either asthma or allergies. Some approaches individually treat symptoms related to allergic asthma. These particular procedures include:
- Montelukast (Singulair) is a medication primarily prescribed for asthma that can help with both allergy and asthma symptoms. It’s taken as a daily pill and helps to control your body’s immune reaction.
- Allergy shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen into your body. This allows your immune system to build up a tolerance. This approach is also called immunotherapy. It usually requires a series of regular injections over several years. The optimal number of years has not been determined, but most people receive doses for at least three years.
- Anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) immunotherapy targets the chemical signals that cause the allergic reaction in the first place. It’s usually only recommended for people with moderate to severe persistent asthma, for whom standard therapy has not worked. An example of anti-IgE treatment is omalizumab (Xolair).
What Does Asthma Feel Like During an Asthma Attack?
Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma. The feeling of asthma varies among different individuals. However, this is the most common expressions of asthmatic attack:
- Feeling like a “Fish out of water” or out of place
- There is an elephant sitting on my chest ”
- I cough so much that I can’t catch my breath.”
- My chest feels tight and restricted”
- “I feel like there is a pillow being held over my face.”
- I am short of breath and can hear wheezing”
Top 5 Signs and Symptoms of an Asthma Attack
- Chest tightness
- Frequent coughing
- Recurrent wheezing
Treatment of Asthma
Long-term asthma control medications,
- Inhaled corticosteroids
- Leukotriene modifiers
- Long-acting beta agonists
- Combination inhalers
Quick Relief Rescue Medications for Asthma Attack
- Short-acting beta agonists
- ipratropium (Atrovent
- Oral and intravenous corticosteroids
- Bronchial thermoplasty
If you have an asthma flare-up, a quick-relief inhaler can ease your symptoms right away. But if your long-term control medications are working properly, you shouldn’t need to use your quick-relief inhaler very often.
Keep a record of how many puffs you use each week. If you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often than your doctor recommends, see your doctor. You probably need to adjust your long-term control medication. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma.
Specific Allergic Medications
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy). Over time, allergy shots gradually reduce your immune system reaction to specific allergens. You receive shots once a week for a few months, then once a month for a period of three to five years.
- Omalizumab (Xolair). This medication, given as an injection every two to four weeks, is specifically for people who have allergies and severe asthma. It acts by altering the immune system.
You can live well with your asthma, if it is well managed. Isolate yourselves from the triggers and stop things that increase the exacerbation of asthma. Allergic asthma signs symptoms and treatments are important to know if you or a loved one suffers from asthma. If you have any unusual symptoms, contact the nearest doctor to you.
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