Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways. This disease causes the narrowing and swelling of the airways. It also causes the excess production of mucus in the airways. This makes breathing difficult for the affected person. Some of the signs and symptoms of asthma include airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Other symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightening of the chest and dyspnea. These symptoms might manifest multiple times in a day, and sometimes few times a week. The symptoms of asthma might worsen at night, or during exercise. The exact cause of this disease isn’t known yet. However, genetics and environmental factors play an important role in the development of the disease. Some of the environmental factors that play important roles in the development of the disease include air pollutants and allergens. Some medications can also induce asthma episodes. Examples of these medications include aspirin and beta blockers. The diagnosis of asthma is made based on the signs and symptoms presented by the patient, and also, based on the patient’s response to therapy, and spirometry. Bronchial asthma has no cure, although the symptoms can be prevented, by avoiding the triggers of the disease. Some of the medications used for the treatment of the disease include long-acting beta-agonists, anti-leukotriene agents, magnesium sulphate and so on. Exosomes are also useful for the treatment of the disease.
What Are The Causes Of Bronchial Asthma?
The cause of bronchial asthma isn’t known yet, although it is thought that, it’s caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental causes. Examples of environmental causes include factors air pollution, chemical pollution, allergens and so on.
What Is An Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack can be described as a sudden worsening of the signs and symptoms of bronchial asthma. During an asthma attack, the bronchial lining undergoes inflammation and might obstruct respiration. Patients do present with symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and so on.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms Of Asthma?
The signs and symptoms of asthma vary from patient to patient. The episodes might be often or only occur at certain periods, such as at night, or physical exercise. The severity of the symptoms of asthma also differs in people. Below are some of the common signs and symptoms of asthma;
- Shortness of breath: This mainly occurs because of the narrowing of the airways. The constricted airways would lead to the reduction of air that is available for respiratory processes.
- Tightening of the chest.
- Chest discomfort.
- Coughing and wheezing
- Difficulty in sleeping, which is mainly caused by the coughing and wheezing at night.
Asides from this, there are some signs that indicate that asthma is worsening. Some of the symptoms include the following;
- The signs and symptoms of asthma become more frequent.
- The patient complains more about how uncomfortable he/she feels.
- Increased difficulty in breathing. The peak flow meter would show values that indicate that the disease is becoming worse.
- The patient would need to rely more on quick-relief inhalers.
In addition, there are some conditions that exacerbate asthma. Below are some of the conditions;
- Exercise: A lot of asthma patients presents with episodes when they’re exercising. This may be worse, especially when the air is cold and dry.
- Occupational hazard: This is caused by irritants in work places. They could be chemical fumes, gases, and so on.
- Allery: There is some substance that can also trigger asthma. Examples of these triggers include pollen, dust, wools of animals and so on.
When Is Important to Go See A Doctor?
It’s important to go see your doctor when you notice any of the following;
- When you think you have asthma: You should go see a physician if you notice you have the signs and symptoms of asthma, as stated above. Some of the symptoms that you might notice include wheezing and coughing that persists for a few days. The early treatment of asthma helps to prevent long-term damages to the respiratory system.
- When the symptoms worsen: You should inform your physician, immediately you notice that your symptoms have worsened, especially when your quick-relief medications don’t work. It’s important to know that the excessive use of asthma medications can lead to the development of adverse effects, that might make asthma worse.
- To monitor the progress of the disease: You should work closely with your physician so he can monitor and help you keep the disease under control. Well-Managed asthma makes you feel better, also helps to prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.
- To review your treatment: The treatment of asthma do require regular changes. It’s important to consult your physician often, on how best to manage the disease.
How Is Bronchial Asthma Diagnosed?
Since episodes of asthma are spontaneous and don’t always occur when in the physician’s office. It’s important to give the doctor a vivid description of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Also, details of the trigger of the disease should also be given. Below are some of the asthma tests;
- Spirometry: This is a lung function test that evaluates the breathing capacity of the patient. Basically, it checks for how well the patient breathes. The patient is made to breathe into a spirometer.
- Peak expiratory flow: This test is done by making use of the peak flow meter. This works by forcefully exhaling into a tube. The force with which the air is blown into the lungs is then evaluated. This test can be performed at home, and it helps in monitoring the progress of the disease.
- Chest X-ray: This is done to exempt other diseases, especially there are many diseases with similar symptoms with asthma.
Stem Cell Therapy Of Asthma
Stem cells are a special kind of cells in that they can regenerate, and also repair damaged tissues. In addition to this, stem cells also have immune modulatory functions. Mesenchymal stem cells are useful in the treatment of bronchial asthma because of their ability to regenerate and repair or replace the injured or dead lung tissues. In addition, the stem cells also increase the ability of the patient to resist infections and other forms of allergy. Since stem cells are immune modulators, they reduce asthmatic episodes that are due to allergic triggers.
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