Asthma is an inflammatory diseases of the lungs that causes inflammation to the airways of the lungs starting from the nose to the alveolar sacs.

  • It is the most chronic diseases of the respiratory system making breathing difficulties.
  • Asthma is the inflammation of the air passages that present in the lungs that helps to deliver oxygen from the air into the bloodstream.
swollen air sacs, asthma
(fig.1. swollen air sacs)

  • Air passages are the small holes that present in the lungs which are very helpful in exchange of the gases.
  • In asthma theses air passages get swollen and  blocked due to mucus, further reducing the amount of airway that can pass through.

Causes of Asthma

There are so many causes that leads to the asthma which are as follows-

  • History of viral infection- In childhood to adults life if there is a history of recurrent viral infection that increases the chances of asthma.   
  • Genetics- Family history if any parent is having the history of asthma.
  • Allergic conditions can also leads to the asthma if the immune system is not enough strong.

Symptoms of Asthma

  1. The most common symptom of the asthma is coughing, wheezing and whistling sound.
  2. Difficulty in breathing
  3. Chest congestion 
  4. Fatigue and weakness
  5. Lethargy and sleep
  6. Loss of appetite 
  7. Night asthma attack                                                                                                    

Types of Asthma

There are many types of asthma but most common is the bronchial asthma that affects the bronchi of the lungs.
Some of the other asthma-
  • Allergic asthma
  • Nonallergic asthma
  • Occupational asthma
  • Exercise induced bronchoconstriction asthma 
  • Nocturnal asthma.                                       
asthma triggers

1. Allergic Asthma

This is the most common allergen asthma which includes allergy from-
  • Pollen
  • Food
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pet dander from animals like cat, dog.                                                         

2. Non allergic Asthma

This kind of asthma that is caused due to some irritants which are different from the allergens-
  • Cold air
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Smog
  • Burning wood
  • Perfumes
  • Household dust                                        

3. Occupational Asthma

This kind of asthma occurs at the occupational workplaces. These includes-
  • Dyes
  • Textiles
  • Woodworking
  • Synthetic industries
  • Household dust
  • Farming
  • Chemicals industries
  • Gases and fumes
  • Animal proteins
  • Rubber and latex.                                         

4. Exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) Asthma

This is a kind of asthma that occurs during high exertion in the starting phase of physical activity where large volume of oxygen is required.

5. Nocturnal Asthma-

In this type of asthma symptoms occurs during night, sudden coughing, chest pain, sneezing and chest pain.

Diagnosis of Asthma

There is no specific test for the diagnosis of asthma. It depends upon the types of symptoms and the causes.
  • Physical examination- vitals to be note down including the respiratory rate, heart rate, temperature, lung sounds.
  • Pulmonary function test to measure the airflow into and out of lungs.
  • Spirometry measures the volumes of the lungs.
  • Family history-this includes the previous parental asthma history, personal history of the smoking, alcohol, tobacco chewing.
  • Chest X-ray

Treatment of Asthma

Treatment of asthma includes the change in the lifestyle and diet modifications along with the medications.
  • Long term asthmatic medications that controls the asthma attack.
  • Bronchodilator in the form of nebulizer or inhaler that relaxes the tightened respiratory muscles within seconds.
  • Breathing exercises for increasing the tolerance capacity.
  • Anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain and mucus production.
  • Anticholinergics to stop the tightening of the muscles around the air passages in the lungs.
  • Ayurvedic medicines are also helpful in the allergic asthmatic conditions.
  • Yoga is also a kind of healing medicine that can removes the allergic or irritant asthmatic conditions from root level.
  • Avoid allergens that causes asthmatic attack.
  • Immunity booster supplements should be taken for strong immunity.
  • Healthy diet should be taken full of multivitamins including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D.
  • Physical exercises should be done daily.

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