Asthma is a non-communicable inflammatory disease that is characterized by the swelling and subsequent narrowing of the airways that lead to the lungs. This may also be accompanied by elevated mucus production, which, in addition to the inflammation, can make breathing very difficult. Hence, strenuous activities such as exercise or physical sports can take a heavy toll on anyone with the condition.
The disease is one of the most common chronic conditions in children around the world, and does not have a cure as of yet. Symptoms of the disease can also be worsened if one experiences a particular trigger like inhalation of an irritant. However, the symptoms of the condition can also be mitigated through various means.
If you or a family member has asthma, we have a few suggestions that can help make your life a lot easier. However, you should first and foremost visit a professional to seek the best course of action. These Best Pulmonologist in Lahore are great options for a consultation if you reside in that city.
Though there are no known certain causes of asthma, there are some factors that may influence who develops the condition. These include:
- Genetic Inheritance: If you have a family history of the condition, or an immediate relative with it, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself.
- A History of Viral Infections: Having regular and severe viral infections as a child may weaken the immune system to the point where inflammation of the airways and lungs becomes a regular occurrence.
There is also a theory that may explain some of the cases of asthma. The theory postulates that some individuals that have the condition were not exposed to enough pathogens like bacteria while growing up, leading to stunted development of the immune system. This weak immune system could mean a greater likelihood of developing asthma and other conditions.
Apart from the initial cause of the condition, there are also other factors that can cause symptoms of the condition to flair up or increase in severity. These causes, or triggers, include:
- Respiratory infections
- Strenuous exercise
- Allergens like pollen, mold spores and cockroach waste
- Pollutants such as smoke
- Pests such as dust mites
- Cold air
- Stress and other strong emotions
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), which is characterised by stomach acid flowing backwards into the esophageal tract
- Certain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and beta blockers
- Preservatives and sulphur derivatives which are added to foods and beverages like shrimp, beer and wine
The most common symptoms of asthma are wheezing and shortness of breath. Wheezing is a squealing sound that occurs when you breathe due to the tightening of airways. Other common symptoms of the condition include:
- Tightness in the chest and sensations of pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Persistent cough, which worsens at night or during exercise or when straining one’s breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Confusion and dizziness
- Bluing of the lips and fingernail beds
- Difficulty in walking and talking
- Difficulty in breathing, progressing to a point where one might gasp for air
There are other variants of asthma that have different associated symptoms, but the above-mentioned symptoms are common across most of these types. The type of asthma you are diagnosed with depends on the associated triggers and symptoms.
If you have not yet been clinically diagnosed with the condition and regularly experience symptoms of the condition, we highly recommend you consult a professional as soon as possible. These Best Pulmonologist in Karachi are great options if you require a consultation within that city.