Asthma – Types and treatment

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asthma photoAsthma is an inflammation of the airways which may obstruct the normal airflow to your lungs. Bronchial tubes are constantly inflamed and, as they tighten, the air can’t get to your lungs which produce a wheezing sound. This symptom is often accompanied by shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. The severity of symptoms may vary from mild ones which go away with minimal treatment while other, more complicated conditions, require serious medical care.

Types of asthma

Although there is no permanent remedy for asthma, the symptoms can be alleviated depending on its type. Even though it can be divided into categories depending on its severity, doctors usually make a distinction between:

Exercise-Induced Asthma which becomes apparent during physical exercise or exertion. Vigorous exercise may result in the narrowing of airways and shortness of breath leading a person to the state of wheezing and coughing as they try to breathe. Bronchodilators (asthma inhalers) are useful since they can prevent symptoms when taken prior to doing physical exercise.

Cough-Variant Asthma is usually not followed by any other symptom apart from dry, relentless cough. It may be triggered by a respiratory infection or sinusitis although it may occur without the presence of any of these. Any cough which lasts longer than seven weeks and intensifies every time a person does exercise is the red alarm and requires a medical check-up.

Occupational Asthma is clearly a respiratory condition induced by specific working conditions. People exposed to polluted environments, different chemicals, hemp dust, metals and even animals on a daily basis may be at risk of developing occupational asthma. Potentially harmful substances are airborne and once they get into your airways, they can lead to an allergic reaction and consequently, asthma. The clear sign of occupational asthma is the absence of symptoms whenever you are not at work.

Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) refers to medical condition induced by a person’s allergic reaction to aspirin. A person suffering from AERD experiences respiratory problems each time he or she takes this medication.

Allergic asthma is the type of asthma which can be triggered by virtually anything and during any season. It is the most frequent type and around 50 % of asthma patients have it.

Prevention and early signs of asthma

Although there is no permanent cure for this condition, the symptoms can be controlled. Being exposed to irritants significantly increase the chances of developing it. Smoke, mold spores, air pollutants, and even stress, can trigger asthma. It is advisable to stay away from these allergens as much as possible.

Identifying asthma in its early stages may preserve your health and even eliminate the symptoms almost completely. Frequent coughing, fatigue, and moodiness, shortness of breath, or changes in lung functions are reasons enough to go and see your doctor urgently.

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