Asthma Disease Description, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Effective Remedies, Medicines and Frequently Asked Questions
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by inflammation of the airways and narrowing of the trachea. Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. It is usually presented in childhood and is usually associated with conditions such as Eczema and Hay fever.
Asthma is prone to a variety of diseases and contains a variety of heteropathy. Recognized factors associated with asthma are a genetic trend, especially the personal or family history of atopy (the tendency to allergy, commonly seen as eczema, Hay fever, and asthma).
Disease Asthma and Treatment
Asthma is a common disease, affecting about 15% to 20% of people in developed countries and about 2% to 4% in developing countries. It is quite common in children.
Asthma can result from tobacco smoke and exposure to particles entering the body through breathing and thus it is more common in groups with this environmental exposure.
About 66% of asthmatics are diagnosed with the disease before the age of 18. About 50% of children with asthma have reduced the severity of symptoms in early adulthood.
Further this article is highlighting the discussion of asthma, its treatment and other related problems.
Types of Asthma
Asthma is mainly 2 types- Chronic and Acute. These types can be further divided in subtypes.
Chronic asthma can be of 4 types –
- Intermittent Asthma- its symptoms are mild. This type can cause symptoms for patients up to two days per week or up to two nights per month. This type usually does not interfere with any activity of the patient and can include exercise-induced asthma.
- Mild Persistent Asthma- Symptoms in this are mild though seen more than twice per week. This type of patient does not notice symptoms more than once a day.
- Moderate Persistent Asthma- It can cause symptoms once a day or more. Patients may see symptoms at least once a week.
- Severe Persistent Asthma- It can cause symptoms several times a day. These symptoms occur almost every day. The patient will also have symptoms many nights every week. This type doesn’t respond to medications even though they are taken regularly.
Acute asthma can be of 3 types –
- Acute Severe Asthma- It is a sudden severe asthma attack that is not relieved even after taking its medication. This type of asthma is life threatening. It is mainly treated in emergency rooms in hospitals.
- Life-threatening Asthma- this asthma is known to be very dangerous for life.
- Near Fatal Asthma- this is under respiratory arrest or arterial carbon dioxide pressure of 50 mmhg. -More than, with or without changed consciousness, is called severe asthma that requires mechanical ventilation. The risk factors for near-fatal asthma are not completely clear.
Causes of Asthma
The exact cause of asthma is unclear and can vary from person to person. However, asthma is often caused by strong responses from the immune system to a lung substance.
Generally, the body’s immune system helps fight infections. Sometimes a person’s immune system responds to a substance called an environmental allergen. When someone breathes in an allergen, such as ragweed, the airway immune system can react strongly. Other people who are exposed to the same substance may not react at all.
The immune system reacts to allergens by causing inflammation. Inflammation causes the patient’s airways to swell and narrow and possibly produce more mucus. This can make breathing difficult. The muscles around the airways can also be tight, called Bronchospasm. This can make breathing even more difficult and over time, the airway walls may thicken.
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms of asthma appear to vary from person to person. A patient may have a persistent asthma attack and shows clear symptoms only at certain times (e.g. exercising). Or symptoms may appear all the time. That depends on the physical capacity of the patient. Usual symptoms faced by an asthamatic are as mentioned below–
- Short breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Wheezing during breathing, which is a common symptom of asthma in children
- Shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping due to coughing or wheezing
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by respiratory viruses, such as coughing and fever.
If the patient’s asthma is severe, the symptoms can be as follows:
- Asthma symptoms appear more frequently and in an annoying form
- Increased difficulty in breathing.
- A state where quick-relief inhaler has to be used more frequently
In some cases, some conditions can clearly highlight the symptoms of asthma, which are as follows–
- Exercise-induced asthma; this can get worse when the air is cold and dry.
- Occupational asthma; workplace factors such as chemical smoke, gas or dust can trigger it.
- Allergy-induced asthma; triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, skin germs, insect waste, skin particles or dry saliva from pets.
Severe asthma attacks can be life threatening. Consult your doctor to determine what to do if your symptoms worsen.
Symptoms of asthma attack include –
- Shortness of breath or rapid deterioration of wheezing
- No improvement even after using quick-relief inhaler
- Shortness of breath even with a minimal physical activity.
Remedies for the Respiratory Disease Asthma
Some natural ways to fight asthma are as follows:
- Change your diet
There is no specific diet for asthmatics but there will be a lot of relief from the disease through discarding and including a few ingredients in your diet. Being overweight is reported to affect and trigger asthma symptoms. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. To reduce inflammation around your airways, consume foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Omega 3 found in salmon, mackerel is also known to help in the growth. Also note if any particular food has worsened your condition, avoid such food.
- Try Yoga
People suffering from asthma can get help with yoga. The yoga poses affecting the respiratory system can develop breathing by increasing flexibility and overall health to create beneficial conditions for asthmatics. For this you can take help from a professional yoga trainer.
- Try Meditation
Meditate every day and increase your focus on your mind and body. Focusing on breathing and stress control from yoga and meditation will help you breathe easily.
- Consume Honey
Honey can be used as a remedy for cold in winter. It can be used to soothe throat ache and prevent coughing. Cough can lead to worsening of asthma symptoms. Try not to catch fever in winters. Make Holy basil tea adding honey to it and consume it in the morning and night. Doing so can ease your symptoms of asthma.
- Add Garlic and Ginger in your diet
Garlic and ginger have a large amount of anti-inflammatory properties. In case of asthma, the areas around the airways are swollen. Garlic and ginger can help reduce inflammation resulting in reduced asthma symptoms.
- Use Turmeric in your food
Turmeric is known to have effective anti-allergic properties. Histamine is known to cause inflammation. Turmeric can stop inflammation by affecting histamine. So it can relieve asthma symptoms and help prevent asthma attacks.
- Consume Caffeinated Products
Caffeine has many similarities to theophylline. Theophylline is a bronchodilator drug used to open the airways in the lungs of asthmatics. For its similarity with medicine, caffeine can be a good home remedy that can help ease your asthma symptoms. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cocoa and various cola drinks. Hot water helps to open a congested airway. Drinking hot tea or coffee can be beneficial in such situations.
- Take Steam Bath
Steam baths are often used to alleviate nasal and chest congestion. This is not an asthma treatment but surely can improve your condition. Steam baths can moisturize your airways, relieve you from the congestion, help you get rid of accumulated mucus and help you breathe more freely.
- Can try Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine where small needles are punched at certain points of the body. The long-term benefits of acupuncture have not been proven to be effective against asthma. But some people with asthma have found that acupuncture helps in improving breathing and controlling symptoms such as chest pain.
The above article informs you about the respiratory disease asthma and the information associated with it. This information is provided only for your knowledge. If you are severely suffering from this physical problem then immediately approach the doctor. It is a serious illness and suggested not to neglect the symptoms. We hope this information benefits you in various ways.
Also Read: Asthma Problem and Treatment (Assamese)
1) What causes asthma?
A. The basic cause of asthma is yet to be known, but this condition is probably caused by chronic inflammation in the airways. The number of people with asthma has increased worldwide. Asthma is not contagious. However, asthma runs hereditary and is believed to have a genetic cause. There are different types of asthma, from mild to moderate to severe.
2) Are asthma medications intoxicating?
A. Asthma drugs are not intoxicating. Asthma is different in each patient, and symptoms may change over time. The doctor will determine which asthma medication is best for you. All drugs have potential side effects, and the patient should be monitored by the doctor. However, asthma medications are safe in approved doses when used properly.
3) Can asthma be cured?
A. No, asthma is an autoimmune disease. It cannot be cured. But this problem can be controlled if proper medication and lifestyle is maintained.
4) Who can get asthma?
A. If you have a history of asthma in the family, you are also likely to get it. Children with eczema or food allergies are more likely to get asthma compared to other children.
5) Is asthma a mental illness?
A. No, asthma is not a mental illness, it is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the airways to be oversensitive and easily irritated, especially when it is not treated properly.