Asthma- Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Asthma? 

Asthma is a chronic disorder. It affects your lungs due to which people feel difficulty in breathing. In this disease, your airways become narrow and swell, and get infected. The airways are the tubes like structure that carry air in and out of the lungs.  So, mainly there is the inflammation in airways. Asthma affects the inside walls of airways or the bronchial tubes that become swollen and inflamed. 

Types of asthma 

Asthma can be caused in many different ways and by many different reasons but the triggers are maybe the same. In addition, some of the triggers are pollutants, viruses, pet dander, mold, and cigarette smoke. So, here are some common types of asthma. 

Childhood Asthma

It is the most common condition of asthma in children. It can be done at any age but is rarer in children than in adults. 

In some studies, it is found that in 2017 children From 5-14 years were most likely to experience asthma. At this age, the percentage for the affected children is 9.7%.  So,  the percentage rate for the children from 0-4 years is 4.4%. 

In the same year percentage rate for affected people of 18 years or above is 7.7%. 

Here are some common triggers of childhood asthma- 

  • Respiratory infections and cold 
  • Cigarette smoke or tobacco smoke 
  • Allergens  
  • Air pollutants 
  • Exposure to cold air 
  • Change in temperature 
  • Excitement 
  • Stress 
  • Exercise 

Adult Asthma

It can develop at any age in adulthood also. According to a study, in 2013 adults have more persistent symptoms than children. 

Here are some factors that increase the risk of asthma in adults- 

  • Respiratory illness 
  • Exposure to pollutants or allergens 
  • Hormonal factors 
  • Obesity 
  • Stress 
  • Smoking 

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma is the result of exposure to allergens or the presence of irritants in the workplace. 

So, asthma can be caused by allergens in the following workplaces- 

  • Flour mills and bakeries 
  • Hospitals and other health care centers 
  • Pet shops, zoos, and many other areas where animals are present 
  • Farms and other agricultural areas. 

In the following places, irritants may trigger symptoms of asthma- 

  • Car repairs  
  • Engineering and metal works  
  • Woodwork and  carpentry 
  • Also, electronics 
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Also, indoor swimming pools 

Childhood asthma can be return by the work environment of a person. 

Seasonal Asthma

This is a type of asthma which caused due to the allergens present in the surrounding at a particular season or time. For example, pollen in the spring, cold air in the winter, and summer seasonal may trigger the symptoms of asthma. So, seasonal asthma will last for the whole year but there is no symptom in other seasons. Symptom may be seen in only a particular season. 

Symptoms 

Symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. You may feel some asthma attacks while exercising or have symptoms all the time. 

Signs and symptoms include- 

  • Shortness of breath  
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Wheezing when exhaling 
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks 
  • Anxiousness or panic 
  • Fatigue 
  • Difficulty in talking 

Not every person has some symptoms of asthma. Symptoms vary from body to body and age to age.  In addition, you don’t need to feel all the symptoms, you may have different symptoms at different times. Also, your symptoms may be mild at some times and can be severe at other times. 

Treatment 

Treatment of asthma is basically of three primary categories 

  • Breathing Treatments  
  • Short term Treatments  
  • Long term Treatments 

Based on the type of asthma, your age, and the triggers of asthma your doctor will recommend one or a combination of treatments for you. 

Breathing exercises- These exercises help you to get air in and out of your lungs. In addition, this will increase your lungs capacity and reduce asthma symptoms. 

Short-term treatment-  This treatment should only be used in quick relief of asthma symptoms or attacks. This will provide you quick relief and helps you to breathe again. So, they are of two types- 

  • Bronchodilators 
  • First aid asthma treatment 

Bronchodilators– It helps to tighten your relaxed muscles around the airways. They can also be used as inhalers or nebulizers. 

First aid asthma treatment– If someone is having an asthma attack ask them to sit upright and tell them to use their inhaler and nebulizer. However, if there is no decrease in symptoms for 20 minutes, seek emergency medical attention. 

Long-term Treatment- Your doctor may prescribe long-term medicines which help in preventing symptoms by reducing the inflammation and preventing narrowing the airways. So, this treatment may vary from age to age. This may also include Anti-inflammatories, Anticholinergics, Long-acting bronchodilators, biology therapy drugs. 

Conclusion 

 Asthma is a lungs disorder that affects your airways. Due to this, you get problems in taking air in and out of the lungs. There are many triggers like tobacco smoke, allergens, pollutants, etc. which may trigger asthma symptoms. To diagnose asthma doctors mostly use physical examination and diagnostic tests. So, the medicines which are used to treat asthma are short-term or long-term medications. These medicines are also used to control symptoms of asthma by reducing the inflammation of the airways. Also, short-term medicines are used for the immediate relief of asthma attacks. Inhalation of allergens and pollutants, exercise, exposure to cold weather can be considered as major risk factors of asthma. In addition, asthma affects a person’s physical, psychological, or social well-being. 

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