Bronchial asthma is a type of chronic inflammation in the lungs in which the person experiences difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and feeling of pressure on the chest. The condition is more frequent in people who have a history of asthma in the family or they have had recurring respiratory infections during childhood or even allergies.
Asthma has no cure. However, the symptoms can be controlled and relieved using medications that should be prescribed by the pulmonogist or immunoallergenist depending on the symptoms presented and the severity of the disease. Asthma is not contagious, meaning it cannot be transmitted from one person to the next. However, children of asthmatic people are more likely to develop asthma at any stage of their life.
Symptoms of asthma usually arise suddenly or after the individual is exposed to some environmental factors that will result in changes in the airways either by an allergy or pollen, or even a consequence of practicing intense physical intense. The most indicative symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty filling the lungs
- Cough especially at night
- Feeling of pressure in the chest
- Characteristic wheezing or noise when breathing
For babies, asthma attacks can be identified with symptoms such as purple fingers and lips, faster breathing than normal, excessive tiredness, constant coughing and difficulty eating.
When babies present these symptoms, the parents can feel their chest or back for any unusual noise, which may be similar to cat breathing. Once this is noted, then they should inform the paediatrician so that diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment us started.
What to do in the crisis
When a person experiences asthma attacks, it is recommended that the SOS medication, prescribed by a doctor, is used as soon as possible and the person should sit with their body tilted forward. If the symptoms do not pass, an ambulance should be called so that the individual is taken to the nearest hospital immediately.
An asthma attack should be acted upon immediately because it can be fatal.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of asthma is made by a doctor who observes the symptoms and it can be confirmed by pulmonary auscultation and the performance of complementary tests such as spirometry and bronchoproocation tests. This is where the doctor tries to trigger the asthma crisis then offers medication to check whether the symptoms seize.
How treatment is done
Treatment of asthma is done throughout one’s life and it consits of use of inalatory remedies and avoiding contact with agents that can trigger an asthma attack. These include contact with animals, carpets, curtains, dust, very humid places and mould.
The asthma medications should be used according to the prescription of the doctor whenever necessary. It is common that the doctor may prescribe a particular medicine to relive inflammation of the airways and it should be used daily, as well as during any emergency situations, as it happens in an attack.
Regular practice of physical exercises is also recommended for treatment and control asthma as it improves the cardiac and respiratory capacity of the individual. Swimming is also a good exercise for asthma patients as it strengthens the respiratory muscles. However, all practice of sports is recommended and the patients should freely choose the one they prefer the most.