Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways i.e. bronchial tubes, which get inflamed or swollen, due to an allergic reaction and restrict the normal air supply. The airways swell and become extremely sensitive to some substances a person might inhale.
The most common type of asthma is bronchial asthma that affects the bronchi in the lungs. The other forms of asthma are childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma.
Common triggers of asthma
Following are some reasons due to which asthma is triggered-
- Allergic Asthma
Different types of food, pollen, dust, animals like cats and dogs are some causes that trigger this type of asthma.
- Non-Allergic Asthma
Irritants in the air like burning wood, cold air, air pollution, air fresheners, and perfumes trigger this type of asthma.
- Occupational Asthma
This type of asthma is usually triggered in certain workplaces and areas by industrial chemicals, gases, and fumes, dust etc.
Symptoms of Asthma
- Coughing, especially at night or during laughing or exercising
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sound made while breathing
Causes and diagnosis
It is believed that this condition is caused by a variety of factors like genetics, hygiene, allergen exposure, and emotions. There is no certain diagnosis of asthma. A variety of symptoms help to determine asthma problems. Some ways by which it can be diagnosed are a physical examination, breathing test, and health history.
Treatment of Asthma
Identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger asthma, using drug therapies and developing an emergency action plan for severe attacks are some ways to control asthma attacks. The treatment can be categorized into four sections namely breathing exercises, first-aid treatments, long term medications, and home remedies.
The breathing exercises help in getting more air in and out of the lungs. With time, this might help in increasing the lungs’ capacity and reducing severe asthma symptoms.
Such medications should only be used in case of occurrence of asthma attacks for quick relief, as they can help in normal breathing. The following could be used as first aid –
- Inhalers and nebulizers
The inhalers and nebulizers have medicines that can be inhaled deep into the lungs which help to reliev the asthma attacks.
Helps in relaxing the tightened muscles in the lungs.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Works on reducing the inflammation in the lungs, which could be preventing the breathing process.
- Long term medications
Such medications should be taken daily to prevent symptoms of asthma.
Some remedies which might be helpful in cases of emergency are-
- Coffee or caffeinated tea
A chemical in caffeine acts like asthma medicine. It helps in opening the airways and making breathing easy.
- Essential oils
Inhaling eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and basil oil may ease breathing difficulties.
- Mustard Oil
Applying warm mustard oil on the chest helps in opening the airways.
- Sitting upright
A good posture can also help in opening the air passage and give way for easy breathing.
So, timely diagnosis and treatment of asthma is essential to keep this condition in control.