Asthma symptoms and treatment
Asthma is a fairly common condition that affects the airways and restricts breathing. Normally when we breathe, air passes through the nose or mouth, down the windpipe, through the bronchi and into small pouches known as alveoli, where oxygen passes into the blood. When an asthmatic suffers an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and narrower due to pressure from the surrounding muscles.
There is no known cause of asthma, but there are many common triggers that cause asthma attacks. Similar to the triggers for allergies, the list includes dust, animal hair, pollen and pollution. Other triggers include smoking, vigorous exercise and heightened emotional states like stress or trauma. There is also no known cure for asthma, but treatment options are highly effective.
Asthma symptoms are different for each sufferer, but they commonly include the following:
- Breathing problems
- Chest tightness
- Coughing and/or wheezing
Asthma attacks can vary not only in symptoms but also in severity, from mild, infrequent bouts to severe outbreaks and chronic suffering. The attacks can also vary from occurrence to occurrence, making it difficult to predict the severity of an episode at any given time. Many asthma sufferers, particularly those with chronic asthma, can learn to spot the symptoms of an asthma attack and seek treatment early to help avoid it entirely.
Though there is no cure for asthma, there are many asthma symptom relief options available. Generally, asthma treatment depends on the age of the individual and the severity of the symptoms.
Asthma drugs such as anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators are generally prescribed in asthma treatment to both adults in children. The only difference is that a nebulizer is used for baby asthma and treating asthma in children, while adults are generally comfortable with an asthma inhaler. Inhalers and nebulizers may be used on a daily basis or during an outbreak, depending on the exact prescription.
One of the best ways to treat asthma at any age is to simply avoid triggers whenever possible. Keeping your house clean and free of dust, staying indoors on hot days with a high pollution warning and properly treating colds and allergies when they occur are simple things you can do to help control asthma outbreaks.