There are two types of asthma : allergic and non-allergic.
When these respiratory disorders arise, the airways constrict and there is an increase in phlegm or mucus production, with the effect of preventing the patient from breathing perfectly. Asthma is a non-curable disease that is increasingly present today. Many treatments exist today to treat asthma, the best known being Ventolin.
Among the most common symptoms of the disease, the most common are :
- Chest pain
- Discomfort breathing at night
- Wheezing cough
The intensity and frequency of these symptoms can vary from one person to another.
Asthma, a disease that takes your breath away
The vast majority of people with asthma are born with it. It is relatively rare that a person develops asthma several years after birth. According to various studies, parents have a strong influence on the risk of their children developing asthma. Studies show that when a mother smokes during pregnancy, the child is more likely to suffer from asthma.
Why do asthma attacks happen?
Table of Contents
The airways and the bronchial muscles of people with asthma are affected when they come into contact with irritants. Upon contact, the bronchial muscles contract, with the direct consequence being a reduction of the air passage, thus blocking respiration.
Among the irritants, the biggest is pollen and the second is cigarette smoke.
If the disease in untreated, seizures can worsen over time and cause inflammation in the inner walls of the bronchioles. Mucus production will grow and further block the airways.
Different sorts of asthma
There is not one, but many types of asthma. It is important to clarify that an asthmatic person can be confronted by several of these types of asthma, or asthma attack, throughout their life. But the opposite is equally possible.
Here are the different types of asthma listed by health professionals:
- Chronic asthma: this is the most common disease, and it is irreversible. There are many drugs that alleviate the symptoms as much as possible, but none can totally cure it. In this case, the individual may present difficulty breathing in the presence of the irritants mentioned above, although this is not necessary (a simple stress can trigger an attack). This chronic asthma can be more or less severe, with more or less severe attacks. For example, intermittent asthma (less than 2 attacks a week, including small ones) also falls into this category.
- Daily (or persistent) asthma: This is a more difficult form of asthma to bear, because the individual suffers several attacks per week, and has increased difficulty breathing in the day, mainly in the morning and evening before going to bed. A specific treatment might be prescribed, as well as the basic bronchodilator.
- Induced asthma: As the name suggests, this asthma is triggered by intense physical efforts, such as a walk or a brisk run. This difficulty breathing can easily lead to a more serious attack if treatment is not administered within minutes of the exertion.
- Allergic asthma: Allergic asthma attacks can become very serious, and can endanger the life of the asthmatic. It is triggered by an individual’s allergic reaction after they come into contact with an allergen. It is imperative to contact emergency services as quickly as possibly because this attack has little chance of being soothed by conventional asthma treatments.
Acute asthma attack: This attack represents a real danger to the life of the asthmatic individual. If you recognise one or more symptoms above, it is imperative to contact emergency services quickly, who can then administer specific treatment to make the acute attack disappear.
What are the treatments for asthma?
Although asthma is generally an incurable disease, there are many treatments aimed at reducing symptoms.
The most prescribed treatments for asthmatic diseases are nebulisers. These are divided into two categories: the first is taken every day for preventative reasons. The other nebuliser is taken to ease breathing, only in the case of an attack or present symptoms.
Asthma is incurable. This does not mean that there are no treatment options. The most effective and the most prescribed treatment is Ventolin.
What is childhood asthma?
3 pieces of advice to help you manage your asthma
Learn to recognise where your asthma attacks are coming from
The source of your attacks, also known as triggers, is any external element triggering or exacerbating symptoms. The two most common triggers are dust and pollen. If you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, the trigger, in this case, is physical exercise.
Each asthmatic person is different and reacts differently to the environment. Some people will have an asthma attack when they take a walk in the countryside, whilst others will have an attack when they are near people smoking a cigarette.
If you clearly identify the triggers of your attacks, you can avoid them more easily and thus live a better life.
This may seem obvious to many of us, but a lot of people with asthma are also smokers. Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health, as it has been a certainty for many years now, for asthmatic people or not.
What is probably less known, is that smoking is particularly harmful to people with asthma. Cigarette smoke irritates the airways and makes the symptoms more important. Smoking reduces lung capacity, which results in aggravating and increasing breathlessness. If it goes untreated, asthma can cause deaths.
Achieve and maintain and healthy weight
Numerous medical studies have shown the correlation between obesity and asthma. This link, however, is not correlative in the sense that an obese person losing weight will not cure their asthma. What is possible, however, is the reduction of symptoms. Side effects linked to obesity, such as breathlessness or physical inactivity can worsen the symptoms of asthma.
In the UK, the health authorities estimate that almost one in 4 adults and one in 5 children aged 10 to 11 years old are obese; that is, they have a BMI equal to or greater than 30. Know that, like smoking, obesity is significantly harmful and dangerous to your health whether you are asthmatic or not, and it is advised to maintain a healthy weight.
- Understanding asthma: Asthma.org
- Tests for asthma: NHS
- How do you get asthma: Netdoctor
- Asthma inhalers: Which one’s right for you: MayoClinic
Medical review on January 18, 2021 by Dr. Davis Taylor