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The Most Typical Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma

Dec 5, 2007
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects an individual's ability to breath. Specifically, the airways, which are the tubes that transport air in and out of the lungs, are affected. The walls of the tubes become inflamed or swollen when you suffer from asthma. The sensitive airways usually react to things that you may be allergic to or that may irritate the flow of your breathing. Unfortunately, this chronic disease cannot be cured, but can be controlled.

The affected airways become narrower, therefore less air flows through your lung tissue. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing (a whistling sound while breathing), coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing especially at night and in the early morning. When these symptoms become overwhelming, it is called an asthma episode or attack.

An asthma attack causes the muscles around the airways to tighten up which makes the airways become narrower. Inevitably, the inflammation increases and the airways are more swollen. More over, the cells in the airways may form additional mucus; also causing the narrow airways. Hence, this transformation makes it difficult to breath.

If you suffer from asthma, it is important to visit your doctor regularly. Because asthma attacks are not all the same, you will need to learn what things cause the symptoms and how to avoid them. During a severe asthma attack, the airways can close to the degree of vital organ shut down. This would suggest that there isn't enough oxygen reaching the organs. This obviously constitutes a medical emergency. People are known to die from severe asthma attacks. Receiving close attention from a physician allows you to obtain the necessary information to learn what to do to control the progression of sudden attacks.

There is no clear explanation for asthma and the inflamed airways. Again, asthma can erupt at any time as a result of a combination of things. One documented factor is genetics. If someone in your family has asthma, you are more likely to develop it. In addition to the hereditary factor, research also concludes that exposure to environmental elements such as tobacco smoke; vital infections and some allergens early in life tend to increase your chances of developing this chronic disease. Generally, excessive exercise can also cause an attack.

In order to diagnose asthma, the physician will ask you questions regarding your breathing patterns. The doctor may ask if you experience periods of coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. Individuals suffering from asthma may also experience colds that 'go to the chest' or take more than ten days to end. Of course, the physician will inquire about family history as it relates to asthma or allergies and medicines used to help with breathing.

After a series of test and based on your particular symptoms, you may be diagnosed with four levels of asthma severity. The mild intermittent comes and goes whereas the mild persistent asthma occurs more than twice a week, but more than once in a single day. The moderate persistent asthma develops everyday and may affect your activity. During this level, you will also experience nighttime symptoms more than once a week. Lastly, the severe asthma causes you to have symptoms throughout the day on most days with frequent night symptoms. Physical activity at this level is likely to be limited.

Subsequently, anyone with this chronic disease can experience a severe attack- even those with intermittent or mild persistent asthma. Ideally, with the proper treatment, asthma can be controlled. Constant monitoring and applied medication will allow you to recognize the progression of your symptoms and respond accordingly to stop attacks. The physician will offer you an emergency action plan in order for you to live a normal life.
About the Author
Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles which concern health problems. In them she pays much attention to different diseases, their signs, symptoms and treatment. If you are interested in asthma signs, symptoms , treatment, you'll find all this information in her articles.
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