Smoking, no physical activity, food preferences and environmental factors like dust and air pollution are making our lungs weak so that we have to gasp harder and harder to pump air into our body. Lung function means how well your lungs work. When you have asthma, your lungs can't move as much air in and out as they should. The more severe asthma is the less air your lungs are able to move.
To reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, mortality and to create awareness among people, this World Asthma Day 2019 (First Tuesday of May i.e., May 7) comes up with the theme “STOP for Asthma”. This year, the 20th anniversary of world asthma day is organised by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) in collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators throughout the world.
1. What Is Asthma?
It is an incurable and a chronic respiratory disease of the lungs in which there is an inflammation or swelling of the airways in our lungs. The airways becomes narrow due to this inflammation and the lungs become vulnerable to various allergens which act as triggers for an asthma attack.
2. What Triggers Asthma?
Exposure to the following irritants or substances can trigger asthma signs and symptoms.
Dust, cold, pollen, furry pets, viruses, air pollutants and even emotional agitation act as triggers for an asthma attack.
3. Usual Manifestations Of Asthma (Or) Asthma Signs and Symptoms
Asthma signs and symptoms vary from person to person. But many experience the following signs and symptoms.
Repeated episodes of chest tightness, difficulty in breathing and cough.
In children, asthma often manifests through a single symptom like cough which is more severe at night or early in the mornings and remains persistent despite intake of various cough syrups and medications.
4. Asthma Risk Factors
The factors likely to increase your chances of developing asthma are
Family history of asthma
Existed allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Smoking or second-hand smoke (passive smoking)
A few chemicals used in farming
5. Asthma Complications
Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep and work
Sick days from school or office
Emergency hospitalisations during severe asthma attacks
Side-effects due to the usage of long-term asthma medications
6. Identifying Asthma (Or) Pulmonary Function Tests (Or) Asthma Diagnosis
Pulmonary function tests (PFT) or lung function tests are a broad range of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood. If you are having symptoms of lung problems, doctors may suggest these tests
Spirometry test, Peak flow metre, Oximetry, Plethysmography test or Diffusion capacity test.
7. Asthma Treatment Or Inhalation Therapy
The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. The most effective way is to control asthma is through “Inhalation” as it reaches your lungs directly and starts acting immediately. In inhalation therapy, the side effects are low and the dosage required is also low comparative to oral medication. They are safe for person of all age groups and even for pregnant ladies. The need of the hour for patient is to gain timely and authentic information on correct symptoms, treatment and care tips.
We should remember that pernicious asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure, but can be controlled well through inhalers. There are many patients who will stop taking their inhalers once they feel better. This can be dangerous and doing even daily chores can make them breathless. Patients should consult their doctor and ensure the necessary tests performed to keep their lungs healthy and fit.
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