Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that narrows the airways (bronchi). It affects people of all ages.
It causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath (dyspnea) and coughing. Sometimes, asthma symptoms are mild and go away after none or minimal treatment. But sometimes, during an exacerbation, the symptoms to get worse despite treatment. It’s important to quickly treat symptoms because it will control the disease and prevent a severe asthma attack that may require hospitalization.
Asthma is caused from various factors but the exact mechanisms are unknown. Common factors include: a tendency to develop allergies (atopy), parents with asthma and certain childhood’s respiratory infections.
The diagnosis of asthma is made from a chest physician. The combination of symptoms (as mentioned above) and family history set the clinical suspicion. Spirometry is the test that usually confirms the diagnosis.
A peak flow meter is also used to set the diagnosis.
Asthma is a long-term disease that can’t be cured. Even when you feel fine and the symptoms are gone, you still curry the disease and it can flare up at any time. However, with today’s knowledge and treatments, most people who have asthma are able can live normal lives and have normal activities.
The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease and relieve the symptoms. Various medications are used for that purpose. The most common ones are inhalers which contain bronchodilators and corticosteroids.