Asthma Signs and Symptoms

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Asthma is a respiratory disorder that makes breathing a difficult task. Difficulty in breathing is due to the inflamed air passages. Increased mucus secretion by the airways causes further trouble in breathing. It is mainly caused by allergens. This article provides you all the information you should know about asthma.

Cause: Allergens are the primary causative agents for asthma. Other cause includes viral infection. There is no restriction on the age of the patient for susceptibility to asthma. It is even seen in new born and also in adults. Exposure of pregnant women to either cigarette smoke or smoking increases the chance of the newborn to have asthma. If the symptoms of asthma are caused as a result of some viral infection, they disappear as the infection clears. But if the causative agent is an allergen, the symptoms may subside with age but there are chances of reoccurrence at later years of life.
Symptoms: Major symptoms of asthma include wheezing sound, cough, nasal congestion that result in difficulty in breathing, heaviness of the chest region and formation of a very thick mucus.
Diagnosis: General symptoms that are associated with asthma will serve as initial diagnostic tools. Further investigation is carried out by use of specific device called the peak flow meter that gives readings about the extent of lung breathing capacity. To confirm that these symptoms are a result of asthma, chest x-rays are taken to check if there are any underlying lung infections.
Treatment: Asthma symptoms have to be treated at the right time like at the early onset of the symptoms. If neglected it may result in fatal condition. Proper care has to be taken in case of children especially infants and toddlers who cannot express the severity of their condition or symptoms.
Asthma treatment is based mainly on the use of corticosteroids that act as anti-inflammatory agents. Other class of drugs includes the bronchial dilators that expand the bronchial passages. The growing concern of side effects of long-term usage of these drugs in high doses is encouraging people to shift to olden medicines, the herbs. There are a great number of herbs like chamomile tea and others of which some act directly on the adrenal glands to stimulate the secretion of corticosteroids, and therefore showing anti-inflammatory function.
Most of these asthma medicines are given through an inhaler which is said to regulate the dosage of the drug being inhaled. For treating children, they should be taught about the usage of the inhaler. It is suggested to use asthma medications only under the supervision of a physician.
If your child is going to school, talk to teacher about their activity in the school, and give appropriate information about their health condition and primary measures to be taken in case of sudden onset of asthma symptoms.
Take appropriate precautionary measures like maintaining clean surroundings, staying away from allergic foods and environment with high concentration of allergens. Never forget your medication if you are on a long term preventive that prevents the onset of the symptoms.

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