Among the various types of respiratory disorders, asthma is the most common respiratory disease. It is a condition in which your airways become slender and swell and may produce additional mucus. This makes breathing difficult and triggers coughing, a whistling sound when you breathe out, and shortness of breath. Asthma can be a major problem as it interferes with daily activities and can lead to a life-threatening condition.
A pulmonologist from the Pulmonology department can treat the symptoms of asthma. Because asthma changes over time, you must work with your pulmonologist to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as necessary.
Causes of Asthma
Although there are no specific causes of asthma, certain factors can present a higher risk:
- People can develop asthma after exposure to things that infuriate the airways. These substances comprise toxins, allergens, fumes, and second- or third-hand smoke. These can be very dangerous to infants and young children whose immune systems are weak.
- Having allergies can increase your risk of developing asthma.
- Certain respiratory infections can damage young children’s developing lungs.
- Genetics: If your family has a history of asthma or allergic diseases, you have an increased risk of developing the disease. In such cases, consulting with the doctor from the pulmonology department beforehand can help in averting asthma to a great extent.
Who can get asthma?
Anyone at any age can develop asthma. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke are more prone to develop asthma. This includes secondhand smoke as well as thirdhand smoke. Asthma can affect black people more frequently than other races.
Signs and symptoms of asthma
People with asthma typically have obvious symptoms. These signs and symptoms resemble several respiratory infections:
- Coughing (especially at night)
- Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
- Shortness of breath
With asthma, you might not have all of these symptoms with every flare. You can have diverse symptoms and signs at different times with chronic asthma. Also, symptoms can vary between asthma attacks.
When to seek medical attention?
Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Consult with your doctor from the pulmonology department to determine what to do when your signs and symptoms deteriorate — and when you need emergency treatment. Signs of an asthma emergency comprise:
- Shortness of breath when you are carrying out minimal physical activity
- No improvement even after utilizing an inhaler
- Fast deterioration of wheezing or shortness of breath
You should also see the doctor from the pulmonology department if
- If you know you have asthma, consult with your doctor to keep it under control. Control helps you feel better and can prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.
- You have wheezing or frequent coughing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma. Early treatment can prevent long-term lung damage and keep the condition from getting worse over time.
- Your medication does not seem to alleviate your symptoms or you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often.
Although asthma cannot be cured its symptoms can be controlled with the right kind of treatment. Many people live satisfying lives with asthma and this is possible only if you consult with a pulmonologist as they can help you find the best way to manage your asthma. Consult with your doctor about how to control your symptoms.