Asthma exists as a relatively common, chronic disease that affects the sick individual’s ability to breathe. This respiratory disease infects both large and small airways connecting to the affected individual’s lungs used for which are meant to ingest oxygen. The infection; however, causes a swelling and inflamed reaction, which leads to trouble when one attempts to breathe in and fill the lungs with oxygen.
According to Webmd.com, common asthma symptoms include:
- Coughing, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
Still, not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another. (1)
When an individual experiences the effects of this respiratory disease, the walls of his or her airways become irritated and experience varying levels of swelling. This symptom is also known as asthma exacerbation. For the affected individual, normal to heavy breathing can easily cause the individual to undergo something known as an “asthma attack”, in which the sensitive airways are unable to bring in enough air for the body. Following such attacks, there can also be the appearance of a white, pus-like substance on the walls of the airways as a result of a high count in white blood cells. During the actual incident, the individual suffering the attack will attempt to ingest more air, but the airways become more and more irritated and eventually become incapable of bringing in enough oxygen to fill the lungs. If the situation is not handled properly and promptly, the sick individual may be at risk of serious consequences including death by asphyxiation.
You can identify an asthma attack of this nature by the noises the individual makes while attempting to breathe. Often each breath of air may sound like muffled wheezing as if there is something obstructing the individual’s air path. Sometimes the onset of such an attack may begin by a fit of coughing that reaches an uncontrollable state. Other asthma symptoms indicating respiratory trouble may include tightness in the chest and shortness of breath, especially when such reactions seem out of place.
According to Acaai.org, the duration of an attack can vary, depending on what caused it and how long the airways have been inflamed. Mild episodes may last only a few minutes; more severe ones can last from hours to days. Mild attacks can resolve spontaneously or may require medication, typically a quick-acting inhaler. More severe asthma attacks can be shortened with appropriate treatment. (3)
According to Mayoclinic.org, prevention and long-term control are key in stopping asthma attacks before they start. Treatment usually involves learning to recognize your triggers, taking steps to avoid them and tracking your breathing to make sure your daily asthma medications are keeping symptoms under control. In case of an asthma flare-up, you may need to use a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol. (2) The disease also may cause the affected individual to experience a higher susceptibility to the common cold, allergies, and other ailments related to one’s ability to inhale normally. It is also more likely to experience trouble with this disease during the early morning or night. To avoid respiratory attacks, you should see your doctor and consult him or her on the investment of an inhaler, and possibly other medical assistance. In addition, it is in your best interest as an individual with this respiratory disease to avoid heavy amounts of exercise and stressful situations in which you are more likely to activate the onset of respiratory complications. As you become accustomed to the effects of the disease, you will likely pick up on the triggers which irritate your airways the most. In turn, you will be able to recognize what scenarios may cause you breathing trouble and avoid them better.
The source of this disease comes from a number of variables, including one’s gene make-up, as well as the environment. Also, for pregnant women, it is important to note that smoking during your pregnancy increases the risk of your unborn child to inherit a respiratory ailment such as asthma. Unfortunately, this respiratory disease is currently recognized as an incurable illness; however, there are many effective ways to treat this ailment so that you can continue to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.