Asthma, this is a disease which affects the airways that carry air to and from your lungs. People who suffer from such kind of chronic condition are said to be asthmatic.In asthma your airways get narrow and swell, which produce extra mucus, and breathing becomes difficult.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
- Bouts of coughing or wheezing that are worsened by a respiratory virus such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably getting worse include:
- More frequent and bothersome asthma signs and symptoms Increasing difficulty breathing (this can be measured by a peak flow meter, a simple device used to check how well your lungs are working)
- An increasingly frequent need to use a quick-relief inhaler
These symptoms vary from person to person, for some people symptoms are a minor nuisance and for others major problem that interferes with daily activities. You may have mild symptoms and asthma attacks may be infrequent. Severe asthma, may risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma cannot be cured, but can be controlled. Treatments include taking steps to avoid particular asthma triggers, using long-term control medications to prevent flare-ups and using a quick-relief inhaler to control symptoms once they start as asthma changes over time.
When to see a doctor
If you observe some above symptoms of asthma or you have frequent coughing that lasts more than a few days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma see your doctor. Treating asthma early, especially in children, may prevent long-term lung damage and help keep the condition from worsening over time.
Tests and diagnosis
Diagnosing asthma can be difficult. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and are often similar to those of other conditions, including emphysema, early congestive heart failure or vocal cord problems. Children often develop temporary breathing conditions that have symptoms similar to asthma. For example, it can be hard to tell asthma from wheezy bronchitis, pneumonia or reactive airway disease.
In order to rule out other possible conditions, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and about any other health problems. You may also be given lung (pulmonary) function tests to determine how much air moves in and out as you breathe.