What is asthma? What are the treatments for asthma? Would I have a normal life? Find out all the answers to the top ten questions you should ask your doctor.
- What is asthma?
- How common is asthma?
- What are the symptoms?
- What is the cause of asthma?
- What are the factors capable of triggering a crisis?
- Asthma: when should we consult?
- How to diagnose asthma?
- What are the treatments for asthma?
- Can asthma be cured?
- Can you live normally with asthma?
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that is most often manifested by attacks. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the bronchi. This inflammation and the contraction of the muscles lead to a reduction in the diameter of the bronchi. The air then passes with difficulty.
Asthma: How common is asthma?
Asthma currently affects in the UK, 5.4 million people, 4 million people in France, and 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. It is estimated that a future asthmatic is born in France every ten minutes.
Asthma: What are the symptoms?
Asthma usually manifests itself in different forms:
- Cough, usually dry and occurring in fits. It can announce the beginning of a crisis or be its main manifestation;
- Ringing in the chest is certainly the most common symptom of asthma;
- The respiratory discomfort associated with wheezing can also take different forms. Oppression (or feeling of a blocked chest) can be taken for a cardiac alert in seniors.
These signs can occur at night or during exercise, often interspersed with long periods of calm.
Asthma: Symptoms of an asthma attack
The best-known symptom of asthma is the attack, which causes difficulty in inhaling and especially exhaling air from the lungs. These “bronchospasms” can be triggered by different factors such as effort, humidity, dust, cigarette smoke, pollens, etc.
One easily distinguishes a whistle during expiration, attesting to the narrowing of the bronchi. The air is then trapped in the chest, the thorax blocked. By coughing, the body seeks to reject the phlegm that accumulates in the bronchi.
The crisis can be explained by three phenomena:
- The bronchial muscle contracts (bronchoconstriction);
- The wall of the bronchus thickens (OEDEMA);
- The internal wall secretes important mucus (hypersecretion).
Asthma: What is the cause of asthma?
There is a part of heredity. Indeed, the risk of having asthma is greater if people in your family already have asthma. Other factors, including environmental factors, play a role in the onset of asthma.
Asthma: What are the factors capable of triggering a crisis?
Several factors can trigger an asthma attack:
- Respiratory viruses;
- certain medications;
- Certain foods;
- Stress and anxiety;
- Physical activity;
- Polluting or irritating substances
Asthma: when should we consult?
it is advisable to consult in case of a crisis of course, but also in case of occurrence of one of the characteristic symptoms (cough or frequent bronchitis, shortness of breath, whistling in the chest, etc.). The risk of asthma is increased if you have these symptoms and you have other asthmatics or allergy sufferers in your family, or if you yourself suffered from a series of bronchiolitis during your early childhood. Only your doctor can make the diagnosis.
Asthma: How to diagnose asthma?
Faced with suggestive respiratory symptoms, the doctor should look for:
- Family history of allergy, asthma, eczema…
- The existence and duration of breastfeeding;
- Digestive disorders during weaning and the introduction of cow’s milk;
- Repeated ENT infectious episodes leading to antibiotic prescriptions, paracentesis, and removal of the adenoids;
- Repetition of respiratory episodes in a stereotyped pattern;
The occurrence of seizures during exposure to allergens;
- Improvement of symptoms by active drugs: corticosteroids, beta-stimulants;
- The ineffectiveness of antibiotics and antitussives;
- Signs suggestive of allergy: a fold of the lower eyelid, folliculitis, edematous conjunctivitis, pale nasal mucosa, redness of the pharynx, mucous otitis, dry skin, accentuation of the palmar folds, etc.
Asthma: What are the treatments for asthma?
There are two types of asthma treatment :
- The treatment of the crises which one takes in the event of an attack of asthma and which relieves the symptoms;
- The background treatment that treats inflammation of the bronchi must be taken every day.
Asthma: Can asthma be cured?
We do not yet know how to cure asthma, but we know how to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms. By correctly following his treatment, the asthmatic can now lead a normal life. The susceptibility of the bronchi will require compliance with some precautions such as not smoking.
Asthma: Can you live normally with asthma?
By listening to the advice of your doctor and following your treatment correctly, it is now possible to lead a normal life both personally and professionally. Sports practice or travel are not to be avoided. Thank you!
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