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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dinkar Bakshi

Asthma and its symptoms

Updated: Oct 15, 2023


Asthma is a very common chronic disease that affects a large population of the UK, let's discuss about the different symptoms that asthmatic patients experience while battling this disease.



Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can result in recurring episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, coughing, and chest tightness. These episodes, often referred to as asthma attacks or exacerbations, can range in severity from mild to severe and can be triggered by various factors. Asthma is a common condition that affects people of all ages, and it can be managed effectively with proper medical care and lifestyle adjustments.


Here are key points to understand about asthma:


Causes and Triggers:


Inflammation: The primary underlying factor in asthma is chronic inflammation of the airways. This inflammation makes the airways highly sensitive and prone to narrowing in response to various triggers.

Common Triggers: Asthma symptoms can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergens (e.g., pollen, dust mites, pet dander), respiratory infections, irritants (e.g., smoke, strong odors), cold air, exercise, and stress.

Allergic and Non-Allergic Asthma: Asthma can be categorized as allergic asthma (triggered by allergens) or non-allergic asthma (triggered by non-allergic factors).

Symptoms:


Wheezing: A high-pitched whistling sound when breathing, especially during exhalation.

Breathlessness: Difficulty breathing, often described as shortness of breath.

Coughing: Persistent coughing, particularly at night or early in the morning.

Chest Tightness: A sensation of tightness or discomfort in the chest, sometimes described as a feeling of pressure.

Diagnosis:


Asthma is typically diagnosed through a combination of:

Medical History: A thorough discussion of the patient's symptoms and their triggers.

Lung Function Tests: Spirometry and peak flow measurements to assess lung function and airway obstruction.

Allergy Testing: To identify potential allergens that may be contributing to asthma symptoms.

Treatment and Management:


Controller Medications: Long-term medications, often referred to as controller or maintenance medications, are used to manage chronic inflammation and prevent asthma symptoms. These include inhaled corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

Reliever Medications: Quick-acting medications, known as relievers or rescue inhalers (usually short-acting beta-agonists), are used during acute asthma attacks to quickly relieve symptoms and open the airways.

Allergen Avoidance: Identifying and avoiding asthma triggers, such as allergens or irritants, is an important part of asthma management.

Lifestyle Management: Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management can help improve overall asthma control.

Asthma Action Plan: Individuals with asthma should work with their healthcare providers to create a personalized asthma action plan that outlines steps to take during worsening symptoms or asthma attacks.

Prognosis:


Asthma is a chronic condition, but with appropriate management, most individuals with asthma can lead normal, active lives.

It's important to monitor symptoms, adhere to prescribed medications, and seek prompt medical attention during asthma exacerbations to maintain good asthma control.

Asthma management is tailored to the individual's specific needs and may require adjustments over time. Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is essential to assess asthma control, modify treatment as needed, and provide education and support for individuals with asthma and their caregivers.


Book your appointment with Dr Bakshi one of the few formally trained top allergy cosultants in London and Birmingham, head to British Allergy Clinic, the best private allergy clinic that provides comprehensive care and treatment for all your allergies.




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