Asthma: what is it, what are its symptoms and how to treat it

Around the world there are 235 million people asthma sufferers, this chronic disease is the most common in children, but can affect individuals of all ages. This high number of patients is accompanied by a low percentage of mortality compared to other diseases. Although it is estimated that this will increase in 10 years if the necessary measures are not taken urgently. That is why today we will talk about everything you need to know, from what it is to what its symptoms are, how to reach a diagnosis and what is the treatment.

Despite not having a high mortality rate or being contagious, asthma is the cause of 350 thousand deaths annually worldwide. 80% of these deaths are registered low-income populations, according to information provided by the World Health Organization. This is because they do not have the necessary treatment to control their condition. Knowing the symptoms and treating them is important when we talk about asthma, and today we will educate you about it.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic illness, causing recurrent attacks of shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and in some cases dyspnea. Its characteristics are that it is not contagious and that it has no cure. It is also the most chronic disease common in children, although it is suffered by people of any age.

This disease does not have a specific cause. Although, some experts believe that those who are exposed to allergens such as those present in: pet dander, fungi, dust mites and pollution, such as that produced by tobacco smoke and pollution, are at risk of suffering them. irritating chemicals.

Like many other illnesses, asthma symptoms have some triggers; These include intense emotions, physical exercises, and cold air. Although asthma is not fatal if treated, it can pose a threat without proper control. Which is very difficult to achieve, considering that many times people are not correctly diagnosed.

Sísymptoms

He correct diagnosis of asthma, helps the patient to treat it and have more control over this chronic disease so as not to present complications. While this sounds simple, there are thousands of cases in which an asthmatic is not diagnosed. This considerably limits the patient's activity throughout his life. Recognizing the symptoms, and addressing the doctor in case of showing an abnormality is essential for the diagnosis.

As we already mentioned, asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. So the process of detecting the symptoms in these cases does not fall on the responsibility of the patient, but on their environment. Here are some symptoms of asthma:

  1. Tightness or pain in the chest
  2. Shortness of breath.
  3. Wheezing when breathing.
  4. Cough.
  5. Sleep problems caused by bad breath.
  6. Breathing problems that are made worse by having a cold, flu, or respiratory virus.

These symptoms can appear or become evident, when the person is doing some physical activities, if they are exposed to strong emotions or cold air. In case you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or in a close person; Go to the doctor for diagnosis, and later for control and treatment.

Types of Asthma

Asthma, like other diseases, can occur in different ways, depending on the severity of symptoms, triggers, and how and when it occurs. Next we will talk about the different types that exist according to their triggers:

  • Seasonal asthma

Common among patients living in places with marked seasonal changes. Commonly appears or worsens in late summer and early spring, it is strongly bound to pollen from plants.

  • Allergic asthma

That which is caused by contact or exposure to allergens, which are present in: dust mites, hair or pet dander, fungi and contamination.

  • Asthma no alérgiAC

Unlike allergic asthma, non-allergic asthma is characterized by being the one that people exposed to cold air, sudden changes in temperature, irritants and respiratory infections present.

  • Exercise-induced asthmacicio

As its name implies, it is the one presented by people who perform physical activities. May cause coughing or labored breathing.

  • Asthma ocnational

Asthma that is presented in the workplace is so called, this does not mean that it is induced by work. Rather, it refers to the fact that it appears or worsens when the individual is exposed in the workplace to chemicals.

Classification

Asthma is not only classified according to what causes it or what its triggers are. It also does it according to the severity of its symptoms, below we will tell you what is its classification according to this:

  • Intermittent

Generally presented in children, intermittent asthma is characterized by presenting itself in the form of coughing attacks every other day; and also in a couple of night crises a month. In addition, the child with this type of asthma does not present the common symptoms of the disease.

  • Mild persistent

In this type the lung works by 80%, night crises are more frequent (at least once a week). In addition, the patient has mild symptoms.

  • Moderate persistent

In this type, the lung function is between 60% to 80%, this without treatment. Symptoms and night crises they show up almost every day.

  • Severe persistent

Within this type, people begin to present symptoms constantly on a daily basis; in this case the lung function is 60%. The positive part is that it is rare.

Treatment

The treatment given to asthma patients is determined according to what type they experience; either because of its severity or trigger. Asthma is usually treated with rescue inhalers, which attack the symptoms; Controller inhalers (steroids), which help prevent symptoms, are also common. Although more severe cases require greater measures, such as long-acting inhalers and steroids, which keep the airways open.

For the treatment of asthma, doctors recommend bronchodilators, steroids and anti-inflammatories. But this only under a doctor's subscription. It is also recommended that asthmatics do not smoke.

Relationship with the coronavirus

During the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most affected groups was patients with asthma. This is because the condition of their lungs makes them more prone to catching it and developing more serious symptoms or infections.

Generally, asthmatics are more prone to viral respiratory diseases. And the SARS-CoV-2 was no exception. For this reason, physicians around the world have extensively recommended adherence to asthma treatment. Since these control the symptoms of the disease, and lower the inflammation of the bronchial tubes; essential in making the body of an asthma patient less susceptible to respiratory infections.

If you have any of the symptoms of asthma, see a doctor for a diagnosis. And don't forget to let us know your opinion.