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What is the meaning asthma & it's symptoms?

What is asthma meaning and it's symptoms?



what is asthma

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition in which your airways swell and become narrow. Further, it makes it difficult for you to breathe and can make some daily activities challenging or even impossible. 

Many people find asthma to be a minor nuisance. Chronic conditions of asthma may often lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Let’s understand Asthma in detail. 

What are the symptoms of Asthma?

Symptoms of asthma differ from one person to another. Here we list the symptoms of asthma:

symptoms of asthma
Asthma symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing (causes a whistling sound when you exhale)
  • Sleeping Troubles (caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing)
  • Coughing attacks that worsen during cough or flu.

What are the signs that predict your asthma is worsening?

Signs that predict your asthma is probably worsening are:

  • Experiencing more frequent signs and symptoms of asthma
  • Increased difficulty in breathing  
  • Using quick-relief inhaler for more often times

What are the Causes of Asthma?

cause of asthma
Asthma causes

The exact cause of asthma is unknown. But some of the causes that are Asthma triggers are as follows:

  • Respiratory infections (Common cold)
  • Physical activity
  • Airborne allergens (such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores)
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants
  • Certain medications (Aspirin, Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) 
  • Stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What are the risk factors and complications?

risk factor of asthma
Risk factors of asthma.

Risk factors:

There are several factors that increase your chances of developing asthma. They are:

  • Genes (having a blood relative with asthma)
  • Allergic conditions (atopic dermatitis, itchy skin)
  • Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to pollution
  • Exposure to chemicals used in farming.

What are the types of Asthma?

Types of Asthma include:

Childhood Asthma:  Asthma is very common in children. 

childhood asthma

According to research associations common triggers of asthma in children include:

  • Allergens
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Sudden changes in temperature
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Exposure to cold air

It is very essential to seek medications if you find these symptoms in children. 

Adult Asthma: Asthma can develop at any age even if you are an adult or a child. Major risk factors triggering asthma are:

  • Obesity
  • Genes
  • Respiratory illness
  • Exposure to allergens
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Occupational Asthma: It is very evident from the name that this type is based on occupation. Allergens found in the workplace such as in bakeries, flour mills, pet shops, laboratories where animals are present, kitchens, etc. may cause asthma. 

Also, people who smoke are at a high risk of developing asthma. 


Complications of Asthma include:

  • Sick days from work during an asthma
  • Symptoms interfering with sleep
  • Permanent narrowing of bronchial tubes ( they carry air to or from your lungs)
  • Severe asthma attacks
  • Side effects from long-term use of some medications

What is its Diagnosis?

Diagnosis of asthma

An asthma diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and results from diagnostic tests. 

Diagnostic tests include:

  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Bronchoprovocation tests
  • Spirometry with bronchodilator tests
  • Peak expiratory flow (PEF) tests
  • Blood tests
  • Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) tests.

What is the Prevention of Asthma?

preventing of asthma

Asthma attacks can be prevented by taking care of few points:

  • You should follow your asthma action plan. Plan yourself for taking medications properly in time. Start monitoring the on-going conditions of asthma. 
  • Get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia.
  •  Vaccinating yourself can prevent flu and pneumonia from triggering asthma flare-ups.
  • You should learn to monitor your breathing by recognizing symptoms of cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath. You can measure your breathing rate by a device called a peak flow meter. 
  • Avoid asthma triggers by finding out the cause that worsens your asthma. 
  • Don’t wait for your condition to be worsened. If you identify the symptoms as early as possible then you might likely have severe attacks.
  • Take your medicines on time without skipping them. Do not change your medications if you see improvements in yourself. Consult your doctor so that he can make sure you're using your medications correctly and taking the right dose.
  • Consult doctors if you are using inhalers many times.

When to consult a doctor?

doctor for asthma

  • Immediately rush to your doctor if you find signs such as:
  • Instant worsening of shortness of breath
  • No relief even while using inhalers. 
  • If you find coughing or wheezing for many days, see your doctor. If you treat your asthma as early as possible you will be able to prevent your lungs from long-term damage. 
  • Have a regular routine check-up by consulting your doctor. Monitoring and taking good care of yourself can prevent severe asthma attacks. 
  • When you find that your asthma symptoms are worsening rush to your doctor. Don't take more medication than prescribed without consulting your doctor first. By doing so you may find side effects and further may experience worsened conditions of asthma. 

Thus, Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell, further causing difficulty to breathe and shortness of breath. 

Opting for effective medications and treatment can make you lead a healthy life even with asthma. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.How to treat Asthma effectively?

The best treatment starts with, looking for the best physician who cares for the patient, at least, as much as he cares for the disease.

The use of steroids should be strictly restricted. 

2.If you have asthma symptoms from reflux, will inhalers help?

Although asthma can be triggered by food protein allergens coming from gastric reflux, it would be better to find a doctor first to have yourself treated with gastric reflux. You must treat or avoid the cause first so that it would not frequently reoccur. In other words, treating asthma without treating the cause would keep asthma from coming back.


Inhaler therapy or controllers are usually given along with bronchodilator therapy. So, better go back to your doctor and have yourself checked.

3.How do you stop an asthma attack without an inhaler?

The cure for asthma is mainly done through medicines but some of the natural methods which can relieve you from asthma without an inhaler are:

  • Eucalyptus oil: It opens up nasal blockage for easy breathing.
  • Mustard Oil: Mustard oil combined with camphor is the best combination for providing quiet relief.
  • Ginger: Ginger is beneficial for your body and health. It is considered to be a superfood and is good for asthma.
  • Figs: Figs are the best home remedy for asthma.  
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: They are very useful in managing inflammatory conditions. It treats almost all the conditions including depression, seasonal affective disorder, depression, heart disease along with asthma.


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