Do you have asthma or something else? Understanding symptoms, causes and management of chronic respiratory illness | Health - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Do you have asthma or something else? Understanding symptoms, causes and management of chronic respiratory illness

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 29, 2024 03:36 PM IST

While it is not entirely clear what causes asthma, several factors are believed to play a role in its development. Know its causes, symptoms and treatment tips

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the airways, causing inflammation and constriction, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. While it is not entirely clear what causes asthma, several factors, including genetics, environmental triggers, and respiratory infections, are believed to play a role in its development.

Do you have asthma or something else? Understanding symptoms, causes and management of chronic respiratory illness (File Photo)
Do you have asthma or something else? Understanding symptoms, causes and management of chronic respiratory illness (File Photo)

Symptoms:

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shrey Srivastav, Assistant Professor -Internal Medicine at Sharda Hospital in Greater Noida, revealed that the symptoms of asthma can vary in severity and frequency from person to person where the common symptoms include -

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how
  1. Wheezing: A whistling or squeaky sound when breathing.
  2. Coughing: Especially at night or early in the morning, which may worsen with exercise or exposure to allergens.
  3. Chest tightness: A feeling of pressure or discomfort in the chest.
  4. Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity or in response to triggers.

Causes and Triggers:

According to Dr Shrey Srivastav, while the exact cause of asthma is unknown, several factors contribute to its development like -

  • Genetics: Individuals with a family history of asthma or allergies are more likely to develop asthma themselves.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, or air pollution can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Respiratory infections: Viral infections, such as the common cold or flu, can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
  • Occupational triggers: Exposure to irritants or allergens in the workplace, such as chemicals, dust, or fumes, can trigger asthma attacks in some individuals.

Diagnosis:

Dr Vigyan Mishra, Chief of lab at Neuberg Diagnostics in Noida, shared, “Diagnosing asthma typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and lung function tests, such as spirometry and peak flow measurements. Your doctor may also order allergy tests to identify potential triggers.”

Treatment and Management:

Dr Vigyan Mishra said that while there is no cure for asthma, various treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and prevent asthma attacks like -

  1. Medications: Inhalers, including bronchodilators and corticosteroids, are commonly prescribed to relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation in the airways.
  2. Avoiding triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers, such as allergens or irritants, can help prevent asthma attacks.
  3. Allergy management: Allergy medications or immunotherapy may be recommended for individuals with asthma triggered by allergens.
  4. Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding smoking, can help manage asthma symptoms.
  5. Asthma action plan: Working with your healthcare provider to develop an asthma action plan can help you recognize and respond to worsening symptoms or asthma attacks promptly.

Dr Vigyan Mishra concluded, “Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by inflammation and constriction of the airways, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. While the exact cause of asthma remains unknown, genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, respiratory infections, and occupational exposures are believed to contribute to its development. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination and lung function tests, while treatment focuses on managing symptoms, avoiding triggers and preventing asthma attacks. With proper management and adherence to treatment plans, individuals with asthma can lead active and fulfilling lives.”

Get World Cup ready with Crick-it! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!.

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Taylor Swift, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, June 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On