Stiff chest, pain behind the sternum and irritable cough is often the beginning of an asthma attack. People initially disregard the early symptoms of asthma as being a little under the weather. But what Are The Symptoms Of Asthma that you should look out for? Let’s find out.
In people with asthma, the airways are overly sensitive. A typical symptom of the chronic disease is seizures with the wheezing breath, coughing and shortness of breath. Similar complaints can also be signs of other diseases. It is, therefore, essential to clarify the exact cause of the breathing problem before treatment.
In chronic asthma, the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract is always ready to inflame. This means that it can react very quickly and very strongly to certain stimuli. The mucous membrane is red, bloody and swollen, and its cells form dense mucus. When triggered, the muscles in the wall of the respiratory tract(bronchial muscles ) also contract. All of this together means that the bronchi becomes narrower, and the air we breathe can no longer flow in and out easily. The result is shortness of breath.
A severe asthma attack can be compared to trying to breathe through a straw for a few minutes. Even sucking in and blowing out the air harder does not help to breathe sufficient air. Stimuli that are completely harmless to healthy people lead to a narrowing of the bronchi in asthmatics.
What are the Symptoms of Asthma?
Typical symptoms of asthma are:
1. Shortness of breath occurs like a fit, often at night and in the early morning
2. Exhaling air, in particular, is difficult and takes longer than normal
3. Wheezing or humming breathing noises.
4. Chest tightness
5. Irritating cough with a glassy, viscous mucus that can hardly be coughed up. But it does not always have to exist. After acute deterioration, a so-called productive cough with a lot of mucus can develop, especially in chronic asthma patients.
If the asthma attack remains untreated, the body is under-supplied with oxygen and fear of suffocation increases, which further aggravates the situation for the patient.
What Causes Asthma?
Allergy is the leading cause of asthma. The triggers or the allergens usually are flower and plant pollen, animal hair or mite droppings. The immune system reacts to any harmless substance with a defence reaction. In young asthmatics, an allergic runny nose or other allergy symptoms such as burning eyes and inflammation of the paranasal sinuses are often diagnosed.
Adults are almost exclusively affected by the non-allergic form of asthma. Most of the time, the patient previously had an infection of the respiratory tract with a virus. Especially at the beginning, there are severe courses in an asthma attack.
Mixed bronchial asthma also occurs in adulthood, triggered by allergens and subsequently so-called non-specific stimuli, such as cold, tobacco smoke or odours.
Types of Asthma Attack
Asthma attack: When the attack occurs, the symptoms increase within a few hours. In doing so, they can quickly or gradually lead to severe impairment of the patient (acute deterioration) and, without treatment, to death.
Acute severe Asthma: This is an asthma attack that continues despite the use of all available medications and lasts more than 24 hours.
Permanent Asthma: Patients suffer from chronic symptoms of varying degrees and severity for weeks to years.
Severe seizures: They lead to loss of consciousness within minutes, but fortunately, they are very rare.
Treatment of Asthma
Education is the basis of sustainable therapy, where patients learn to assess themselves and their symptoms. Physical training, like breathing exercise and weight reduction, and respiratory physiotherapy, have a decisive influence on the course of the disease.
Asthma medication cannot cure the disease, but it can provide relief and counteract exacerbation. A distinction is made between two medicines called CONTROLLERS, which have a long-term effect and must be taken regularly, and RELIEVERS, which are used as reliever medication for acute complaints.
The anti-inflammatory medications that stop the inflammatory process and expand the airways are called bronchodilators. Those affected can be assured freedom from symptoms in everyday life despite asthma. The best-known forms of medication are sprays or powders that are inhaled using an inhaler.
Mild bronchial asthma can be treated with on-demand medication, while severe bronchial asthma requires the regular use of medications like cortisone. Cortisone has an anti-inflammatory effect and is, therefore, a long-term medication.