Symptoms and Signs of Asthma

Signs of Asthma to be Aware Of

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition described as an inflammation of the bronchi - pathway tubes that allow air to get in and out of the lungs. Currently, asthma is regarded to as incurable, but fully controllable condition. Although the severity of symptoms differs greatly from patient to patient, the common signs of asthma often include:

  • Cough, often persistent or regular;
  • Chest tightness, pain or feeling of discomfort;
  • Wheezing, a hissing or whistling sound when you breathe;
  • Shortness of breath, trouble inhaling deeply.

Having any or all of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have asthma; an inflammation of bronchi can be caused by several other conditions such as bronchitis. Unlike asthma, they can be completely cured. The best way to determine if you have this disease is to visit a doctor and perform a lung function test along with a physical exam. You will most likely be asked about what kinds of symptoms are you having, for how long, how frequently, etc. Answering all those questions will help determine exactly what kind of asthma you have, if it is asthma at all, and bring suggestions on how to treat and control it.

What Triggers Asthma: a Detailed Fact List

Asthma can be caused by several systemic or environmental factors, including exposure to pollutants or allergy to certain substances. Asthma does not just "happen" overnight - this condition builds up over extended periods of time, months or even years. It is important to spot the signs and indications that may lead to asthma and determine if your or your child's environment may in some way aggravate the development of this condition. If you already have asthma, it is equally important to know what things or substances may lead to worsening of your symptoms and learn of proper ways to avoid it. Following are some of the most common things known to be able to lead to asthma given extended periods of exposure. Additionally, you can ask your doctor for more details on what triggers asthma.

  • Potential allergens - plant pollen, mold mites, animal fur, and others;
  • Environmental irritants - tobacco smoke, polluted air, exhaust fumes, chemicals and building materials at home or workplace, dust, fine sand or dirt;
  • Medications and drugs - long term overuse of such medications as aspirin may lead to many unpleasant conditions, including asthma;
  • Infectious diseases - bronchitis, cold, flu;
  • Physical exercise.

Once you have found a substance that may be a potential cause of asthma, it may be a good idea to try and reduce your exposure to it. For example, if you find yourself especially irritated by dust, attempt to clean your house/car/workplace more often, or clean in places you would not ordinary get to. Same goes for environmental irritants like air pollution. If you work or live in an area with polluted air and feel it bothering your health greatly, try to avoid the contact as much as possible - in extreme cases, you may have to change your place of work or residence, especially if you develop asthma.

Asthma that is triggered by allergies is most often found in children who stay in contact with the allergen for prolonged periods of time. No one is born with asthma or allergies, but if both parents have an allergy to something, the child in 70% cases will also be likely to have one, and thus be potentially at risk of developing asthma.