Common Asthma Symptoms, Trigger Points and Treatment Methods
Asthma is a very common respiratory condition, one which is caused by spasms within the bronchi of the lungs which can make it difficult to breathe. The number of asthma sufferers continues to grow and it is estimated that over 25 million Americans suffer from this condition. Despite the widespread nature of this disease, there is still a great deal of confusion among those who suffer from it and common asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or difficulty breathing, are often attributed to other conditions. Possessing a better understanding of asthma, the trigger points which may cause an attack and the issues that suffers are most likely to experience can ensure that patients are able to take more effective action in their effort to seek out care and relief.
Asthma is a chronic medical condition which causes sufferers to experience an inflammation and narrowing of airways which may impede airflow and make respiration far more difficult and uncomfortable. Asthma can affect patients of all ages, although sufferers most commonly experience onset of the disease during childhood. The effects of this condition may be so mild that sufferers do not even realize there is a problem or they may be severe enough to warrant hospitalization and emergency medical treatment. While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that may be used in order to provide suffers with greater comfort and relief.
Common Asthma Symptoms
Asthma can present different from one patient to the next, but sufferers typically experience one or more of the following issues:
- Chronic or persistent cough
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, rapid breathing or frequent respiratory infections
- Chest tightness, anxiety, sleep disturbances or rapid heartrate
While there are certain issues that are more commonly associated with asthma there are a number of symptoms which may be caused by other conditions, such as:
- Sinusitis, myocardial ischemia or GERD
- Bronchitis, sleep apnea or COPD
- Vocal chord dysfunction or paralysis
Trigger Points Which May Cause an Asthma Attack
There are numerous events and circumstances which may potentiate an asthma attack. Although not every trigger point may cause problems for every patient, sufferers would be wise to identify and make note of any triggers that may have caused them problems in the past. Common triggers may include:
- Dust or dust mites
- Animal dander
- Molds, mildew or pollen
- Cigarette smoke or particulate from wood or charcoal fires
- Chemicals, cleaning agents or perfumes
Being able to prevent an asthma attack is often more effective than treating or managing one after the fact and all patients would do well to learn more about any trigger points which they may be likely to encounter.
In addition to self-care options that include dietary changes and fitness routines, there are numerous medications which are used to treat asthma. These medications include:
- Beta agonists and corticosteroids
- Bronchial dilators
- Combination inhalers which contain two or more medications
Other treatment methods may include allergy shots and the creation of a asthma action plan which will allow sufferers to take appropriate steps at the first sign of an attack.