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Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

In most people with asthma, before the symptoms appears they do have warning signs.This warning signs are not the same for everyone in fact your own warning signs may also differ from time to time. By learning what your warning signs are, you can start treatment sooner. This may keep you from having a serious asthma attack. Some of the warning signs of asthma or signs of an asthma attack are as below.

• Abnormal Breathing that includes breathing faster than normal, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing

• Persistent coughing which may be worse at night or early morning.

• Fatigue, a feeling of always being tired.

• Wheezing, head congestion, and/or scratchy or sore throat

• Rapid heartbeat.

Some of the most common triggers that can cause an asthma attack is listed below:

• Air pollution.

• Animals.

• Cold weather.

• Dust.

• Exercise.

• Foods.

• Lung infections.

• Molds.

• Pollens.

• Smoke.

• Stress.

Asthma is divided into 4 broad categories or “levels”

•Intermittent Level:

This is the least serious level of asthma. A person is considered to be in this level when they exhibit asthma symptoms no more than 2 times a week and are not awakened at night with asthma symptoms more than twice a month. At this level, an asthma attack may last from a few hours to a few days, but there are no symptoms between asthma attacks. Between asthma attacks the peak expiratory flow or “PEF” is normal or varies less than 20%. The PEF is a measure of airflow to your lungs. A peak flow meter is used to get a PEF reading.

•Mild persistent:

A person at this level has asthma symptoms more than 2 times a week but not on a daily basis, and will have nighttime asthma symptoms more than twice monthly. At this level, asthma attacks may slow daily activities. The PEF reading will vary by 20% to 30%.

•Moderate persistent:

A person at this level has asthma symptoms every day and has nighttime asthma symptoms about once a week. Asthma attacks may occur at least 2 times a week and last for several days. At this stage, a person will use a short-acting inhaled asthma medicine every day. Asthma attacks do not just slow down daily activities but may actually prevent some of them. The PEF reading may vary by more than 30%.

•Severe persistent:

This is the most serious level of asthma. A person at this level displays asthma symptoms all the time both day and night. Asthma attacks are common and the symptoms severely limit a person’s physical activity,

You and your doctor will develop a plan to treat your asthma. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may or may not need medication to control your asthma. Generally, asthma medicines fall into 2 categories; long term control and quick relief medicines

1) Long-term control medicines are taken every day to control persistent asthma by decreasing inflammation in the airways and to keep the airway from starting to swell. This medicine is put into an inhaler through which you breathe.

2) Quick-relief medicines are taken to quickly open your airways and to treat symptoms such as cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath. This class of medicine is known as bronchodilators. Bronchodilators relax muscles that have tightened around the airways. Once these muscles relax, the airways open to help you breathe easier.

In summary, educating yourself with the condition of asthma is crucial and important. You need to learn to watch for signs that your asthma is worsening as well as what to do to stop an asthma attack. Usually during an asthma attack, you can take care for yourself with treatment at home, However, if your breathing does not improve with medicine or treatments, you should contact your doctor as alternative treatments may be necessary.

Basically all asthmatic patient may feel frighten or anxious. At times they even blame themselves and think they have done something wrong. These are normal feelings and should be discussed with your doctor or with someone close to you.

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