Are you often short of breath? Are they symptoms of asthma?
Asthma is the chronic airway inflammatory disease that lead to the narrowing of the airways (bronchial hyperactivity) triggering symptoms of recurrent episodic such as chest feel heavy, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, especially at early morning or night.
Asthmatics have a more sensitive respiratory tract than normal people. When the lungs are exposed to asthma triggers, the muscles in the respiratory tract will stiffen, making the channel narrow. In addition, sputum production has also increased. The combination of these conditions makes sufferers experience asthma symptoms.
Depending on the trigger factors, asthma is usually divided into several types, namely:
- Sports asthma
- Nocturnal asthma (relapse only at night)
- Asthma due to a particular job
- Cough asthma
- Allergic asthma
One of the myths about asthma that many people believe is that the disease can be cured. Unfortunately, this is not right.
Asthma cannot be completely cured. If you don’t feel the symptoms as often as you used to, this indicates that you are able to control the asthma you have well.
What is the most common asthma trigger?
Triggering factors are factors that can trigger the onset of asthma. Each individual has a trigger that is not always the same or different. The factors that trigger asthma include, among others,
- Animal fur
- Cigarette smoke
- Household smokes
- Dust on pillows and mattresses
- Stinky smells
- Insect killer spray
- Pollen and flowers/plants
- Weather changes
- Fatigue, tired
- Psychological / stress
- Sick with flu
- Certain foods / drinks: sea fish, shrimp, soybeans, eggs, milk, fizzy drinks.
- Certain drugs: aspirin, antibiotics, steroids.
Not only know the symptoms, it’s also important to understand the severity of the bronchial asthma you suffer from.
Because, asthma recurrence usually depends on how severe the condition you have.
Here are the severity of asthma:
- Mild persistent
- Moderate persistent
- Heavy Persistent
In the early stages, the doctor will conduct a medical interview (anamnesis) and physical examination first. You need to know that the diagnosis of asthma is based on symptoms that are episodic, symptoms in the form of coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, heavy in the chest, and variability related to weather.
To help establish a diagnosis of asthma, your doctor may need to perform several supporting tests. For example, a pulmonary function with a spirometer. Lung function measurements are used to assess:
- Obstruction of the airway;
- The reversibility of pulmonary abnormalities;
- Pulmonary variability, as an indirect assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness.
There are also several other tests to help doctors to diagnose asthma, namely:
- Examination of the peak flow of the expiration with the peak flow rate meter tool;
- Reversible test (with bronchodilators);
- Bronchial provocation test, to assess the absence of bronchial hyperactivity;
- Allergy tests to assess the absence or presence of allergies;
- Photo thoracic, to get rid of diseases other than asthma.
Asthma prevention measures are unknown to date. The cause is also not known for sure. But you can reduce your risk of having an asthma attack by:
- Follow your doctor’s recommended asthma coping plan
- Get vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia
- Recognize and avoid asthma triggers. For example, pollen, mold, cold air, and air pollution
- If you experience asthma symptoms, immediately do how to overcome asthma. For example, taking drugs using an inhaler.
Asthma prevention efforts can be divided into 3, namely:
- Primary prevention
- Secondary prevention
- Tertiary prevention.
Primary prevention is aimed at preventing sensitization in infants at risk of asthma (parental asthma), by:
- Avoidance of cigarette smoke and other pollutants during pregnancy and the development of infants/children
- A hypoallergenic diet of pregnant women, provided / with the condition that the diet does not interfere with fetal intake
- Exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age
- Hypoallergenic diet of breastfeeding mothers.
Secondary prevention is aimed at preventing inflammation in children who have been sensitized by avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke, as well as indoor allergens, especially house dust mites.
Tertiary prevention is aimed at preventing the manifestation of asthma in children who have shown manifestations of allergic diseases. A multi-flashlight study known as the ETAC Study (early treatment of atopic children) found that giving Cetirizine for 18 months in atopic children with atopic dermatitis and IgE specific to grass powder (Pollen) and house dust mites lowered the incidence of asthma by as much as 50%. It should be emphasized that the administration of cetirizine in this study is not as an asthma controller.
Prevention based on Joint Risks of NCD (Non-Communicable Diseases) is as follows:
- Check your health condition regularly
- Get rid of cigarette smoke
- Diligent physical activity
- A healthy diet with balanced calories
- Enough rest
- Control stress
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