It is important to understand the signs of asthma because undiagnosed and untreated asthma can lead to serious health issues. Parents should be aware of the signs of asthma so they can recognize them in their children. The signs of asthma are easy to spot once you know what the signs are.
The symptoms of asthma occur when the airways tighten, become inflamed and fill with mucus. This can occur especially during the night while the individual is sleeping. As the airway closes the person will start to cough or wheeze. They will experience shortness of breath, complain of tightness in the chest, pain in the chest or chest pressure. Not everyone experiences the same signs or they may have different symptoms in one asthma attack then they did in a previous attack.
Persons with asthma may not have symptoms for a while and then something will trigger another attack and they will begin to experience symptoms again. The most common triggers of asthma are allergens, irritants, upper respiratory infections, exercise, changes in weather and cold weather. Allergens are particles from dust, mold, pet dander, pollen or food. Irritants come from dirt, gases, smoke, or strong smells. Colds and flu are respiratory infections that can trigger an asthma attack. Many people, especially children experience asthma when playing sports.
A common question asked by people concerns reactive airway disease and if it is the same thing as asthma. Reactive airway disease is not a specific diagnosis it simply describes a history of coughing, wheezing or the frequent experience of shortness of breath. Asthma can be misdiagnosed as reactive airway disease. Medical professionals may have a difficult time diagnosing asthma in young patients. One reason for this is that there are no accurate tests to diagnoseose asthma before age 6.
Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing should see a medical professional for a diagnosis. A doctor will take a medical history to discover what signs of distress have been experienced. The doctor will also examine the patient for signs of audible wheezing or whistling in the lungs and ask the patient if they have been coughing.
Signs of asthma can worsen by becoming more frequent or experience more frequent attacks. A peak flow meter is a device that doctors use to determine how well lungs are working. When the results of the meter show less function your asthma is getting worse. A person who starts to use an inhaler more is experiencing symptoms that are becoming worse. Some people experience signs of asthma at work when they are exposed to gases, dust or chemical fumes.
A sign that a person should see a doctor for asthma include frequent coughing that has gone on for more than a few days, the person is experiencing difficulty breathing or the treatment plan is no longer controlling asthma symptoms. If a person is experiencing severe problems breathing, emergency help should be summoned immediately such as calling 911 in the US A severe asthma attack can be fatal. A doctor may ask to see a patient in order to closely monitor asthma especially if the treatment plan has changed.
An emergency situation can occur when the patient experiences rapid worsening of wheezing or shortness of breath or if there is no improvement after using asthma medication. A person may be experiencing an emergency if shortness of breath occurs after doing a minimal amount of physical activity.
People at risk for developing signs of asthma include those with family members who have asthma, anyone who is overweight, smokers, or those people exposed to secondhand smoke. Individuals working around exhaust fumes or other types of pollution are also at risk for developing signs of asthma. Farmers, chemists and others working with chemicals and other irritants are also at risk for developing symptoms of asthma. Individuals born with low birth weight are at risk for developing asthma.
If you would like to know more about Asthma and it's remedies then click on ASTHMA AND TREATMENT below.