Asthma is a chronic disease that blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breathe. In asthma, the smooth muscles around the airway contract in response to triggers such as allergens, smoke, cold weather or exercise, and the production of a sticky secretion called mucus increases; This causes the airway to narrow. Asthma attacks that develop in response to various triggers can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Asthma can affect both children and adults. And also;
People living in cities with poor air quality
Smokers or those exposed to secondhand smoke (passive smokers)
people with allergies
People with a family history of allergies or asthma are at risk for asthma.
What Are Asthma Symptoms?
Asthma is a disease that usually progresses with exacerbations. Although exacerbations occur during exercise, allergens or some chemicals, the following symptoms are observed:
Wheezing or whistling sound when breathing
Chest pain or tightness
Shortness of breath
How Is Asthma Diagnosed?
Although the cause of asthma is unknown, as a result of research, it is thought that asthma develops due to genetic causes, infections, environmental factors and the medical condition of the person. Asthma can vary greatly from patient to patient. Among the triggers of asthma are factors such as;
Extremely hot and cold weather conditions
Chemical odors or fumes
Stress and mood disorders (such as depression)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
some viral diseases
Sulfites and preservatives in processed foods and beverages
If asthma is suspected, your doctor will listen to your medical history and perform a physical examination. Some tests that may be ordered to clarify the diagnosis include:
This test basically helps to understand how narrow the bronchi are by measuring the lung capacity and the amount of air inhaled. It is one of the important tests in the diagnosis of asthma.
It is used to detect changes in lung functions.
It is a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan. If there are structural problems or infections accompanying asthma, it allows it to occur.
The drug called methacholine is given to the patient by breathing under low doses and under control, and the sensitivity of the patient’s bronchi to methacholine (whether it narrows with methacholine) is determined.
It is done with skin tests or blood tests. Considering that the substances that cause allergies in the patient may trigger asthma attacks, the necessary treatments are started.
In addition, your doctor may perform a spirometry test and a peak flow measurement test before and after giving bronchodilators (medicine that opens your airways) to the airways. The difference is helpful in diagnosing asthma.
How Is Asthma Treated?
There is no definitive treatment for asthma, but asthma can be kept under control by regularly using the medications prescribed by your doctor. On the basis of asthma treatment, step treatment is applied with periodic controls based on symptoms and examinations. Depending on the degree of signs and symptoms, your medications and their doses may vary.