How Do I Know I Have Asthma?
How to recognize asthma in the early stages if it resembles a cold, accompanied by sneezing, coughing, pain in the chest, a runny nose? However, if an ordinary cold is not treated for a long time and recurs regularly, you should consult a doctor to find out if you have a much more serious illness – bronchial asthma.
What causes asthma and how to recognize it?
There are many factors in our environment that can cause symptoms and attacks of asthma. The most frequent provoking factors are allergens, exercise, viral infections and irritants. In some people, asthma symptoms can only be recognized during exercise or ARVI. Below you can see a list of “provocateurs” that determine asthma symptoms.
Allergens as a cause of asthma
- dust mites that are contained in house dust;
- particles of feathers, leather or fur of animals;
- cockroaches; mold; pollen of flowers and trees.
Irritants as a cause of asthma
- polluted air;
- tobacco smoke;
- strong smells of food or paint;
- weather changes or cold air;
- strong emotions, stress.
Other asthma factors
- gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, which is characterized by heartburn and may cause an increase in asthmatic symptoms, especially at night;
- sulfites in food (for example, in dried fruit) or drinks (in wine); some medications;
- allergens and occupational substances found at work (for example, occupational dust and certain chemicals);
- various infections.
How to recognize asthma by symptoms?
The most common signs of asthma include:
- a cough that appears or becomes worse at night or in the early morning and makes it difficult to sleep;
- asthma can be recognized by wheezing – creaking or wheezing in the chest during breathing;
- compression of the chest;
- asthma is also determined by the lack of air – it is difficult to exhale and breathe deeply;
- loud or rapid breathing.
The above asthma symptoms may not be present in all asthmatics. In addition, the severity of various symptoms can be different: some signs can be almost imperceptible, while others can make you stop work, in extreme cases, pronounced symptoms threaten asthmatic life. Symptoms of asthma can occur with varying frequency. Some people experience them only once in a few months, others once a week, and still others almost every day. However, with rational treatment, many asthmatics may not experience asthma attacks at all.
How to determine asthma – diagnosis of the disease
Diagnosis of asthma is a multi-stage, complex process, the initial stage of which is the collection of data by the doctor in the form of a survey of the patient, and clinical examination of the patient. Data collection may involve clarifying the patient’s complaints, so be prepared that the doctor will ask you the following questions: do you have sharp bouts of coughing, lack of air, chest tightness, wheezing in your chest? What medications do you usually use to make breathing easier? Do any of your relatives suffer from allergies or asthma? Do you have any allergic diseases? Are there any objects or substances that cause shortness of breath or cough?
During examination, the doctor may listen to your breath and detect other signs of allergies or asthma. The symptoms of bronchial asthma are always individual and vary, depending on the severity and stage of the disease. In any case, asthma is a serious disease that needs to be detected in the early stages to prevent possible complications in the future. Recently, many different diseases have appeared that are not yet known or little studied by man. There are viruses and diseases that are cured, and there are those that are not curable and only medications, therapies, and other kinds of procedures help patients keep themselves in good shape and not trigger the disease. One of these diseases is bronchial asthma.
Symptoms of asthma and how to determine the disease
- Whistling when breathing, which can often be heard at a distance;
- Cough, which can be either in the morning or at night;
- Shortness of breath, which appears with frequent physical exertion;
- A feeling of heaviness in the chest area;
- Attacks of suffocation and feeling of lack of oxygen. In asthma, a person tries to breathe through his mouth;
- Pale face;
- Bluish lips or fingers;
- Difficulty in speaking.
Knowing all the symptoms, you will not have a question about how to determine asthma. After that, you just urgently need to see a doctor who will prescribe a complete examination and treatment. When can asthma attacks occur? During periods of flowering, after a nervous shock, with the use of tobacco products, if the room has air conditioning or when you inhale cold air. Laughing a lot or singing for a long time are also not recommended. Do not use anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin. Do not get pets – they can also provoke asthma attacks.
Forms of asthma
There are two forms of asthma:
- Infectious asthma, in which the main pathogens are an infection, which enters the respiratory system and naturally allergy;
- Allergic asthma. The main causative agent is an allergic reaction.
How to recognize the degree of asthma?
At the moment, doctors indicate 4 degrees.
- Mild intermittent. This type of asthma occurs up to two times a week. Night attacks are rare;
- Persistent mild. Attacks occur more than twice a week but less than once a day. In such cases, it all depends on the way a person lives. At least 2 times a month, asthma attacks occur at night;
- Moderate persistent. Daily symptoms of asthma. Night attacks occur at least 1 time. In such cases, it is necessary to take quick-acting drugs;
- Acute persistent. Day and night attacks occur constantly.