Asthma: All You Need To Know

Asthma: All You Need To Know

In the Philippines, asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases. One of the most important facts about asthma is that those diagnosed with the condition often experience shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

Asthma is a long-term condition that, unfortunately, has no cure. But it can be managed successfully with the use of medication and treatment.

When you breathe, air enters the nose, passes through the throat, and goes down into the lungs.

Asthma makes breathing difficult when triggers cause the airways of the lung to swell, constrict, and be filled with mucus.

Mucus is what the body produces in certain instances as a response to triggers. This is expelled as phlegm.

The phlegm blocks the airways of a person, further aggravating the asthma.

Types of Asthma

Asthma develops in people of all ages, though it commonly manifests in childhood. In 2016, it was reported that 6 million children in the Philippines were diagnosed with the chronic respiratory disease.

Facts About Asthma: Two Types Based on Onset

  1. Childhood asthma. Also known as pediatric asthma, this type of asthma usually manifests before a child turns 5.
  2. Adult-onset. This asthma develops in adulthood, over the age of 20.

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

The symptoms of asthma may range from mild to severe, and is usually managed with medication and inhalers.

Consult your doctor for the best treatment plan to address your symptoms. Here are some other facts about asthma you should know about.

Symptoms include:

Coughing

Because of the phlegm produced by the swollen airways, a reflex of your system in order to get that phlegm out of your body is through coughing.

Shortness of Breath

Bunch of phlegm is produced by your airways when you are diagnosed with asthma.

Because of that, the phlegm blocks the passageway of the air into and out of the lungs making it really difficult for you to breathe that causes shortness of breath.

Chest Pain

Asthma’s inflammation of the airways into your lungs. Tons of mucus (phlegm) will cause blockage in all airways, making it difficult for the air to go in and out of the lungs which cause the tightness of the chest and chest pain.

Wheezing

In definition, wheezing is the whistling sound that comes from your chest. This sound happens when air passes through a very narrow space.

If someone has asthma, he or she experiences wheezing because the air he or she breathes in and out barely passes through the airways because of the blockage of phlegm.

When should I see a doctor?

If shortness of breath is persistent and does not respond to prescribed medication or if asthma is accompanied by other symptoms, then it’s best to consult your doctor.

Common Triggers

One of the most important facts about asthma is that, when you have this long-term condition, expect asthma attacks that may leave you feeling breathless with severe coughing and/or shortness of breath.

Facts About Asthma: Common Triggers

Different asthma patients have been diagnosed and had various lists of triggers, but here are the most common triggers for asthma patients.

  • Allergens (Both Indoors and Outdoors)
  • Irritants Contained in the Air
  • Some Medicines and Drugs
  • Stress
  • Certain Weather Conditions
  • Certain Foods
  • Viral Respiratory Illnesses
  • Risk Factors

    Listed below are the factors that make a person have a high possibility of developing chronic disease, asthma.

    • You’re prone to having asthma if you are exposed to various triggers in your job.
    • Exposure to air pollution increases your chances of having asthma.
    • If you have no protection from secondhand smoke, you are at high risk of developing asthma.
    • Asthma is not avoidable if you are smoking.
    • Being overweight also increases your possibility of having asthma.
    • If you have allergies, there’s a chance that you might develop asthma.
    • You might want to watch out for asthma if you know that you have a blood-related family member who also developed asthma.

    Diagnosis

    The process of diagnosing whether you have asthma or not includes a physical exam that would be performed by your doctor. After that, there would be a series of tests that measure the capability of your lungs to get air in and out of your body.

    Spirometry measures how much air you inhale, how much you exhale, and how quickly you exhale. Peak flow meter is a portable device, usually used in acute settings.

    Treatment

    Unfortunately, there’s no cure for asthma, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms. Doctors would prescribe you to take long-term control medications for you not to experience asthma attacks often.

    Also, make sure to carry inhalers with you every time – in case you have an asthma attack, an inhaler would help you breathe easier and give you relief.

    Management Tips

    There are many things you have to do in order to manage your asthma, but you have to be patient in order not to suffer too much from the disease.

    • Always visit your doctor.
    • Never miss a time to take your control medications.
    • Beware of the things that might trigger an attack and make sure to avoid them.
    • Learn how to manage and treat an asthma attack by yourself in case you experience one without anyone to help.

    Learn more about Asthma here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner


    Written by Karla Pascua · Updated Dec 22, 2022

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