Asthma symptoms can cause discomfort for individuals affected. If not treated early, these symptoms can persist and lead to various dangerous complications.
1. What is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory condition characterized by chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract. When exposed to triggering factors, the sensitive bronchial tubes of affected individuals react strongly, manifesting as difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and other symptoms. The severity of this condition varies, depending on the degree of irritation to the bronchial tubes and the overall health of each patient. While asthma may not be curable, the symptoms can be managed through adherence to treatment.
2. Initiating Factors for Asthma Attacks
Several factors can trigger asthma attacks:
2.1. Allergic Factors
– Respiratory allergens: common culprits include household dust, pollen, mold, animal dander, tobacco smoke, and dust mites. Industrial substances like metal dust, gasoline fumes, and paint fumes can also contribute.
– Food allergens: seafood (shrimp, crab, fish, clams), eggs, chicken, peanuts.
– Medications: Certain drugs like aspirin and penicillin may induce or exacerbate respiratory obstruction.
– Infections: Respiratory infections such as rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, and tonsillitis are among the allergic causes of asthma.
2.2. Non-Allergic Factors
– Genetics: A family history of asthma increases the risk of developing the condition.
– Psychological factors: Anxiety, stress, and psychological trauma can contribute to the onset or worsening of respiratory obstruction symptoms.
– Individuals with allergies or a family history of asthma are at higher risk of developing the condition.
For diagnosed asthma patients, exposure to irritants can trigger acute asthma attacks.
3. Typical Symptoms
3.1. Difficulty Breathing
Difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing are common symptoms of asthma. Breathing difficulties often occur at night, seasonally, or after specific triggers (such as colds, exertion, weather changes, or exposure to irritants). Some patients may experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, dry cough, drowsiness, and other symptoms before an asthma attack. Typical difficulty breathing includes initially slow and audible inhalation, progressing to increased difficulty, potentially accompanied by sweating or a strained voice.
3.2. Coughing and Sputum Production
Prolonged difficulty breathing lasting 5-15 minutes, sometimes extending to hours or days, followed by gradual relief with coughing and sputum production. The sputum is typically clear, thick, and sticky. Examination during an asthma attack may reveal wheezing in both lungs.
4. Common Treatment Approaches for Asthma
When recognizing symptoms of asthma, seeking medical attention for accurate diagnosis and treatment is crucial to prevent serious health complications.
Many individuals with this condition often wonder if it can be completely cured. Since asthma commonly becomes a chronic and recurrent condition, the focus of treatment is on controlling symptoms and preventing recurrences to minimize asthma attacks.
To prevent this condition, various measures need to be combined, including medication usage, monitoring of body symptoms, and lifestyle adjustments.
Here are some common treatments for this airflow restriction:
4.1. Medication-based Treatment
Choosing the appropriate medication for treating this respiratory obstruction depends on various factors such as age, symptoms, and the underlying causes. Physicians may prescribe medications falling into the following categories:
– Long-term control and prevention medications: primarily aimed at reducing inflammation and swelling in the airways.
– Bronchodilator medications: rapidly open up the airways.
– Allergy medications: prevent allergic reactions triggered by certain medications.
Medication usage should be monitored by healthcare professionals, and patients should return for regular check-ups to assess their condition.
4.2. Lifestyle Adjustments
In addition to medication, individuals with asthma should establish a healthy lifestyle and avoid allergens to effectively control the condition. Here are some recommendations:
– Install air purifiers in living spaces to filter out allergens like dust and pet dander.
– Regularly clean and disinfect household items to prevent mold and dust.
– Maintain appropriate indoor humidity levels to prevent excessive dryness or moisture.
– Avoid keeping pets indoors. If pets are a must, place them in a separate area, wear a mask while handling them, and ensure proper pet hygiene to avoid inhaling pet dander.
– Wear a mask when going outdoors or working with chemicals or dust.
– Follow a nutritious diet, engage in regular physical activity, and avoid fatigue.
– Manage conditions like acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as they may trigger asthma symptoms.
4.3. Where to Seek Asthma Treatment?
In addition to implementing home-based treatment measures, patients should seek professional medical care from reputable healthcare facilities. The Respiratory Department at Thu Cuc International General Hospital is a preferred choice for many patients. The hospital’s team of highly qualified and experienced doctors, coupled with modern equipment, ensures that patients receive prompt and accurate diagnosis during their medical appointments.