There are many illnesses that affect people’s quality of life throughout the year. Among these, there is one with a high prevalence that you most probably heard of many times until this point: asthma.
Asthma is a chronic and inflammatory condition. It makes the airways react to a specific trigger (dust mites, pollens, viruses etc.). This reaction is often seen in the form of inflammation in the airways, which causes them to swell and get narrower. This essentially means that people who have asthma have trouble breathing.
What are the most common symptoms of asthma?
- wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing)
- a tight chest – it may feel like a band is tightening around it
How to differentiate asthma from other possible conditions?
These symptoms may point to a number of different respiratory problems, but the likeliness of asthma increases if these:
- happen often and keep coming back
- are worse at night and early in the morning
- seem to happen in response to an asthma trigger like exercise or an allergy (such as to pollen or animal fur)
Besides the symptoms above, asthma patients may get asthma attacks as well. This means that the symptoms get a lot worse for a short period of time. These symptoms include:
- wheezing and coughing
- chest tightness becoming severe and constant
- being too breathless to function (having trouble eating, speaking or sleeping)
- breathing faster, heartbeat also becoming faster
- drowsiness, confusion, exhaustion or dizziness
- bluish tint to fingers and lips
- in the most severe situations, fainting
Asthma is a serious chronic condition and affects approximately 315 million of the 7 billion people alive in our world. Therefore, knowing how to recognize asthma symptoms is of the utmost importance when it comes to managing it. To learn more about this subject, you can check out one of our previous blog posts about books on asthma awareness and management.
Asthma cases need to be monitored closely in order to see what state the patient is in, because this may help healthcare professionals get ahead of impending asthma attacks. This is why spirometry is crucial when it comes to the topic of asthma. To learn more about how ultrasonic spirometry is used in asthma cases, please check out our blog post where we talked about SpiroHome and the future of spirometry with the president of the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Society and the head of Hacettepe University’s Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Department, Prof. Bülent Enis Şekerel and click here to product request.
- “Asthma”, Mayo Clinic, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/symptoms-causes/syc-20369653
- “Asthma Symptoms”, United Kingdom National Health Service, 2021. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/symptoms/
- “Global asthma prevalence in adults: findings from the cross‐sectional world health survey”, To T, Stanojevic S, Moores G, Gershon AS, Bateman ED, Cruz AA and Boulet LP, 2012.