December 15, 2009

Do I Have Asthma?

Asthma Attack InhalerMany people show some symptoms of asthma but are never diagnosed with asthma. Although it is a exceedingly common disease many people do not know they have it.
The 2 states of asthma are the steady-state of chronic asthma, and the acute state of an acute asthma exacerbation (worsening).

Chronic asthma symptoms:

  • Coughing at night
  • Shortness of breath – For those with chronic asthma, breathlessness occurs even when the person is resting. The person will sometimes not even be able to speak in sentences, but rather use singular words.
  • Chronic ‘throat clearing’ type of a cough
  • Complaints of a tight feeling in the chest – Often people with chronic asthma complain about feeling tight in their chest.
  • Lack of alertness – The person may show severe agitation and be drowsy during chronic asthma.
  • High pulse rate – A patient with chronic asthma may have a pulse greater than 120 beats per minute.
  • Wheezing – Loud wheezing is a common symptom of chronic asthma.

Acute asthma symptoms-

  • Coughing at night – In acute asthma coughing produces clear sputum
  • Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath only occurs during or right after for those who have acute asthma.
  • Asthma attack- A sudden asthma attack may be brought on in acute asthma.
  • Wheezing – Moderate wheezing during exercise or at other times may be a sign of acute asthma.

Symptoms of an asthma attack come in 3 stages:

  1. Coughing – this is a warning for the coming asthma attack. Your body is attempting to rid itself of the mucus built up in the bronchial tubes. Wheezing will begin. The persons palms will begin to sweat and his/her feet may become cold.
  2. Dyspnea – This means having difficulty breathing. The airways narrowed and the lungs have trouble vacating before having to gasp again.
  3. Severe bronchial obstruction – The air passageways have almost closed and are plugged with mucus. Possibly the patient may lose consciousness or turn blue from a lack of oxygen.

Asthma is a serious problem in thousands of people worldwide. There are various medications available for treatment, such as Advair Diskus, Spiriva, Combivent, Flovent,Salbutamol, and Singulair.

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