“Allergy” is the first thought that comes to our mind when we hear “asthma”. Although Allergic Asthma is the second most common type of asthma, the condition is more than just an “allergic reaction”. Coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing are some of the symptoms of asthma. There are almost 25 million people suffering from asthma in the United States alone. This means that either you, or someone you know, might be going through this strenuous disease.
It is important to understand what happens in this condition and how it works so that you can manage it and live a stress free life.
This article will give you an idea about this disease, detailing its short as well as long term complications along with how it affects your everyday life.
Asthma is a chronic lung inflammation in which one experiences intermittent episodes of wheezing, coughing and/or shortness of breath. These episodes either commonly occur at night or during any physical activity. What happens in this condition is that there is constriction of the small airways of the lung due to tightening and swelling. Another feature of asthma is mucus which accumulates in these short, constricted airways making breathing more difficult.
Even though there are multiple genetic, occupational and environmental factors associated with this disease, an absolute cure is still a mystery to be solved by research and clinical trials. There are hundreds of different Asthma Clinical Trials in the USA alone. There are ten different types of Asthma depending on the time of onset and its symptoms:
- Childhood Asthma:
Asthma that develops in children and then goes away as they get older.
- Adult-Onset Asthma:
Even though asthma is most commonly associated with childhood, it can also strike adults. Adult or late-onset asthma is the term for this condition.
- Seasonal Asthma:
Seasonal Asthma is when you only get symptoms at a certain time of year or in a specific location.
- Occupational Asthma:
This type of asthma affects you when you’re at work. Chemicals, animal compounds, metals, and other triggers are only a few examples.
- Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA):
EIA or bronchoconstriction is what happens when you experience asthma symptoms while exercising.
- Allergic Asthma:
Allergic Asthma, also known as Atopic Asthma, is caused by an allergen. Pollen, mould, pet dander, dust, dust mites, or any other thing that causes your symptoms could be the allergen.
- Non-Allergic Asthma:
It is non-allergic or non-atopic asthma if you experience symptoms that do not appear to be triggered by an allergen and you believe there is another irritant in the air, such as perfume, smoke, fresh paint, or room freshener.
- Asthma-COPD Overlap (ACO):
When you have both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, you are said to have ACOs. Symptoms are frequently intertwined.
- Nocturnal Asthma:
If you only have symptoms at night, you most likely have Nocturnal Asthma. It could be caused by a variety of factors, including the supine position, a delayed reaction to an allergy, an allergen in your bed, low epinephrine levels, or sleep apnea.
- Severe Asthma:
If your asthma does not improve despite treatment, you have asthma attacks more than twice a year, or you need to use an inhaler four to five times per week, you may have severe asthma.
Asthma attacks can range in severity from mild to moderate to life-threatening.
Breathing problems, chest pain, coughing, and wheezing are some of the symptoms. Fortunately, breathing devices like “inhalers” can help manage these symptoms. Even while asthma may be controlled, it can result in short and long term health consequences.
ASTHMA AND ITS SHORT-TERM COMPLICATIONS
The short-term complications or effects of asthma can become hurdles in your day to day life – forcing you to miss out on the important and happy moments it brings. These short-term complications can include symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest tightening.
- Mucus build-up.
The factors that might trigger these symptoms include:
- Allergies (causing allergic asthma).
- Exercise (causing Exercise Induced Asthma/EIA).
- Extreme weather.
- Sinus Infections.
Learning about asthma triggers and the symptoms it presents can help you manage this disease.
ASTHMA AND ITS LONG-TERM COMPLICATIONS
Severe and untreated asthma, when gone out of hand, can cause long-term complications. The predicaments that are more difficult and manage or can be irreparable, include:
- Diminished Exercise Tolerance
- increased Infection Risk
- Lung Scarring
- Bronchial Tube Narrowing
- Increased chances of depression
- spiked risk of obesity
- Respiratory Failure
- Airway Remodeling
- loss of lung function
- repeated coughing episodes
- thickening of the airway wall
- heightened production of mucus glands and mucus
- increased blood supply in the airways.
Dealing with asthma can be very difficult and disheartening. But seek comfort by knowing that asthma is manageable. With proper medical help and preventive measures, you can lead a happy, healthy life, uninterrupted by asthma.
WHY DO ASTHMA COMPLICATIONS OCCUR?
Asthma problems are caused by a variety of circumstances. Exposure to irritants and/or allergens on a frequent or heavy basis is a common triggering factor, for example:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Cigarette smoke
- Household cleaners
- Extreme weather
- Perfumes or other strong smells
Furthermore, due to a kind of asthma known as exercise-induced asthma, many physically active people are at an increased risk of setting these triggers off.
Emotional and medical reasons can also contribute to these difficulties. Anxiety, stress, flu, or acid reflux can all exacerbate these issues. Medications like aspirin and ibuprofen might potentially cause a reaction.
When it comes to determining your triggers, seek medical counsel. The only way to control them is to understand what they are. Keep track of each attack and try to determine what caused it.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION?
If you have asthma, you should be aware of when you should seek medical care. Most of the time, an inhaler is effective. If you have any of the following asthma symptoms that are not improving with an inhaler, you should get in touch with your doctor immediately:
- Extreme shortness of breath
- Severe pain in the chest
- Problem walking or talking
- Bluish tint to the skin
Exertion can aggravate asthma. If your existing meds aren’t working, you should speak with your doctor. Most likely, he or she will need to adjust your treatment.
Asthma is a dangerous and debilitating disease. This illness can be managed and controlled with adequate care and a healthy lifestyle. Despite the fact that asthma cannot be prevented, its attacks can be avoided.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that impairs your breathing, reduces the functional capacity of your lungs, and, as a result, limits your daily activities. Different allergens and irritants can set it off. Symptoms might limit your everyday routines, have an impact on your daily life, and compel you to miss crucial events. Your doctor can help you decide which allergy medications to take and how to use them. Whether it’s an oral drug or an inhaler. While there may be some negative effects, they are minor and will pass quickly. Keep in mind that you can manage your asthma, but you must be extremely cautious and diligent in your therapy.
There is no definitive treatment for asthma, despite the fact that there are techniques to regulate and manage its symptoms. Asthma clinical trials can help in this situation. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies are collaborating to find a cure for this disease. These trials are free to participate in; in fact, some of them pay you to do so.
Do you want to know if there are any such trials where you can participate as a volunteer? Simply Google “paid clinical trials near me in the United States” to find a list of relevant alternatives.