"The essence of health is inner balance" - Andrew Weil

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways of the lungs. During an asthma attack the airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Possible Causes: 

Asthma happens due to chronic inflammation of the airways; the airways become narrow and fill up with mucus. This can be triggered by any of the following conditions:

  • Allergies including food and preservatives.
  • Smoking and exposure to smoke.
  • Cold, flu, sinus infections or bronchitis.
  • Change in weather.
  • Heartburn or acid reflux.
  • Exercise

Risk Factors: 

Some risk factors to getting asthma are as follows:

  • Obesity.
  • Smoking or breathing polluted air.
  • Presence of allergens in the environment – such as cat and dog allergens, cockroaches, fungi, mould and dust mites.
  • Family history.
  • Childhood asthma occurs more often in boys than in girls.
  • Maternal smoking and premature birth.

Signs & Symptoms: 

People with asthma are unable to breathe comfortably as there is swelling in the bronchial tubes with secretions inside. Asthma signs and symptoms could include:

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty in speaking.
  • Wheezing when inhaling and exhaling.
  • Bouts of coughing at night or after exercising.
  • Sneezing, running nose, congestion, sore throat, headache.
  • Tired, moody or anxious.
  • Feeling heavy on your chest or pain.
  • The face becomes sweaty and lips turn blue in severe cases.

Diagnosis: 

The doctor at Medcare shall ask you if experience any difficulty in breathing, experience tightness in the chest, wheezing or cough. Then a basic physical examination conducted by your doctor will reveal if there is a whistling sound as you breathe. 

Our doctors use some simple tests to confirm their findings:

  • Spirometry is used to ascertain if there is any airway obstruction. 
  • A small device called a peak flow meter measures how well your lungs push out air. 
  • The specialist may advise a chest X-ray to check your lungs.
  • Allergy tests through blood or skin can be requested.

Treatment Options: 

At Medcare, internal medicine specialists will prescribe the best asthma treatment for you.

Asthma may be treated with medicines that control the symptoms immediately. These are called rescue medications. Medications that prevent further attacks are called controller medications. Rescue inhalers help ease asthma symptoms instantly when they happen, by relaxing the muscles that tighten around the airways. 

Other treatment options are:

  • Inhaled short acting beta 2 agonist that give immediate relief from symptoms.  
  • Inhaled corticosteroids that reduce swelling and mucus in your lungs. 
  • Nebulization.
  • Long-acting beta-agonists that relax and open your airways.
  • Others are biologics, leukotriene modifiers and long-acting bronchodilators.
  • Finally, oral corticosteroids which will work if no other medicine works.
  • Pneumococcal and flu vaccine is recommended each year as it protects you against seasonal influenza and pneumonia.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • How can I find out if allergies are causing my asthma, and what I’m allergic to?

    A: It is best that you consult an allergy specialist who can conduct tests to identify the substances that you are allergic to. Avoid these and observe whether your asthma attacks lessen. Once you know what allergens trigger your asthma, you can ensure that you minimise exposure to them.

  • I want to exercise, but I often get an asthma attack when I do. What can I do?

    A: Don’t avoid exercising because it may trigger an asthma attack. Exercise is very beneficial for you, and you can find ways to exercise without triggering attacks. Warming up prior to exercise may prevent attacks. 

    Ask your doctor whether you should take inhaled medication before you start exercising. And if you are allergic to pollen, you may need to avoid exercising outdoors. You may have to avoid exercising if you have a viral infection, such as a cold.

  • What foods should I avoid to for asthma prevention?

    A: The most common foods in which you find allergens are cow's milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, shrimp and other shellfish so you may avoid these.

  • Is there any natural therapy for asthma?

    A: Natural relaxation therapy like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, biofeedback, yoga and acupuncture can help reduce stress which may alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

  • What are the 3 types of asthma?

    A: The three kinds of asthma include occupational asthma, nocturnal asthma and exercise-induced asthma. Occupational asthma is caused directly by your work. For instance, if you work in an environment that has a lot of chemicals or smoke, such as a garage.
     
    Nocturnal or night-time asthma is a condition where factors like your sleep or even allergens trigger your asthma. Lastly, as the name suggests, exercise-induced asthma is triggered due to physical exertions of any kind which lead to restricted breathing. 

    While all three are asthmatic conditions, the treatment for each type is unique to each patient. Consult your doctor to find the right treatment for yourself.

    If you are suffering from any of these types of asthma, book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today for diagnosis and successful management.

  • Can asthma be cured?

    A: Asthma is a global health issue and affects people of all ages. The fact to keep in mind when it comes to asthma is that there is no proven cure for this condition. However, many researchers believe that asthma treatments today are so effective that you can have complete control over it. 

    If you have asthma, you must monitor it well and avoid things such as allergens and pollutants or even scenarios that trigger it. This should be combined with taking proper medication and living a healthy lifestyle. 

    Creating an "asthma action plan" that is unique to your condition and can be refined based on your doctor's diagnosis as well as your observations is also helpful.

    Book an appointment at Medcare today to come up with your own personalised asthma action plan.

  • Why is my asthma worse at night?

    A: It is very common for asthma to get worse at night. This condition is called nocturnal asthma. 
      
    Although it isn’t proven about why asthma worsens at night, it is believed to be related to certain triggers like your sleeping position, allergens present in the room, excess cooling or perhaps even hormonal fluctuations due to an increase in cortisol levels. Lastly, a sinus infection or a post-nasal drip could also be the reason behind your nocturnal asthma.

  • How can I prevent nocturnal asthma?

    A: Ensuring that you have a clean and healthy sleeping environment along with the necessary medicines to control wheezing fits and other issues you may face is your best solution. If the problem persists, consult your doctor.

    Want to get an uninterrupted sleep? Consult a Medcare specialist today.
     

  • How can I get rid of asthma fast?

    A: The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no cure for asthma yet. Taking your medication regularly and keeping your inhaler handy can help you manage your asthma condition successfully.

  • How to deal with an asthma attack?

    A: When experiencing an asthma attack, sit upright to remove any constrictions to your breathing, take long deep breaths and stay calm to prevent any hyperventilation. This will help you recover from the attack faster. Additionally, caffeine is also known to provide relief as a hot caffeinated beverage helps to open your airways, making it easier to breathe.

    Want accurate treatment for your asthma? Visit a Medcare specialist today for a consultation.
     

  • What is the best treatment for asthma?

    A: An effective treatment plan for asthma includes monitoring your symptoms routinely as the first step. The next step is the medication prescribed to you. There are two kinds of medication; the first is quick-relief medication, such as inhalers that help to cure a flare-up. The other is a long-term medicine that you need to take to keep your asthma under control. 

    It is important to remember that quick-relief medication should be taken at the first signs of an attack to get immediate relief. This medication works by expanding the airways to allow more air to go in and hence, immediately curbing an impending asthma attack. 

    Are you looking for effective asthma management? Consult a Medcare specialist today.
     

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