Asthma is a persistent illness that influences the aviation routes of the lungs. It results from inflammation and narrowing of the respiratory passages. Which blocks the flow of air into the airways; Which leads to repeated episodes of shortness of breath with wheezing in the chest (wheezing) accompanied by coughing and sputum after exposure to inhalation of substances that provoke allergic reactions (allergies) or irritation of the respiratory system, and these attacks vary in severity and frequency from one person to another, which is one of the most common diseases. It is common among children.
Causes of asthma attacks:
Some studies indicated that the cause is due to hereditary or environmental factors, such as pollution of the surrounding environment, air pollution from factory smoke, and car exhaust.
Factors leading to an asthma attack:
- Allergy to some things such as chemicals, bird feathers, animal fur, pollen, dust, some foods, liquids, or preservatives.
- Respiratory viral infections.
- Some medications such as aspirin, beta-blockers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Intense aerobic exercise.
Hormonal changes such as the menstrual cycle in some women
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Symptoms that indicate an asthma attack:
Asthma symptoms range from mild to severe and vary from person to person.
- Shortness of breath.
- Contractions or chest pain.
- Disturbed sleep due to shortness of breath.
- A whistling sound when breathing in or exhaling.
- Frequent cough accompanied by a runny nose and sneezing, especially when infected with a viral infection in the respiratory system.
Symptoms of an acute asthma attack:
An increase in the severity and frequency of symptoms of the disease.
Severe difficulty breathing.
An increased need for bronchodilators.
Categories at highest risk of asthma attacks:
Some factors are believed to increase the chance of developing asthma, and these factors include:
- History of asthma in the family.
Obesity and weight gain.
- Smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, or smoking of the mother during pregnancy.
Exposure to an irritant agent, such as chemicals used in cleaning, cultivation, or hair styling.
- Pollution of the surrounding environment and air pollution from industrial smoke and car exhaust.
Asthma diagnosis: The doctor relies mainly on the diagnosis of asthma on the medical history, including symptoms, recurrence, and causes, and then comes a clinical examination.
Pulmonary function measurement:
- Spirometry examination: This examination measures the extent of bronchial contraction, during which the amount of air that can be expelled by exhaling after a deep inhale and the speed at which this is exhaled are measured.
- Peak airflow meter: It is a simple device that can detect slight changes that may occur even before symptoms are sensed. If the result is lower than normal, it is a sign that asthma will soon develop.
- Lung function tests are performed before and after the use of a bronchodilator. If there is an improvement in the functional performance of the lungs of the person undergoing examination as a result of using the bronchodilator, then it is likely that he has asthma.
- Methacholine examination: Methacholine is an asthmatic substance that causes narrowing of the airways. If the result is positive, it confirms the incidence of asthma. Such an examination is performed if lung function tests show normal results.
- Nitric oxide test: It is a test that measures the amount of nitric oxide gas in the breath in the event of inflammation in the airways, the level of nitric oxide is higher than usual for asthma patients, and this examination is not common.
- X-ray examination: X-rays and CT scans are used to diagnose asthma, and this is by imaging the lungs and the nasal cavity.
- Allergy test: Test for allergies through the skin or blood, and the factors causing allergies can be determined, for example, from pets, dust, mold, or pollen.