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Asthma: what it is, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Bronchial asthma is a chronic inflammation in the lungs in which the person has difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and a feeling of pressure or tightness in the chest, being more frequent in people who have a history of asthma in the family, had recurrent respiratory infections during the childhood or who have many allergies.

Asthma has no cure, however the symptoms can be controlled and alleviated with the use of medications that should be indicated by the pulmonologist or immunoalergologist according to the symptoms and severity of the disease. Asthma is not contagious, that is, it is not transmitted from person to person, however children of asthmatic people are more likely to develop asthma at any stage of life.

Asthma symptoms

Asthma symptoms usually appear suddenly or after the person is exposed to some environmental factor that causes changes in the airways, whether due to an allergy to dust or pollen, or as a result of intense physical exercise, for example. Symptoms that are usually indicative of asthma are:

  • Shortness of breathe;
  • Difficulty filling lungs;
  • Cough especially at night;
  • Feeling of pressure in the chest;
  • Wheezing or wheezing when breathing.

In the case of babies, an asthma attack can be identified through other symptoms such as purple fingers and lips, faster breathing than normal, excessive tiredness, constant coughing and difficulty eating.

When the baby has these symptoms, parents can put their ear against the baby’s chest or back to check for any noise, which may be similar to cat breathing, and then inform the pediatrician so that the diagnosis and treatment can be made. suitable is indicated.

what to do in the crisis

When the person is having an asthma attack, it is recommended that the SOS medication, prescribed by the doctor, be used as soon as possible and that the person is seated with the body leaning slightly forward. When symptoms do not go away, it is recommended to call an ambulance or go to the nearest hospital.

During an asthma attack one must act quickly because it can be fatal.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of asthma is made by the physician through observation of symptoms and can be confirmed through pulmonary auscultation and complementary tests, such as spirometry and bronchial provocation tests, where the physician tries to trigger an asthma attack and offers the asthma medicine, to check if the symptoms disappear after its use.

How is the treatment done

Asthma treatment is lifelong and consists of using inhaled medicines and avoiding contact with agents that can trigger an asthma attack, such as contact with animals, carpets, curtains, dust, very humid and moldy places , for example.

The asthma medicine should be used, in the dose recommended by the doctor and whenever necessary. It is common for the doctor to prescribe a medication to relieve inflammation in the airways and that should be used daily, as well as another for emergency situations, such as during crises.

The regular practice of physical exercise is also indicated for the treatment and control of asthma because it improves the individual’s cardiac and respiratory capacity. Swimming is a good exercise for asthma because it strengthens the respiratory muscles, however, all sports are recommended and, therefore, asthmatics can choose the one they like best.

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