Asthma is a chronic lung infection, in which the airways get inflamed, narrow, tightened, or filled with mucus. Coughing or wheezing that is persistent and keeps coming back despite cough treatment could be an early sign of asthma. A person (even when not yet been diagnosed) becomes very sensitive to various types of irritants present in the environment. When these irritants enter the airways, the bronchi produces more mucus, trapping the irritant, and constantly causing inflammation of the airways. The importance of diagnosing and treating asthma on time with corrective measures is extremely important.
Symptoms of this condition in children or adults are alike, except in most cases, children, especially the young ones are not able to describe what they feel. Hence, parents sometimes tend to pass it as a ‘season change problem’. The common symptoms of asthma include coughing and wheezing especially at night, shortness of breath, and/or a feeling of tightness in the chest. But, these are more or less the signs of asthma that has slightly advanced. However, these symptoms should not be confused with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which also displays similar symptoms.
To catch the symptoms early on, keep an eye for signs and symptoms that are triggered by allergies, like continuous sneezing, a runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, fever, etc. Chronic coughing especially in the night adds to the problem of sleep trouble, fatigue, and tiredness. However, it is not necessary that all young children with this condition will show signs of wheezing. Loss or shortness of breath, especially while performing a physical activity or even talking, and change in the speed of the lung function is mostly checked by the doctor.
The treatment depends upon the severity of the inflammation and its persistence to inflame. As it is difficult to ascertain which irritant could trigger a bout of asthmatic cough and shortness of breath, it is important to ensure that medical treatment is always at hand. The medicines aim at reducing the swelling and mucus production in the airways, and relieve the symptoms by relaxing the narrowed inner lining muscle bands around the airways. Steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and bronchodilators are some of the medication prescribed to an asthmatic person.
Asthma Inhalers and nebulizers are the most common, effective, and quickest way to ensure the treatment of the symptoms. Inhalers are more popular than a nebulizer, as they are small and can be carried everywhere. A nebulizer on the other hand is a mask with a breathing machine that changes liquid asthma medication to mist, facilitating easy administration of the drugs.
It is imperative to recognize the symptoms of this condition as they are a warning sent by the body to seek treatment. If not treated on time, the symptoms will worsen quickly, hampering daily activities and sleep patterns.