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Asthma Symptoms

Mild asthma symptoms in adults that signal an attack are wheezing and coughing (mainly at night), nasal and chest congestion, weakness and tiredness, headache, runny nose, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite. Severe asthma symptoms in adults include difficulty in talking, hunched shoulders, panic attacks, constant coughing, moodiness, changes in skin color and tightness in chest and neck. 

Asthma symptoms in toddlers and teenagers are the same as asthma symptoms in adults. These include some common symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms in babies are that they have a history of lung infections, pneumonia, or cough. Most children suffering from recurrent or chronic bronchitis have asthma.

Asthma symptoms in children vary depending on the intensity of the attack. In case of a mild episode, children usually run out of breath after some physical activity. Asthma symptoms in babies include restlessness, and the baby may take time to complete his/her feed. During moderate episodes, asthma symptoms in children include breathlessness while talking; babies have a shorter and softer cry and feeding the baby becomes difficult. During severe episodes, children find it difficult to breathe while sleeping and are very restless.

Asthma Medications

It is important that you are aware of the asthma medications that will help you keep the problem under control. Your doctor is generally aware of your triggers and will help you keep an asthma medication list ready. This medication list is intelligently drawn by your doctor after taking into consideration factors such as your age, the medicine’s side effects and your symptoms. You will have to review your asthma medication list on a regular basis and stay connected with your doctor for any new medications.     

For people suffering from mild asthma attacks, over-the-counter asthma medications are a reasonable option. Over-the-counter asthma medications are of two types: they could either be tablets or inhalers. Both these drugs give you relief by relaxing the muscles around your breathing tubes, thus allowing air to move in and out more freely. While drawing your asthma medication list the doctor focuses on the following:

  • Ensures that you avoid asthma triggers.
  • Selects medicines that help control inflammation and prevent symptoms such as breathlessness and coughing.
  • Provides asthma medications that help treat asthma attacks that are sudden.

Asthma Causes

What are the known asthma causes and symptoms? The precise cause of asthma is unknown. Researchers are of the opinion that environmental and genetic factors interact and cause asthma. The asthma causes in adults and children as mentioned earlier are unknown, but some people are prone to asthma. Here are some asthma causes and effects.

  • Some people have inherited the tendency for allergies.
  • Children of parents who have asthma are more prone to asthma.
  • Children who have respiratory infection tend to get asthma as they move into adulthood.
  • Contact with allergens (airborne) or viral infections in early childhood.
  • Smoking while pregnant may cause the child to develop asthma.
  • If asthma or atopy runs in your family, exposure to irritants (for example, tobacco smoke) may make your air passages more reactive to substances in the air.
  • Some factors may be more likely to cause asthma in some people than in others. Researchers continue to explore what causes asthma. Asthma causes and treatments are interrelated.  It is advisable to take your doctors advice about which medicines are best suited for you. Make sure you go for regular check-ups and avoid things/foods that trigger and/or worsen your attack.

Asthma Treatment

Here are some asthma treatment guidelines that will help you gain control of your problem:

  • As part of your asthma treatment plan make sure you keep track of your symptoms on a daily basis in a diary.
  • Avoid any triggers that set off your asthma.
  • Determine a daily asthma treatment plan with the help of your doctor.
  • Asthma treatment for children has to be developed by the health care provider and parent.
  • One has to follow asthma treatment in pregnancy very carefully.
  • There are a number of asthma treatment options you can explore such as acupuncture, intravenous magnesium, homeopathy, and immunotherapy.
  • Also check with your doctor what allopathic medicines you can take as part of your asthma treatment plan.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs are very effective in treating asthma. They help tighten your airways and also reduce swelling. Make sure you consult your doctor and use these medications on a regular basis to get maximum benefits.
  • If you notice any side-effects due to the medicines contact your doctor immediately.
  • Sometimes an asthma attack can be triggered off by air pollution. Make sure you stay away from places where the air pollution is high.
  • Always check with your doctor before trying any new medication for your asthma.
  • Following these asthma treatment guidelines will help you take care of your asthma symptoms.

Asthma Diet

Diet plays an important role for patients suffering from asthma. So, is there an asthma diet plan one can follow? The answer is yes. Your asthma diet plan can be designed after taking into consideration what is good for you. Foods that are good for asthma patients are spicy foods such as garlic, chili, and onions. These hot and spicy foods stimulate and release watery fluids in your throat and mouth and help relieve any irritation. Certain food with anti-inflammatory properties such as fatty fish, onions, and foods rich in vitamin C are also recommended. Patients who have asthma should avoid foods such as sugar, rice, papaya, curd, and banana. Strong tea, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and sauces should be avoided as well. Also make sure you consume enough salt and use natural spices such as fenugreek, basil, oregano and sage. An asthma diet for children should be high in vitamin C. Studies indicate that eating more of vegetables and fruits (especially those that are rich in vitamin C) is beneficial for children with asthma problems. For those suffering from asthma, dietary supplements are also extremely beneficial in controlling the symptoms.

Submitted on January 16, 2014