Asthma: Facts, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


    Asthma is a chronic lung disease and a widespread respiratory condition. It is also known as a respiratory tract disease which is usually uncomfortable but is manageable.

    Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce additional mucus. It can make breathing difficult and cause coughing, breathing and shortness of breath.

    Moreover, for some people, asthma is a little nuisance. However, for others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and can lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

    Asthma can not be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled. However, asthma changes over time, therefore, it is essential that you visit your doctor to keep your signs and symptoms and, if necessary, adjust the treatment.

    Various factors can contribute to the cause of asthma: exposure to cigarette smoke, climate change, physical exertion or emotional stress. Also, it usually begins during childhood and the disease is often caused by viral infection.

    In asthma, airway congestion is caused by a combination of bronchial constriction and bronchial inflammation. However, it leads to chronic lung pathology where the bronchial airways tend to decrease, causing episodes of wheezing, breast tightness, coughing and breathing to be seriously mild to potentially life-threatening.

    The entrance of allergens through the mouth or nasal cavity causes swelling of an already compromised and highly sensitive airway. As a result, narrowing of the smooth muscle in the walls of the airway and excessive release of mucus in the area causes the airway narrowing and eventually reduces the amount of air circulating in and out of the lungs. Though because of these differences in airway flow, the lungs are hyper-inflated.

    Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

    Asthmatics will differ with different symptoms and symptoms depending on disease classification and severity.

    A dry cough – Increased with Exercise, Worse Early Morning / Night
    Chest tightness
    Sputum (solid, thick)
    Itchy throat
    Running nose
    Respiratory distress

    Causes of Asthma

    Asthma has many possible causes as the exact mechanism of onset is still unknown. Also, it is because asthma is not defined as a single disease, but a variety of multiple diseases with similar clinical characteristics, which result from various genetic and environmental causes.

    Family History
    Admissibility for Allergic Reactions

    Smoke Smoking / Passive Smoking
    Prenatal smoking
    Dust, dust mites
    Damp Homes
    Upholstered furniture
    Pet hair
    Occupation (Chemical Exposure)

    Other causes:
    Premature Birth-with Ventilation Use
    Low birth weight
    Use of early antibiotics
    Bronchiolitis as Child
    Viral infection,

    Physiotherapy Management

    The majority of patients suffering asthma will seek physical therapy for dyspnoea and hyperventilation. Physiotherapists treat asthma in different ways to improve breathing technology.

    Breathing techniques:

    Breathing techniques can benefit more from mild, moderate asthma. The purpose of the retraining of breathing is breathing respiratory patterns by stabilizing the respiratory rate and increasing the respiratory airflow. Instructions from the physiotherapist get how to complete this technique, with the following components:

    Decreased respiratory distress (decrease in respiratory rate)
    Take smaller breaths (Reduce time volume)
    Deep breathing (diaphragmatic breathing through abdominal muscles and lower chest movement)
    Breathing through the nose (nasal respiration)
    Relaxation (Relaxed, controlled breathing)
    Reduction of air loss (reduced outflow rate through targeted lips breathing)

    These retraining techniques help breathe and reduce airflow turbulence, hyperinflation, variable breathing pattern, and anxiety.

    Physical exercise:

    Physical training with asthma is advised when taking proper precautions, and should not be avoided. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines provide tips and safety measures for asthmatics to exercise safely.

    Physiotherapists must prescribe physical training for asthmatics to increase fitness and cardiorespiratory performance. Also, it reduces symptoms such as breathlessness and improves the quality of life as well. Breathlessness, chest tightness and wheezing may occur when exercising, leaving the patients absent from physical exercise.

    Fear prevention can contribute to further deterioration of physical health and quality of life, leading to fear and depression. It has also been found that maintaining physical training in asthmatics improves disease symptoms and quality of life. Thereby making it a crucial management strategy.

    The following physiotherapy management techniques would also be beneficial:

    Removal of secretions
    Postural drainage and
    Effective coughing
    Different exercise exercises for patients needing hospitalization.

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    Saminu Abass Ola who is popularly called ‘Mr. Possible‘ is a young motivational and inspirational speaker and writer, who is also the brain behind this wonderful blog. He is also passionate about Social Marketing. He believes in the abilities of others and tends to bring out the hidden potentials in people’s lives through his motivational articles and words of inspiration.