Asthma is a chronic condition affecting people of all ages worldwide. Asthma is caused by inflammation and tightening around the airways, obstructing the lung's airflow.
SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA
Symptoms of Asthma may differ from person to person, and some of them may be characterised by:
- An on-going cough or a persistent cough
- A cough during a sport or activity
- A cough when laughing or exciting
- A cough that occurs during the night or early in the morning
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sound when you breathe
- Difficulty breathing
The validity and severity of these symptoms are dependent on the individual, as determined by a qualified health care provider.
Some common types of Asthma are:
- Allergic or Atopic Asthma: Allergic or Atopic Asthma is a type of Asthma triggered by contact with an allergen. Around 80% of people with Asthma have a positive allergic test result to an allergen.
- Thunderstorm Asthma: Thunderstorm Asthma is a type of Asthma triggered by Pollen, where a thunderstorm carries a large amount of particles containing Pollen into the air that is released across long distances. These particles can enter the small airways of the lungs, triggering a reaction. People with Pollen Allergies, Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) or a history of Asthma may be susceptible to experiencing Thunderstorm Asthma. Even people who have never had Asthma before may experience Thunderstorm Asthma.
- Non-allergic Asthma (non-atopic Asthma): Non-Allergic Asthma is a type of Asthma caused by outside factors and not triggered by contact with an allergen.
- Occupational Asthma: Occupational Asthma is a type of Asthma caused by triggers in the workplace, such as Fumes, Dust, Cleaning Products, Chemicals, etc.
- Exercise-induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB): Also known as Exercise-induced Asthma, EIB is Asthma triggered during exercise or while doing physically demanding tasks.
- Seasonal Asthma: Seasonal Asthma is a type of Asthma that is triggered by specific times of the year.
- Adult Asthma (Late Onset Asthma): Adult Asthma, also known as late-onset Asthma, is a type of Asthma where you start to have symptoms after the age of 18.
- Aspirin-exacerbated Asthma: Aspirin-exacerbated Asthma is a type of Asthma caused by taking Asprin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine.
- Mild or Severe Asthma: Depending on the persistence of symptoms, Asthma may be categorised as Mild or Severe.
- Nocturnal Asthma: Nocturnal Asthma is a type of Asthma where symptoms worsen at night.
- Eosinophilic Asthma: Eosinophilic Asthma is a type of Asthma triggered by high levels of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the airways of the lungs.
TESTING AND DIAGNOSIS
If you are experiencing Asthma symptoms, please visit a qualified healthcare provider to discuss your testing, diagnosis and referral options.
If you experience or are in the presence of someone that encounters an immediate serious reaction (this may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, throat tightening, persistent coughing, tightness in chest, swelling, collapse, etc), call or have someone call triple zero (000) immediately.
It's important for anyone with Asthma to discuss treatments with a qualified healthcare provider to understand how to manage and also to set up an Action Plan in the case of a reaction.
Treatments for Asthma depend on a variety of factors based on the type of Asthma , Tiggers, Age, Environment, medical history etc.
If you are experiencing Asthma symptoms please speak to a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis, to understand how to manage individual symptoms and also to set up an Action Plan.
Always present your Allergy Card, Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace to ensure healthcare providers, family members, friends, colleagues and others are aware of your Allergy, Allergies or Health Conditions.
Have you heard of Aretaeus of Cappadocia? A Greek physician in 100 AD, Aretaeus of Cappadocia listed asthma symptoms. This included coughing, breathing difficulty, tiredness, and heaviness in the chest.
The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified healthcare provider.
HAVE YOU HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH ASTHMA OR KNOW SOMEONE THAT HAS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW