“I cannot breathe well”
What is Asthma?
This is a condition in which the bronchi (airway) in the lungs become very sensitive, the bronchi become narrowed, swell, short of breath, and severe coughing.
What are the causes?
Asthma is a typical allergic disease caused by the combination of genetic and environmental factors.
In other words, the allergic constitution inherited from the parents and the environmental asthma inducing factors interact, causing confusion in the immune system, resulting in asthma.
- Allergen: dust mites, mold, pollen, animal hair, cockroaches, food, drugs.
- Deteriorating factors: cold, cigarette smoke, indoor pollution, air pollution, excessive exercise, stress
Symptoms of Asthma
- Wheezing: A whistling-like sound when you inhale and exhale.
- Cough: sudden cough and worse at night.
- Chest tightness: A feeling as if the chest is tightened.
- Difficulty breathing: You feel like breath with a straw in your mouth.
- Sputum: Sticky, lumpy sputum comes out well.
- Depending on the patient, only coughing or shortness of breath may be felt.
- Cold symptoms may occur, then gradually worsen, causing severe asthma attacks.
- You may have no symptoms at all and suddenly have an asthma attack.
- It can be found out by doctor’s exam.
- Through pulmonary function tests, you can check the lung capacity and the degree of narrowing of the bronchi.
- Through sputum test, allergic inflammatory cells are directly observed and diagnosed.
Asthma is a chronic and recurrent disease. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms well, normalize lung function, maintain normal daily life, and minimize side effects caused by treatment methods.
- Bronchodilator: It has a bronchodilator effect by relieving spasm of the bronchial muscles. Inhalers are widely used because they act directly on the bronchi, so they are effective quickly and have few side effects.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Steroid drugs to treat inflammation in the bronchi.
- Leukotriene regulator: improves lung function in asthma patients and reduces the number of episodes of symptoms.
- Immunotherapy: It is only effective if it is caused by certain allergens such as dust mites and pollen.
Because it is a chronic disease, constant treatment and self-care are required. If continuous treatment is not performed, the narrowed bronchi will not expand as it was, but will harden in a narrowed state, so continuous treatment is required.
- If you catch a cold, asthma may worsen, so wash your hands often and wear a mask to prevent it. It is advisable to get the flu vaccine every year.
- It is recommended to be careful not to be exposed to cold air suddenly.
- Be careful not to expose to cigarette smoke or strong odor.
- You must clean the house frequently and maintain a clean environment. It is recommended to use a mop or vacuum cleaner to avoid dust blowing.
- It is recommended to avoid carpets, fabric sofas and curtains.
- It is not recommended to keep pets indoors.
- During the pollen season, you should refrain from going out and keep the indoor windows closed. It is better to wear a mask when going out.
Yoon Park, MD (박윤진)
Edmonds Medical Clinic