What is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease that affects the airways in the lungs. During an asthma exacerbation, the lining in your airways become congested, swollen and inflamed. Things like allergens from tree or grass pollen, but also non-allergic triggers such as smoke, stress, exercise or cold air can preciptiate an asthma attack. These “triggers” don’t bother most people, but they can cause symptoms if you have asthma.
What are the symptoms of Asthma ?
The most common asthma symptoms are:
- Coughing, especially at night, with exercise, or when laughing
- Trouble breathing
- A tight feeling in the chest
- Wheezing – a squeaky or whistling sound
Sometimes a cough that won’t go away is the only symptom of asthma. Asthma symptoms often happen at night and in the morning, but they can happen any time. They get worse when you are around your asthma triggers.
What is the treatment for Asthma ?
Avoidance and environmental modification – limit exposure to triggers like cold, exercise, infections & smoke
Short term rescue inhalers like albuterol – these will provide quick relief for the gasping, coughing and wheezing in an asthma attack
Single agent controller inhalers like Qvar or Flovent – these may be needed control the inflammation, swelling on a long term basis
Dual agent medications such as Advair, Symbicort or Dulera – they have both longer acting albuterol & controller medicine
Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent – Biologic medications for more resilient cases
Allergen Immunotherapy or Shots – effective for those with allergies as their trigger for asthma