How do you find out if you have asthma?
Breathing is essential for life, but have you ever felt like someone’s sitting on your chest and preventing you from taking a full breath? Well, if this happens frequently, it could be asthma! However, don’t panic just yet; knowing whether or not one has asthma requires more than just experiencing breathing difficulties. In this article, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms that may indicate an underlying asthmatic condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma can provoke specific signs and symptoms in different people. Here are a few things to watch out for;
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound while exhaling that occurs when your airways narrow. It’s often audible without any medical equipment.
Shortness of Breath
One might experience difficulty catching their breath entirely or take shallow breaths during an attack.
Ever feel like there’s weight pressing down on your chest? Or as though someone suddenly strapped a belt around it? That pressure-like tightening sensation can indicate asthma.
Difficulty Sleeping Due To Breathing Issues
Asthma worsens at night sometimes causing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to coughs or shortness of breath.
If the above-listed conditions occur occasionally during exercising/allergy seasons when exposed allergens such as pollen or dust mites /cold weather/when stressed -that doesn’t necessarily mean one has asthma- Nonetheless contacting an experienced lung specialist would help address any respiratory issues safely!
So how do doctors precisely determine potential respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructions i.e.,asthma/copd (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)? Here are various tests used for diagnosing;
This test measures airflow rate along with volume breathed by one into different shaped pipes(using forced expiratory volume i.e. how much air one can forcefully exhale in a second) – this test shows if airflow is impeded, further indicating whether asthma may be present or another condition.
Peak Flow Testing
This portable device measures the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), the fastest breath one can blow out for specific periods; normal PEFR rates depend on sex/age and height
Methacholine Challenge Test
Here doctors use an inhaler having methacholine! After their lungs react to the irritation caused by these droplets, they undertake spirometry tests again to determine any changes witnessed while breathing.
When Should You Speak To a Physician?
If you experience symptoms like wheezing, coughing,sob(shortness of breath),especially worse at night contact your physician as soon as possible. The primary care doctor will conduct various testing/troubleshooting before referring you to pulmonologists(lung specialists).
There are several risk factors that result in asthmatic conditions showing significantly more prolonged manifestations!
Some common ones include;
3.smoking exposure/inhaling harmful vapours.
4.Viral respiratory infections
5.High levels (or overexposure) of pollution!!!
In conclusion, Asthma is not just characterized by shortness of breath but has many different indications/symptoms!! As every individual varies with regards to medical history/genetics/contact properties/different allergens affecting them uniquely – There exists no set approach/treatment methodology applicable singularly!
Remember: knowledge regarding potential ailments/disorders such as chronic obstructions(asthma/copd )facilitates seeking proper assistance/care immediately and most importantly maintaining healthier lifestyles avoiding smoking/pollution inducing environments/breathing exercises /monitoring diets help limit exacerbating triggers!!!