Asthma occurs when the muscle bands surrounding the airways to lungs tighten and narrow down, a process known as called bronchospasm. In addition to that, the lining of the airways gets inflamed, swollen, and starts producing mucus that is thicker than usual. The most common symptoms that identify the disease are:
1. Coughing, this could get worse at night
2. Shortness of breath
3. Pain or pressure in chest
Not everyone experiences all the symptoms. In fact, it could vary from person, and also at different times. One asthmatic episode may cause coughing and wheeziness, while the second episode could be a lot more severe and accompanied by chest pain.
Some patients experience these symptoms on every day basis, while others undergo periodic episodes only. There are some patients who start showing these symptoms only when exposed to allergens, such as pollen, or when exercising. Viral respiratory infections can also induce the symptoms.
Severe asthmatic episodes are less common as compared to mild attacks. In most cases, the narrowed airways tend to open up within a few minutes. In case of a severe attack that lasts for more than several minutes, the patient needs to be taken to the hospital immediately. In order to treat even the mildest symptoms, it is absolutely essentially to recognise and understand the early warning signs. Educating oneself is the best solution for preventing long-lasting episodes and keeping the disease in control.
Early signs are generally not so severe as to inhibit the patient's daily activities. However that doesn't mean they should be ignored, rather should be taken care of immediately before they get worse. These early signs include:
1. Feeling of tiredness, particularly in activities that usually don't get the patient much weary, for instance, daily exercise
2. Frequent coughing
3. Coughing after exercise
4. Having a runny nose, headache, chest congestion and bad throat
5. Irritability and grouchiness
6. Disturbed sleep
As these early warnings start to appear, the patient is suggested to increase dosage of asthma medicine as per doctors' suggestion. If the patient ignores the early signs and leaves them untreated, the symptoms could get a lot worse and the episode could progress into a full-fledged attack. In that case, the patient would experience trouble carrying out day-to-day activities or even in getting sound sleep.
Worsened symptoms could include:
1. Continuous coughing all the time
2. Severe tightness in chest
3. Reduced response to medication
4. Increased spans of shortness of breath
5. Severe wheezing
6. Feeling of anxiety
7. Tightened neck muscles
Michael Richards is writing on behalf of Pure O2, specialists in Asthma and Oxygen" target="_blank">http://www.healthoxygen.com/">Oxygen