Many people tend to think about asthma as something that you can only get when you’re a child. It isn’t unusual for adults to develop asthma; in fact, anyone can develop asthma no matter age or gender. It’s a complex disease to diagnose, which should only be done by experienced healthcare professionals. However, in case you’re concerned about your health, these tips will help guide you through how to know if you have asthma.
Learn How to Know If You Have Asthma with These Facts
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease in which your airways swell up, narrow, and can even produce excessive mucus. This can make you have some difficulty breathing, triggering a wheezing or a whistling sound, and coughing when you breathe. You will likely experience shortness of breath.
Asthma is a long-term, chronic condition that can cause a lot of inflammation in your bronchial tubes and an uncomfortable sensation in your throat. The airways of your lungs are surrounded by muscle and mucus glands. These muscles are typically relaxed, but for those who have asthma, they are often inflamed and more sensitive than usual.
How to Know If You Have Asthma Signs and Symptoms
Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person. That’s what makes learning how to know if you have asthma very difficult. People with asthma can have infrequent attacks and have symptoms only at certain times, such as exercise or under a lot of stress.
How to know if you have asthma? Below are some signs and symptoms:
- Persistent coughing: Can occur at any time, but mostly early in the morning or late at night. This is probably the most common and significant symptom of asthma.
- Chest tightness: This is a sensation in which you feel like something is pressing down on your chest, making it difficult for you to breathe.
- Wheezing: Having difficulty breathing along with a whistling sound coming from your airway or throat.
- More mucus: The amount of thick phlegm or fluid that builds up in your airways becomes intensely increased when you have asthma.
- Lack of sleep: You won’t be able to have a good night’s sleep due to breathing problems; they are likely to keep you awake at night.
- Shortness of breath: This is an unpleasant feeling when you cannot get enough air into your lungs. You can even find it difficult when eating, drinking, or speaking.
Signs that indicate that your asthma condition is worsening:
- The frequency of the attacks and the severity of the attacks increases.
- You need to use an inhaler more often than usual.
- Coughing more and increasing difficulty breathing.
What Are Asthma Triggers?
Various factors that trigger an asthma attack, and it can be different from person to person.
- Physical activity
- Irritants and air pollutants such as smoke or airborne particles
- Stress and strong emotions
- Cold air
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers
What Are the Risk Factors?
These factors will help you learn how to know if you have asthma, as they will likely increase your chances of developing asthma.
- Exposure to different types of exhaust fumes or other kinds of pollutants
- Having an allergy
- Secondhand smoking
- Having a blood relative with asthma, such as a sibling or parent
- Exposure to occupational triggers such as chemicals in manufacturing, hairdressing, or farming
How to Prevent
Now that you have learned how to know if you have asthma let’s find out how you can prevent it. Though there’s no real scientific way to prevent you from developing asthma, there are ways to help you live peacefully with your condition and decrease the attacks.
- Get vaccinated for pneumonia and influenza to prevent them from triggering asthma flare-ups.
- Monitor your breathing. By doing this, you can get to know the warning signs of an asthma attack, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing.
- Identify and treat attacks early. It’s better to act quickly when you have asthma attacks.
Currently, there is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled. Asthma often changes over time, so it’s crucial for you to pay close attention to your health.