What is Asthma? Asthma Disease with its classification and Symptoms!

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What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term disease of the lungs. You might hear your doctor call it a chronic respiratory disease. It causes your airways to get inflamed and narrow and makes breathing difficult. Coughingwheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness are classic asthma symptoms. Severe asthma can make it hard to talk or be active. Some people refer to asthma as "bronchial asthma."

Asthma is a serious -- even dangerous -- disease that affects about 25 million Americans and causes nearly 2 million emergency room visits every year. With proper treatment, you can live well. Without it, you might have to make frequent visits to the emergency room and even stay at the hospital, which can affect your home life and ability to work.

 

How Is Asthma Classified?

Doctors rank the severity of asthma by its symptoms:

 

1. Mild intermittent asthma. Mild symptoms less than twice a week. Nighttime symptoms less than twice a month. Few asthma attacks.

2. Mild persistent asthma. Symptoms three to six times a week. Nighttime symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.

3. Moderate persistent asthma. Symptoms three to six times a week. Nighttime symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.

4. Severe persistent asthma. You have ongoing symptoms both day and night. They’re so frequent that you have to limit your activities.

 

  Symptoms of Asthma:

Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

 

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

1. Shortness of breath

2. Chest tightness or pain

3. Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing

4. A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)

5. Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

6. Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

7. Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome

8. Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)

9. The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often 

10. For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:

            Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry

            Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust

           Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, cockroach waste or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets              (pet dander)

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