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Asthma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

 Asthma is a lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. In other words, it is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the lungs. This tends to be common in those with a family history of asthma.

1 in 11 children and 1 in 12 adults suffer from asthma in the UK. Asthma can start at any age but most commonly starts in childhood.

Causes of Asthma:

The triggers for asthma attacks differ from person to person. Some of them are:

  • Stress and strong emotional responses,
  • Exposure to cold air,
  • Some of the medications,
  • Allergens such as animal allergens, pollen, dust or food.

Common symptoms of Asthma:

  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing, cold and breathlessness getting worser
  • Breathing gets faster.

Treatments for Asthma:

Asthma is not currently preventable or curable, but can be well managed with a healthy lifestyle and medication.

Inhaler devices are the main treatment for asthma. If the condition is severe, tablets and other medications can also be used under doctor’s advice.

Tablets such as Leukotriene receptor antagonists, theophylline and steroid tablets can be used under doctor’s prescription.

There are other treatments too. Some of which are; Injections, surgery, other complementary theories.

The main tests for Asthma are:

  • Spirometry: Here, you blow into a machine that measures how fast you can breathe out and how much air you can hold in your lungs. This is a main test doctors generally use to diagnose asthma in people which 5 years or older.
  • Peak flow test: Here, you blow into a handheld device that measures how fast you can breathe out.
  • FeNO Test: Here, you breathe into a machine that measures the level of nitric oxide in your breath, which is a sign of inflammation in your lungs.

Allergen tests are also performed. These can be skin tests, blood tests or both. Although not used to diagnose asthma, allergy tests help identify an allergic condition, such as hay fever, that may be causing your symptoms or worsening existing asthma.

Gogodoc also provides an educational series of information on various blood tests (*intended for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing symptoms, please reach out to book an online GP consultation with a Gogodoc GP.) Talk to a doctor online at a time that suits you from home with a phone or video appointment. You can easily book an appointment with GP.

Book a consultation today, and get expert advice!

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