Asthma


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of airways, in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

The prevalence of asthma was one percent in 1964 in the country. But, new data as per WAO (World Allergy Organization) shows that about 14 per cent people now have asthma .The way these are occurring, WAO believes, that by 2050, about 50 percent of all children will have some sort of allergies.

Symptoms

• Recurrent episodes of wheezing
• Troublesome cough at night
Cough, wheezing, chest tightness after exposure to airborne allergens or pollutant
• Cough or wheeze after exercise
• Common Cold go to the chest or takes more than 10 days to clear

Since these symptoms could occur due to the other causes also, your doctors would have to confirm the diagnosis:

Asthma Trigger

• Dust Mite
• Pollens from grass, trees ,plants and flowers
• Indoor moulds
• Smoke
• Smell
• Viral infection
• Exercise
• Weather change
• Temperature change
• Cockroaches
• Infection in upper airway, nose, throat

What happens to lung during an asthma attack?

The airway mucosa (inner lining of airway) swells up and secrets thick mucus, which obstructs the airways. The muscles around the airway tighten making the airway narrower. All this makes breathing very difficult.

If the doctor suspects asthma how will he confirm the diagnosis?

Detailed evaluation of symptoms
Physical examination
Routine tests for example x-ray chest, blood test etc
Allergy testing- This test is done to distinguish allergic & non allergic asthma. In allergic asthma it is used to identify the specific allergen & avoidance measures are suggested accordingly.
Pulmonary function testing

The tests determine how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly you can move air in and out of your lungs

The tests can diagnose lung diseases, measure the severity of lung problems, and check to see how well treatment for a lung disease is working.

Lung function tests are done to:

• Determine the cause of breathing problems.
• Diagnose certain lung diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
• Evaluate a person’s lung function before surgery.
• Check the lung function of a person who is regularly exposed to substances such as asbestos that can damage the lungs.
• Check the effectiveness of treatment for lung diseases

The testing may take from 5 to 30 minutes, depending upon how many tests are done.

Allergy


What is an Allergy?
Allergies are an abnormal response of the immune system. It is an acquired potential for developing adverse reactions that are immunologically mediated to the substances that are mostly harmless to us. This substance (pollen, mould, animal dander for example)is called an allergen.

Atopy is the inheritance tendency to develop allergies.

Atopy increases your risk of developing allergic diseases, especially after allergen exposure.

What Are the Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction?
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to inhaled or skin allergens include:

• Itchy, watery eyes
• Sneezing
• Itchy, runny nose
• Rashes
• Feeling tired or ill
• Hives (a rash with raised red patches)

What are the types of Allergies?
Allergy related diseases can be classified based on the target organ involvement. Some common types are mentioned below.

• Nose – allergic rhinitis
• Lungs -Asthma
• Skin -Dermatitis
• Eye -Conjunctivitis
• Systemic-Anaphylaxis
• Gut -Food allergy
• Ear –otitis media