A Silent Killer

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You might still be wondering what silent killer is we are talking about. If you think this silent killer is a person, it is not. This silent killer is the one that kills many people on a daily basis. Whether properly diagnosed or not. There is, in fact, no such thing as one disease called asthma. It kills many people every day. 1 person of every 10 families are suffering from it. Asthma is another word for inflammation and swelling in the airways. Worryingly, asthma kills indiscriminately. It does not matter if the symptoms are moderate or critical. Asthma is still life-threatening if not properly dealt.

Many people around the globe spend a hefty amount of money on asthma’s treatment. Most of the times, they forget to ask what type of asthma they have. Every person has a different type of asthma, suffers from different types of symptoms and has different treatment. The diagnosis of asthma is undoubtedly shocking because even if a person is having 10/10 symptoms of asthma, they refuse to accept it unless they hear it from a specialist. According to the researches, 7.6 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children have asthma and in 2015, average 3,615 people in one country died from it.

How Do I Know I Have Asthma?

Experiencing asthma is a personal journey. No two individuals have exactly the same triggers or symptoms. Asthma attacks might be different every day. No one can ever differentiate or identify what asthma feels like. If you ask 10 different people, they all will specify different symptoms and feelings.

Some people start sneezing first that leads to runny nose and chest congestion. Whereas some of them experience extremely irritating wheezing leading to chest and nasal congestion. Exactly like this, every other individual has a different trigger point. But it has been years, doctors and scientists have failed to find a cure for it. In asthma people sometimes feel wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and feeling short of breath. Similarly, in any type of asthma, the symptoms remain unidentified.

Can Asthma be Treated Or Cured?

There are multiple types of treatments for every asthma condition. Some people only need inhalers to get going. However, some people still need a detailed treatment. All these factors depend on the condition a patient is having. According to doctors and specialists, asthma can only be treated if triggered. It has no permanent cure neither can be controlled.

Above all, to beat this condition, doctors have recommended immunotherapy treatment to many parents, it does not matter if a child has asthma or not immunotherapy will still prevent them from allergies. Immunotherapy treatment is increasingly being used to reduce allergic symptoms and there is also some evidence that children who receive immunotherapy are less likely to develop asthma. Apart from this, more research is clearly needed to shed light on the underlying causes. To deal or to treat asthma, doctors and patients must work together to improve the results of the treatment.

Types Of Asthma:

Asthma severity often changes over time, requiring treatment adjustments. Asthma is usually classified into four general categories.

Mild Intermittent :
The symptoms that last for up to two days a week and two nights a month.

Mild Persistent:
Occurs more than twice a week, but no more than once in a single day.

Moderate Persistent :
Happens once a day and more than one night a week.

Severe Persistent:
Symptoms throughout the day on most days and frequently at night.

Tests To Diagnose Asthma:

Before diagnosing, a specialist might recommend some tests to go through. The tests are not painful and are easy to go through.

Spirometry:

Spirometry is a test for individuals of age 5 and above. It helps to determine how well your lungs are working. A pulmonologist will ask you to take a deep breath and forcefully exhale into a tube connected to a spirometer. This helps to records the volume of air you exhale. Also how quickly you exhale.

If certain measurements are not normal for a specific age, it may indicate asthma has narrowed your airways. After taking lung tests, doctors recommend inhaling an asthma drug to open air passages. If needed they will take the test again. If it shows significant improvement after taking the medication, means a person has asthma.

Challenge Test:

If the spirometer results are normal or close to normal. The doctors might try to trigger asthma symptoms by having you inhale a substance. That substance causes the airways to narrow in people with asthma. If this triggers asthma, the next step would be a physical activity. After either action, doctors ask to retake the spirometry test. If the spirometry measurements remain normal, a person probably does not have asthma. In addition, if the measurements have fallen significantly, it’s possible they do.

Lung Tests In Children:

Doctors rarely do lung tests in children under age 5. Diagnosis is generally based on a child’s signs and symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. It can be especially difficult to diagnose asthma in young children because there are many conditions that cause asthma-like symptoms in this age group. If a doctor suspects asthma, the doctor may prescribe a drug that opens the airways. If a child’s signs and symptoms improve after using the bronchodilator, he/she may have asthma.

Exhaled Nitric Oxide Test:

The doctor makes the patient breathe into a tube connected to a machine that measures the amount of nitric oxide gas in your breath. High levels of nitric oxide gas in your breath can mean your airways are inflamed. This is a sign of asthma.

Treatments For Asthma:

Above all the factors, prevention and long-term control is the key to control asthma attacks before they start. People having asthma usually have all their medical plan ready, from the very first medicine to take when they experience a hint of their symptoms. Treatment usually involves learning to recognize triggers, taking steps to avoid them and track breathing to make sure the daily asthma medications are keeping symptoms under control. In case of an asthma flare-up, the patient may need to use a quick-relief inhaler recommended by their consultant doctor. The right medications which doctors recommend are according to a number of things. Age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what works best to keep asthma under control.

Preventive is long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in the airways that lead to symptoms.

Quick-relief inhalers quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing. Also known as allergy medications.

Long-Term Asthma Control Medications are the cornerstone of asthma treatment. These medications keep asthma under control on a day-to-day basis and make it less likely to have an asthma attack.

Quick-Relief Treatments are used as needed for rapid, short-term symptom relief. Mostly during an asthma attack or before exercise, if the doctor recommends it.

Your treatment should be flexible and based on changes in your symptoms, which should be assessed thoroughly each time you see your doctor. Then your doctor can adjust your treatment accordingly. Work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan that outlines in writing when to take certain medications or when to increase or decrease the dose of your medications based on your symptoms. Also, include a list of your triggers and the steps you need to take to avoid them.

Your doctor may also recommend tracking your asthma symptoms or using a peak flow meter on a regular basis to monitor how well your treatment is controlling your asthma.

Lung Transplant

Some people might still have issues with their health. In other words, having a lung transplant is the last option. After all other treatments have failed to improve the situation. It is considered as one of the expensive and complicated treatments people get around the world. To help with this treatment, Marham collaborated with Turkey. We have joined hands to introduce a very budget-friendly package. In addition, from helping you choose the doctor till your recovery Marham will be your guide. If there’s still something you need to know, book an appointment and ask away!

Few Most Popular Pulmonologists:

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Javeria Adil Chughtai

Javeria Adil Chughtai

A journalist and a medical researcher by profession, badminton player and photographer by passion. You can call me an artist but No, I can't draw you! 😀

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