10 Signs and Symptoms of Asthma: Causes, Treatment

Asthma is a condition in which the pathways carrying air to and from your lungs become narrow and swell up. It makes it more difficult to breathe. Imagine not being able to breathe under water for a long time. Suffocating is the most dreadful experience. Difficulties in breathing are immensely stressful. It could interfere with the daily activities of a person and hence is too frustrating.

Causes of Asthma:

The causes of asthma cannot be ascertained perfectly. However the following factors could lead to triggering of the symptoms of asthma. These factors could be induced by Exercise, by the occupation of the person or may be allergy induced. These factors are explained in details as under:

1. Induced by Exercise:

When such a person exercises, the symptoms of asthma could worsen with increase in rate of palpitation, sweat and shortness of breath. It is basically a condition of putting extra efforts in order to perform a simple function of inhaling oxygen. Inhaling and exhaling should be an effortless task. Any kind of force, pressure, or energy consumed by the body in respect of this function could indicate the onset of asthma. It doesn’t necessarily imply to all conditions. In a situation where a person with extreme weight tries to run or conduct heavy cardio logical exercises, the person may naturally feel the strain on breathing. It is to be differentiated from the symptom of asthma in which normal physical exercise could also lead to uneasiness in breathing.

2. Occupational Asthma:

Asthma could be induced by occupation. If the person is occupied in certain fields which require them to be exposed to chemicals and drugs which could aggravate the swelling of pathways carrying oxygen, they are considered to be having occupation induced asthma. These difficulties could arise to persons employed in dyeing companies, tanneries, pharmaceutical companies, companies dealing is asbestos and other such harmful particles. The employers and labourers employed in asbestos manufacturing company are particularly at a high risk of asthma as well as other respiratory disorders.

3. Allergy Induced:

Asthma could be induced due to allergy to people who may be allergic to dust, pollen-grains, skin particles, dried saliva shed by pets. Allergies caused due to the feather, fur of pet animals could cause frequency in cold and cough. The difficulties start with the onset of cold and cough which then aggravate further to not being able to breathe properly. The person starts to cough unstoppably to realise that taking oxygen becomes increasingly difficult and could be making wheezing and whistling sounds while inhaling. There seems to be a clogging on the chest which makes the entire session extremely painful to bear.

4. Unhealthy Lifestyle:

An unhealthy lifestyle is responsible for asthma. One of the most prominent reasons is smoking. Both active as well as passive smoking could lead to asthma and other serious respiratory and lung disorders. Active smoking is when the person smokes cigarettes or bidi or other such related harmful substances and contracts asthma. A passive smoker is the one who himself doesn’t smoke directly but continuously stays in presence of someone else who smokes. Such a company too is extremely harmful even though there is no direct connection with cigarettes. The reason for this is that such persons are exposed to harmful smoke emitted by others who actively smoke.

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma:

You could be having following symptoms apart from frequent attacks. The signs and symptoms include:

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1. Shortness of breath:

Shortness of breath is just having difficulty in inhaling the normal amount of oxygen that the body requires. It involves a person needing to resort to taking a deep breath in normal circumstances or exerting extra energy in pulling in the oxygen from the environment.

2. Unable to breathe in oxygen:

Though this is very identical to the symptom stated above, it is necessary to be differentiated in a way that the body is just not able to inhale properly. This could occur at higher altitudes where the body’s inhaling strength reduces.

3. Chest tightness and pains:

The person could be suffering pain and aches in the chest. This could be experienced because of the feeling of heaviness that the person feels due to the mucus that is generated. The passage of oxygen becomes difficult and thus the chest naturally feels painful and heavy.

4. Trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath:

This is a very commonly found symptom. While the person is sleeping, the horizontal position of the body makes it more difficult for asthma patients to be able to inhale well. They feel discomforted and suffocated when trying to sleep. The person may also feel presence of a lump in the throat or a heavily laden chest.

5. A whistling of Wheezing sound while inhaling and exhaling:

This is a sure sign of contraction of asthma or atleast is indicative of the threat of contraction of asthma. The patient begins to cough continuously until he/she realises that they are feeling short of breath. As they try to inhale, there is a whistling sound that is generated. This sound continues to be heard as the person tries harder to inhale. This could last for some minutes until the persons cough settles down. It is an extremely stressful situation especially when it strikes in the middle of the night when the person is awaken from sleep. This is a kind of asthma attack. The entire body feels loose and tired after the attack has subsided leaving the person feeling extremely tired.

6. Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by respiratory virus such as cold or flu:

This symptom is coherent to the above. The above symptom starts with coughing. Any person could contract cough and cold as it is a common viral illness. It can happen due to changing weather, consumption of ice creams and such related cold foods. You can try the home remedies to treat cold and cough.

7. Frequency in coughing and extreme intensity of coughing:

It is not necessary that everytime the person coughs, it ends up in a severe attack as stated above. Sometimes, the person could just experience coughing for a very long time such that acquiring control over the cough would become difficult for the person. The frequency of coughs would also increase.

8. Itchy, scratchy or sore throat:

You could be experiencing a scratchy throat just like the one you feel while having a throat infection. Flu and throat infection is a prominent symptom of asthma. This could be one of the early signs to spot.

9. Fast Heartbeat:

This is what is experienced during an attack. It is the most alarming symptom and must not be overlooked.

10. Nostrils Flare while Breathing:

Your nostrils could become abnormally large and flare up in an attempt to take in more and more oxygen. This again is during the occurrence of an attack.

Treatment for Asthma:

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The treatment for asthma involves taking medicines to cure the conditions. A doctor who is a specialist in treating respiratory disorders is to be consulted. He will provide the medications best suited to treat the situation. A medicinal pump is also advised to be inhaled. It contains medicines that are to be orally inhaled. Pump is an effective way to deal with this problem. The medicines could contain steroids and are hence detrimental to the health. There are various side effects.

You can also try Home Remedies for Treating Asthma.

Apart from medicinal treatments, a healthy lifestyle is very important. It includes resorting to yoga and light exercises. Breathing problems could be solved with yoga exercises. Apart from that, homeopathy medications work effectively for the treatment for this problem. Homeopathy has slow but long term effects in remedying the symptoms.


The problems of asthma are felt earlier in life than at a later age. Generally children of a young age have effects of asthma and bronchitis and other related diseases. An immediate attention over the symptoms makes recovery quick. The later the body is treated, the slower is the healing process. Thus, one must have quick attention on recognizing the symptoms.

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Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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