Know the Symptoms, Causes and Types of Asthma

Know the Symptoms, Causes and Types of Asthma

Asthma is a condition where the bronchial tubes become inflamed, swollen, & filled with mucus. This leads to narrowing of the air spaces & difficulty with air flow. Because of this, patients will experience cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, & chest tightness/pain.

Patients may experience one or all the above symptoms at once. The severity can also vary greatly. Therefore, it is best to identify asthma symptoms early. An estimated 25,000,000 million people have asthma in the United States. Asthma causes an average of over 14,000,000 office visits each year along with 2,000,000 emergency room visits. There are also thousands of deaths due to asthma each year. These deaths can be prevented with the proper medical care.

Early warning signs of Asthma include:

  • Frequent cough
  • Feeling of extreme fatigue after activity
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty with breathing
  • Wheezing or coughing after physical activity
  • Persistent allergies
  • Sleeplessness
  • Pain & pressure in the chest
  • Retractions (tightened muscles in neck & chest)
  • Bluish discoloration in fingernails & lips
  • Excessive sweat on the face
  • Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety attacks can go from mild to severe very fast, so it is important to recognize these symptoms.

There are different types of Asthma. They include:

  • Allergic Asthma. The same allergens that can cause hay fever (pollen, mites, dust, etc) can also cause asthma symptoms. Patients that have certain allergies are also more at risk for developing asthma.
  • Exercise-Induced asthma. This type of asthma is caused by vigorous physical activity. Patient’s air passages start to constrict upon exertion. Quite often, these patients will need to carry an Albuterol inhaler with them in order to reopen the passages.
  • Cough-Variant asthma. This asthma is characterized by severe, persistent, coughing. The cough could be caused by allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, & heartburn. These patients do not usually have asthma like symptoms until they develop an infection.
  • Occupational asthma. This type of asthma occurs when the patients are exposed to allergens because of their work. Patients with certain occupations (Farmers, painters, nurses, hairdressers, construction workers, etc) are susceptible to this type of asthma.

If you have experienced any asthmatic symptoms & are concerned about asthma, please visit one of our Medical Access clinics conveniently located in three locations (Germantown, MD, Alexandria, VA, & Woodbridge, VA) for an evaluation.