Bronchial Asthma- Allergy/Immunology, Pediatrics, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine
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Bronchial asthma is a long-term disorder of the airways. It causes swelling in the bronchi, the tube-like structures that carry inhaled air into the lungs. As a result, the amount of air that reaches the lungs is reduced.
Symptoms include recurrent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. Flu, smoke, strenuous physical activities, smoke, and dust can trigger the symptoms.
Diagnosis of Bronchial Asthma
The diagnosis begins with an assessment of the symptoms. Your doctor can ask if the symptoms become worse while exercising or when you inhale smoke.
To confirm the diagnosis and differentiate it from other similar conditions, the doctor may order the following tests.
This test measures how well you can breathe. It is performed at the doctor’s office. During the procedure, you will breathe into a device called spirometer. The procedure is repeated three or more times. If you cannot exhale properly, it means you have some problems with the airflow in the airways.
Bronchodilator reversibility testing
If spirometry shows some problems with breathing, you may need this test. It measures how much your bronchi dilate after you take a medication called a bronchodilator. The doctor measures your breathing capacity using a spirometer or another device called a peak expiratory flowmeter (PEF).
This test measures the degree of allergic response to an allergy-causing substance. The higher the degree of the response, the higher is the severity of your condition. Nonetheless, this is not a routine test for bronchial asthma.
Doctors usually do not order a chest X-ray for the diagnosis. However, they may order an X-ray if other tests for diagnosis are not available or they suspect some complications.
Treatment of Bronchial Asthma
Once the doctor confirms the diagnosis, they will recommend medications in the form of inhalers and pills. These medications reduce inflammation in the bronchi and promote airflow. You may have to use them for longer periods to prevent asthma attacks.
If you have an asthma attack, you will have to use a fast-acting inhaler or a rescue inhaler.
They will also ask you to avoid triggers and maintain a healthy lifestyle including quitting smoking.