What is Asthma?
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways to the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and can make some physical activities difficult or even impossible. Dr. Parthiv Shah is an asthma specialist in Borivali, Mumbai with more than 7 years of experience.
To understand asthma, you need to understand a little about what happens when you breathe.
Normally, with every breath you take, air goes through your nose and down into your throat, into your airways, eventually making it to your lungs. There are lots of small air passages in your lungs that help deliver oxygen from the air into your bloodstream.
Asthma symptoms occur when the lining of your airways swell and the muscles around them tighten. The mucus then fills the airways, further reducing the amount of air that can pass through.
These conditions then bring on an asthma “attack,” the coughing and tightness in your chest that is typical of asthma.
Cause of Asthma
- Genetics: If a parent has asthma, you’re more likely to develop it.
- History of viral infections: People with a history of viral infections during childhood are more likely to develop the condition.
- Hygiene hypothesis: This hypothesis proposes that babies aren’t exposed to enough bacteria in their early months and years. Therefore, their immune systems don’t become strong enough to fight off asthma and other conditions.
- Early allergen exposure: Frequent contact with possible allergens and irritants may increase your risk of developing asthma.
Risk Of Asthma
- Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with asthma.
- Having another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
- Being overweight.
- Being a smoker.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution.
- Follow your asthma action plan: Dr. Parthiv shah asthma specialist in Borivali, Mumbai, and the health care team write a detailed plan for taking medications and managing an asthma attack. Then be sure to follow your plan. Asthma is an ongoing condition that needs regular monitoring and treatment. Taking control of your treatment can make you feel more in control of your life in general.
- Get vaccinated for Influenza and Pneumonia: Staying current with vaccinations can prevent flu and pneumonia from triggering asthma flare-ups.
- Identify and avoid Asthma Triggers: A number of outdoor allergens and irritants ranging from pollen and mold to cold air and air pollution — can trigger asthma attacks. Find out what causes or worsens your asthma, and take steps to avoid those triggers.
- Monitor your Breathing: You may learn to recognize warning signs of an impending attack, such as slight coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. But because your lung function may decrease before you notice any signs or symptoms, regularly measure and record your peak airflow with a home peak flow meter.
To rule out other possible conditions — such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – Dr. Parthiv shah, will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and about any other health problems.
Other tests to diagnose asthma include:
- Imaging tests
- Allergy testing
- Sputum eosinophils.
- Provocative testing for exercise and cold-induced asthma.
- Tests to measure lung function
Treatment of Asthma
Treatments for asthma fall into three primary categories: breathing exercises, rescue or first aid treatments, and long-term asthma control medications.
Dr. Parthiv Shah, an Asthma specialist in Borivali, Mumbai will determine the right treatment or combination of treatments for you based on the type of asthma you have, your age, and your triggers.