Breathing is one of the most important aspects of human survival. Most of us do not pay much attention to our breathing pattern until every inhale and exhale becomes a struggle. Unfortunately, individuals with severe breathing problem are often affected by the condition called asthma, the intensity of which can range from a mild to a severe.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory problem that typically affects the airways of the lungs. When a person is exposed to triggers like pollens, molds, animal furs, or certain types of respiratory infections, the airways narrow down and restrict the flow of air in and out of the lungs. This can further make the muscles enveloping the airways to contract, making it difficult a person to breathe, and complicate the problem all the more. Some common symptoms of this respiratory condition include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and pain or tightness of the chest.
Just like any other health condition, the severity asthma too differs from one person to another. While some people may experience no or minor symptoms, others are likely to have asthma that’s serves as an ever-present problem and might even result in terrifying as well as life-threatening asthma attacks.
Speaking to some the leading physicians of the world about asthma and its preventive means, they state that the key to preventing this problem is to know that a person has the condition in the first place. For this, understanding the signs and symptoms of asthma is very important.
Here, in this post, we’ve penned some top signs and symptoms of this condition which confirm its presence in a person.
Difficulty in breathing, especially during the Night
If asthma symptoms flair up during the morning hours along with some similar episodes at night as well, it’s quite possible that you are suffering from “severe persistent” asthma. It’s one of the most chronic classifications of asthma, according to one of the leading medical associations of the world.
While physicians are yet to discover the exact reasons behind asthma flaring up at night, most of them believe that it may be due to some hormonal changes which the body goes through during sleep. The body releases higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol during sleep, which can be a potential cause of inflammation of the airways
Experiencing Shortness of Breath without Exerting the Body too much.
A person even standing on the threshold of this respiratory disease is likely to experience shortness of breath even without exerting themselves too much. However, it’s important to pay more attention if this becomes an everyday stuff. For instance, even a walk around the house leaves you heavily panting.
People with less intense asthma usually do not experience episodes of extreme shortness of breath. While on the other hand, those with a severe asthmatic condition have airways that constantly stay inflamed. This restricts the flow of air in and out of the lungs, making it very difficult for a person to even breathe normally (when simply sitting and not performing any physical activities).
Sometimes Completing a Simple Sentence becomes Difficult.
Asthma not only affects the functionality of your lungs, it also causes many related issues. For instance, a person with severe asthma can’t get enough air which further slows down their ability to speak in complete sentences.
Such episodes usually happen during an asthma attack, when the airways contract and narrow down to a great extent.
Constantly Feeling Uneasy
Pain and tightness in the chest come handy with asthma. People with a severe asthmatic condition generally complain that they feel like their chest is constantly under pressure. This typically happens because of how the muscles surrounding the airways react to allergens, irritants, and other things which activate asthma.
When lungs are exposed to such triggers, the muscles in the organ clamp and narrow down the airways, making the chest feel tighter than usual. If the airways and their enveloping muscles constantly overreact to these triggers, it makes a person feel like their chest rarely gets a break.
Feeling Agitated, Confused, and/or Sleepy More than Usual
When you exhale, you get rid of carbon dioxide, which is a waste byproduct produced by the body. It’s a toxic substance for the body that must be pushed out at regular intervals. However, if you have severe asthma, the outward release of carbon dioxide decreases to a great extent, further affecting some your body’s basic activities and making you suddenly feel confused, agitated, or even tired.
Such a condition is known as respiratory failure, and it is extremely serious, life threatening in some cases. While for the above listed signs and symptoms of asthma you’d need to seek the assistance of a physician, in case of respiratory failure you would need an immediate emergency treatment.
The Skin gets a Bluish Tint.
A change in your skin color – getting a bluish tint – can be a sign of cyanosis, which usually happens when there’s a lack of oxygen in the body. Similar to feeling agitated, confused, tired and sleepy, this is also a serious sign of asthma which must not be ignored at all.
Red blood cells are typically responsible for providing oxygen to the body, and even give the skin its pinkish/reddish tone. However, in case of a severe asthmatic condition, the cells are unable to supply enough oxygen to the body, turning your skin’s undertone blue. People with a lighter skin tone can see the change in their skin color almost immediately. While those with a darker shade, it’s most prominently visible on their lips, gums, nails and around their eyes.
If the above listed signs are prominent in your case, it’s time to take necessary precautions before it becomes fatal in nature. While there’s no such cure available for asthma, it’s best to avoid coming in contact with its triggers, which can aggravate your symptoms. Talk to your physician, understand your symptoms, get tested and seek necessary medications to keep asthma in control.