Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide. There is a lifetime prevalence of 10.5% of asthma in Singapore. It is a condition in which the airways narrow and become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma symptoms can develop at any age, and its symptoms can range from mild to severe. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of asthma, inhalers used to manage asthma, its association with eczema and allergic rhinitis, and recommended vaccinations for asthma patients.
Symptoms of Asthma:
The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Coughing, especially at night or early in the morning
These symptoms can be triggered by various factors, including allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander, irritants such as cigarette smoke and air pollution, and physical exertion.
Inhalers for Asthma
Inhalers are the most common and effective treatment for asthma. They work by delivering medication directly to the lungs, where it can quickly relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation. There are two types of inhalers: reliever inhalers and preventer inhalers.
Reliever inhalers, also known as rescue inhalers, are used to quickly relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They contain a medication called a bronchodilator, which relaxes the muscles around the airways, making it easier to breathe.
Preventer inhalers, also known as controller inhalers, are used daily to prevent symptoms and reduce the risk of asthma attacks. They contain a medication called a corticosteroid, which reduces inflammation in the airways, making them less sensitive to triggers.
Association with Eczema and Allergic Rhinitis
Asthma is often associated with other allergic conditions, such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin, while allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a condition in which the immune system overreacts to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander.
Asthma patients are at an increased risk of complications from certain infections, such as the flu and pneumococcal disease. Therefore, it is recommended that asthma patients receive the flu vaccine biannually to annually depending on health authorities’ recommendations and the pneumococcal vaccine.
In conclusion, asthma is a chronic disease that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Inhalers are the most common and effective treatment for asthma. Asthma is often associated with other allergic conditions, such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Finally, asthma patients are recommended to receive the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine to reduce the risk of complications from infections.