Asthma: Diagnosis and how it can be treated

March 08, 2021

Asthma is a chronic condition affecting the airways in your lungs. The airways get inflamed or swollen. In severe asthma, they get even more swollen and the muscles around these airways tighten when something triggers the symptoms. Thus, making it even more difficult for the air to move in and out, causing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and/or chest tightness.

How is asthma diagnosed?

History: The first step towards correctly diagnosing asthma is by opting to go to the best pulmonary hospital in Bangalore. The doctor will ask for a detailed medical and personal history. Tell him about the medicines you take and your general lifestyle. Mention any or every current physical problem. History also includes previous medical conditions. A family history of asthma, allergies or eczema increases the chances of asthma. You should also give a detailed insight into your home and office environment or any other place you frequent.

Physical exam: If the doctor thinks there’s a possibility, he’ll move onto a physical exam. This may include:

  • Examining your eyes, nose, ears, throat, chest, skiing and lungs
  • Lung function tests
  • X-ray of your lungs and sinuses

Lung function tests: These measure your breathing and are often conducted before and after inhaling a medicine called a bronchodilator. If your breathing improves significantly after using a bronchodilator, you probably have asthma. The doctor might prescribe a trial of asthma medicines to see if there’s any change. Some commonly used lung function tests are:

  • Spirometry
  • Peak airflow
  • FeNO tests (exhaled nitric oxide)
  • Provocation tests

Before starting any asthma treatment in Bangalore, the doctor might run some more tests to eliminate conditions other than asthma. These might include a chest X-ray, acid reflux tests, sinus X-ray or other targeted tests. The doctor might also conduct allergy tests, as allergies can be one of the underline causes.

What are the available treatments for asthma?

When looking for lung disease treatment in Bangalore, specifically for asthma, there are three types of treatments (varying in intensity):

  • Exercises to enhance breathing
  • Quick-acting treatments
  • Long-term medications

The right treatment or a combination of treatments will be suggested by the best pulmonary hospital in Bangalore based on the type of asthma, your age and triggers.

Breathing exercises

Your doctor will teach you these. They help in increasing your lung capacity as well as lower the intensity and frequency of asthma symptoms.

Quick-acting treatments: These are prescribed in the event of asthma attacks or the occurrence of severe symptoms:

Bronchodilators: Taken as an inhaler or nebulizer, these relax the tightened muscles around the airwaves within minutes.

First-aid asthma treatment: this should also be known by family and friends of asthma patients. If someone is having an asthma attack, tell them to erect and help them access their inhaler/nebulizer. 2 to 6 puffs should be enough to ease their symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist for more than 20 minutes, and a second round of medication doesn’t help, seek medical attention immediately.

Long-term medications

As part of a long-term regime, these medications are taken daily to control and reduce the severity of asthma attacks and symptoms. These are not meant as an immediate measure:

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Anticholinergics
  • Long-acting bronchodilators
  • Biologic therapy drugs

P.S. People commonly confuse between asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Although when searching for hospitals providing COPD treatment in Bangalore, the same hospitals will also provide asthma treatment, as both are conditions that affect your lungs.

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