Uneasiness, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest are usually linked to asthma, but it is not even half of what patients feel like during an asthma attack. Every asthma patient has their own experience but one thing which connects all is that the experience is equally traumatizing for anyone who suffers it. From a dull ache in the chest or tightness, some describe it as if the air is sucked out of their lungs, while others call it ‘breathing through a squashed straw’.
What is Asthma? It is a condition in which the airways that carry air to the lungs produce extra mucus, or it narrows, swells making the breathing activity difficult. When you breathe in irritants likedust, pollen, dry air, smoke, or pet dander, it acts as icing on the cake. The airways swell more and the muscles surrounding them gets tightened. Under this condition, it gets difficult to breathe and might even lead to asthma attacks.
To identify asthma symptoms, it is crucial for people to be familiar with what an asthma attack looks like. In a chat with ETimes, Director and internal medicine at Delhi’s Max Hospitals-Saket, Dr Rommel Tickoo shared 6 common symptoms of asthma:
According to Tickko, shortness of breath is one of the first signs of asthma. People face breathlessness when their airways are inflamed and narrow, because the transportation of the required amount of oxygen to the lungs gets hampered. The trouble caused by breathlessness makes the person breathe rapidly itself. It is during this rapid breathing period, the wheezing sound can be heard.
Inflammation of the air pipe narrows it, which makes breathing difficult and people are not able to inhale the required amount of oxygen. This leads to a wheezing sound while people breathe. As per the doctor, a musical sound is produced when breathing is followed by coughing and other issues.
Irritants only trigger an asthma attack. The micro-particles enter the airways, which further leads to irritation and inflammation of the passage. The irritants stimulate nerves that signal the brain to make the muscles in the chest and abdomen expel air from the lungs with a cough. Though the expert opined that coughing is not common in all asthma patients, cough related to asthma doesn’t go away easily for those who are suffering from an acute respiratory condition. The situation can get worse in winters and asthma attacks can also be triggered due to the flu virus.
Difficulty in breathing makes the person feel uncomfortable. It leads to tightness in the chest, or at times, the chest might feel puffy or squeezed. The chest tightness arises only when the air gets trapped in the lungs, hence you are not able to breathe in or out nicely.
As per the doctor, inhalers are the best way to keep asthma symptoms in control and prevent an asthma attack. People who suffer from any chronic respiratory conditions have to be careful in winters because an asthma attack gets triggered due to viral infections and can lead to secondary symptoms like fever and in the worst case, pneumonia.