Severe Asthma : Symptoms, Causes, Types and Complications

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z
GoMedii

Before understanding severe asthma first we should understand what asthma is? Asthma is an inflammatory lung disorder that can vary from mild to severe symptoms. Usually, you can control your asthma attacks by daily medications, avoiding triggers, and other treatment options.

 

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But if you’re not able to control your asthma while you are taking your treatment.  It means you are dealing with severe asthma. Severe asthma means you need high doses of inhaled corticosteroids.

 

Types of Severe Asthma

 

The World Health Organization puts severe asthma into three different categories:

 

  • Untreated asthma
  • Difficult-to-treat asthma
  • Therapy-resistant asthma

 

Well, it is quite difficult to treat, but it’s still possible to get it under control.

 

What are the symptoms of severe asthma?

 

The symptoms are quite similar to mild or moderate asthma. But its symptoms tend to be potentially life-threatening, more intense, and difficult to control. The common symptoms are:

 

  • Pain or tightness in your chest
  • Wheezing that persists after treatment

 

Well, it can be life-threatening, the one should understand when do you need medical help. If you have shortness of breath and it occurs when you are doing simple physical activities or quickly gets worse, then contact your doctor soon. If a quick-relief inhaler doesn’t help, then you should go for the emergency treatment.

 

Severe asthma attacks

 

The symptoms of a severe asthma attack can include:

 

  • Severe shortness of breath.
  • Rapid breathing where your chest or ribs visibly have a reversal.
  • Chest muscles are straining while working hard to breathe.
  • Nostrils that flare out, moving rapidly as you breathe.
  • Lips, face, or fingernails becoming pale or blue.
  • Problem while inhaling or exhaling fully.
  • Symptoms not improving after taking the rescue inhaler.
  • Difficulty while performing normal activities.
  • Infants are unable to recognize their parents or respond to them.

 

If you or your child is having symptoms of a severe asthma attack, then you should contact your doctor immediately. It attacks can lead to respiratory failure, which is a life-threatening condition.

What are the Causes of Severe Asthma?

 

A sensitive immune system makes your airways inflamed and swollen when you’re exposed to certain triggers. Asthma triggers are different for every person. Common asthma attack triggers include:

 

  • Pollen, pets, mold and dust mites
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Inhaling cold, dry air
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

 

For many people, asthma symptoms get worse with respiratory infections, such as those caused by the common cold. Some people have asthma flare-ups caused by something in their work environment. Sometimes, there isn’t any apparent cause for an asthma attack.

 

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What are the risk factors of severe asthma?

 

Anyone who is dealing with asthma is at risk of an asthma attack. You can be at the risk of a serious asthma attack if:

  • Had a serious asthma attack in the past
  • Have previously been admitted to the hospital or had to go to the emergency treatment of asthma
  • Use more than two quick-acting inhalers during the course of a month
  • Have previously required intubation for an asthma attack
  • Asthma attacks tend to sneak up on you before the symptoms get worsened.
  • Have other chronic health conditions, like sinusitis or nasal polyps, or cardiovascular or chronic lung disease.

What are the complications of severe asthma?

 

Asthma attacks can be serious. If they can:

 

  • Effect your daily activities like sleep, school, work, and exercise.
  • Send you to for the emergency treatment.
  • Lead to respiratory death and arrest.

 

Severe asthma treatment

 

Serious type of asthma is either doesn’t respond to treatments and medications at all, or it’s very difficult to treat. This lack of response to medications is called therapy-resistant asthma.

If your asthma isn’t responding to medications, ask your doctor for a diagnosis and alternative treatment options. They will examine you for complications of severe asthma, like chronic infections, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

Treatment for this asthma may include medications and lifestyle changes, along with natural treatments.

 

Lifestyle changes for severe asthma

 

The following lifestyle changes can help in the treatment of severe asthma:

  • Avoid any allergens or exposure to environmental irritants like chemicals.
  • If you’re overweight, try to lose weight gradually under the care of your doctor.
  • Avoid known triggers whenever possible.
  • Avoid smoking and passive smoking smoke.

 

Natural treatments

 

While natural treatments can’t replace your asthma medications, but these can benefit you from trying some of these in addition to your prescribed treatments.

Examples of natural treatments include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Herbal remedies, including black seed, choline, and caffeine
  • Yoga and mindfulness

 

Conclusion:

 

Severe asthma is a serious health condition that can lead to sudden medical help. If you are dealing with asthma and you need an inhaler frequently. Then consult the doctor for the diagnosis. For the treatment of the related condition, you can call us or can connect us on WhatsApp at +91 9654030724.

 

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