World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. In the US alone, some 18 million adults suffer from asthma, a condition in which inflamed airways make breathing difficult. While asthma is a condition that is not deemed life-threatening, some cases when ignored, can prove fatal in addition to the interference it can have on our day to day activities such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough and wheezing.
Below are the symptoms of asthma you should never ignore:
Rapid, slow breaths: Hyperventilation or having rapid, slow rapid breaths can be one of the symptoms of asthma. The normal breathing rate for adults is 12 to 20 breaths per minute while hyperventilation is defined as breathing 30 times a minute or faster. “Use of the muscles at the base of the neck and between the ribs may be more exaggerated than normal,” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
You are allergic to cats: By this, we mean someone who is medically allergic to cats and not in terms of liking a cat as an animal. According to a 2007 study by National Institutes of Health, more than 50 percent of asthma cases showed as being allergic to cats. Cat allergens were also involved in almost 30 percent of asthma cases.
Chronic sleeplessness: In addition to the lack of sleep increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, some experts also feel that it may make a case of asthma become more severe. “Wheezing and coughing in asthmatics often become much more severe during the night. It is not clear whether there is a circadian rhythm factor (the rhythm of biological functions occurring in a 24-hour periodic cycle) responsible for these nighttime disturbances or whether sleep in some way contributes to them,” reports the National Sleep Foundation.
Having cough that does not go away: While persistent cough is a common sign of lung diseases and other diseases such as TB, researchers add that coughing could also be a major feature of asthma, especially in children. If your infant or child coughs to the point of vomiting, discuss the possibility of asthma with your doctor. Reasons other than asthma for a long-term cough can be having a whooping cough or a postnasal drip.