Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Asthma Medical Information

Asthma is a common breathing difficulty condition among most people all over the world. The common asthma symptoms would include wheezing, coughing and tightness of the chest. There are situations when asthma is also called reactive airway disease or bronchial asthma. Asthma is more common in children compared to adults. If they are treated early and well, both adults and children can live well.


There are minor and severe symptoms that can vary from every individual. Some may have infrequent attacks of asthma, which means that they can have symptoms only at certain times like when having exercises. There are some people who may also have asthma attacks more frequently.

Some of the most common symptoms of asthma would include:

  1. Pain or tightness of the chest
  2. Shortness of one’s breath
  3. A wheezing or a whistling sound when the person is exhaling. For children, the most common asthma sign would be wheezing.
  4. Sleeping troubles due to coughing, shortness of breath or wheezing
  5. Wheezing or coughing attacks have worsened due to respiratory virus, like a flu or a cold.


There are no definite reasons as to why some individuals would acquire asthma while other people do not. However, it is most probably because of a combination to genetic or environmental factors.

There are lists of things that can actually trigger irritants and allergies which may lead to asthma attacks. In every person, the asthma attacks may be different.

Some of these triggers can include:

  1. Exercise-induced asthma or physical activities
  2. Allergic reactions to certain kinds of food, such as shellfish or peanuts
  3. Allergens that are airborne, like dust mites, pollen, mold, animal dander and cockroaches
  4. Respiratory infections such as flu or the common cold
  5. Cold air
  6. GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a kind of condition that makes the stomach acid go back up to one’s throat
  7. Specific medications which would include naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc) Aspirin and Beta Blockers
  8. Air irritants and pollutants like smoke
  9. Stress and strong emotions
  10. Women’s menstrual cycle
  11. Preservatives and sulfites that are added to some food and drinks.


The best way to stopping asthma attacks is to have prevention and long-term control even before they become worse. The treatment does not only include the medications but it would also include the triggers that one should recognize and the steps on how you can avoid them. One should also keep track of one’s breathing to ensure that the daily medications for asthma are in control.

The medications would highly depend on numerous of factors, such as age, asthma triggers, asthma symptoms and what would work best for keeping the attack under control. Medications that are preventive and for long-term control can lessen the airways inflammation that can lead to symptoms.

Some of these medications would include:

  1. Leukotriene Modifiers
  2. Inhaled Corticosteroids
  3. Theophylline
  4. Combination inhalers
  5. Long-acting Beta Inhalers
There are also some quick-relief or rescue medications for asthma that are utilized for a quick but short-term relief when an attack happens.

Some of these medications would include:

  1. Ipratropium
  2. Short-acting Beta agonists
  3. Intravenous and Oral corticosteroids

By Jovarie Saplad