Not each of us suffering from midnight coughing or chest tightness are asthma patients. Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by typical respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, wheezing, chest tightness or cough. A study in Canada came up with a shocking result sometime back which showed that one-third of adults diagnosed with asthma actually don’t suffer from the condition at all. The major depressing thing about the disease is that it is a common condition which can cause disastrous consequences when left untreated. The challenge here is diagnosing the symptoms as these occur, seem invisible for a while and then might occur again.
The research team got in touch with thousands of people from 10 different Canadian cities questioning them if they had their asthma diagnosed in the past 10 years. Those who were willing to participate in the study were diagnosed for the disease and if the results proved negative, they were directed to a lung specialist. If again there was no positive results confirming the disease, these people were slowly subjected to reduction in their medicine dosage and finally the medicines were stopped completely. These people were followed-up for a year and two tests taken within the time. If the test results were normal the medicines were completely stopped (from reduced dosage).
Around 1026 people were eligible to participate in the study out of which 613 completed all the study tests involved which helped confirm the presence or absence of the disease.
- Out of 613 participants, 410 (67%) participants were diagnosed with asthma and the remaining 203 (33%) were confirmed of its absence. Of the 203 people who had their asthma ruled out, only a third of them were taking asthma medications daily and around 79.3% were taking it occasionally.
- Only 50% patients confirmed of asthma were taking medications daily and 90% were taking it occasionally.
- The 203 people who had their asthma ruled out were diagnosed with rhinitis and acid reflux. Acid reflux can be controlled by avoiding certain foods and a complete list of the ‘to be avoided’ foods are available at www.firsteatright.com.
When Do You Confirm it as Asthma?
One must suffer from a history of respiratory symptoms that are present in the case of asthma (such as wheezing, coughing (especially during the night) and chest tightness) along with proof of variable expiratory airflow obstruction which can be measured by a spirometer. The spirometer can gauge lung functioning by looking out for any inflammation or narrowing of the airway.
The study helps to confirm one thing for sure-an asthma diagnosis once does not mean that you are bound to take asthma medications forever. Diagnosing it formally and getting your diagnosis confirmed every couple of years can help you stay away from a lifelong rigor of asthma medications.