When your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, that condition is asthma. There is coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath in this condition. Asthma can be a major problem for some people and can interfere with their daily activities. A doctor can control its symptoms by proper treatment.


The symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble in sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • When exhaling, there is a whistling or wheezing sound
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that worsen during a cold or a flu
  • Fatigue

Having these symptoms mean you immediately need to consult the best chest specialist in Kolkata.


A combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors is responsible for asthma.

Asthma triggers

Exposure to the following irritants and substances can trigger the symptoms.

  • Airborne substances
  • Respiratory infections
  • Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
  • Certain medications
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants and irritants
  • Sulfites and preservatives added to some foods and beverages
  • Strong emotions and stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Risk factors

The following are the factors that can increase its the risk:

  • Having another allergic condition
  • Having a blood relative with asthma
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to occupational triggers, which can be chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing
  • Exposure to exhaust fumes or other forms of pollution


A lungs specialist doctor in Kolkata will carry out a physical exam and also ask you different questions about the symptoms and other health problems. The following tests are also necessary for the diagnosis of the condition.

  • Spirometry: By checking how much air you exhale after a deep breath and how fast you do it, the test estimates the narrowing of your bronchial tubes.
  • Peak flow: The doctor uses a simple device known as the peak flow meter to measure how hard you can breathe out. If the peak flow reading is lower than the normal, the doctor understands that it is getting worse and your lungs are not working properly.

Some other important tests for diagnosing it are methacholine challenge, nitric oxide test, allergy testing, imaging tests, provocative testing for cold-induced and exercise-induced asthma and sputum eosinophils.

There are four general categories of asthma. They are mild intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent.


You have to recognize your triggers, try to avoid them and track your breathing to know whether your medications are working properly as part of your treatment. A chest specialist in Kolkata prescribes different medications for you considering your age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what keeps your asthma under control. He/she may suggest the use of quick-relief inhalers (bronchodilators) as these help in quickly opening the swollen airways that create difficulty in breathing. If you have severe asthma and it doesn’t improve with inhaled corticosteroids or other medications, the doctor suggests bronchial thermoplasty.