Essay/Term paper: Asthma
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Asthma is a disorder that affects 20% of Australians in their childhood. It causes airways to narrow making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms may include loss of breathe in cold weather, wheezing and whistling.
It may occur periodically in sudden sharp attacks. When an attack occurs -
The muscles around the wind pipe tighten shrinking the airways.
The wind pipe lining then swells (picture) and a mucus called phlegm develops causing the cough to intensify and slightly more painful.
What are the Causes and Triggers for asthma ?
Attacks of Asthma occur due to a blockage in the bronchial tubes. This blockage results from a spasm that narrows the windpipe causing breathing difficulty for the sufferer.
Asthma Triggers are things that make Asthma worse. Usual triggers are -
Respiratory infections eg. Colds, flu, sore throats and bronchitis
Allergic reactions sometimes cause Asthma eg. Pollen, foods, dust, animal fur or some seed.
Air irritants (similar to Allergic reactions) eg. Cigarette smoke, gases or dust.
Excessive/strenuous exercise can cause an Asthma attack.
Emotional Stress can also trigger an Asthma attack.
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms include wheezing from the chest or a slight whistling is heard when inhaling. It's even louder when exhaling.
Tightness of the chest, lung and lung area are closely associated with Asthma.
Treatment for asthma
There is no cure for Asthma but there are steps that doctors take to help relieve the symptoms of Asthma.
As a first step doctors try to remove or get the patient to avoid Asthma triggers such as "animal dander" (eg. Fur or hairs). These are very likely to trigger an Asthma attack. Places where animals dwell are advised to be kept clear of for a sufferer. Since it is impossible to remove or avoid all triggers there are medications that can be taken. Such as -
- Anti - Inflammatory Drugs : these reduce swelling of the windpipe and it's lining.
Oral Steroids - prednisone and prednisolone quickly reduce inflammation during an attack.
Inhaled medicines - such as cromoyln sodium and inhaled corticosteroids keep inflammation from flaring up.
- Bronchodilators : relax the muscles which have tightened around the windpipe.
Adrenergic bronchodilators ("Beta 2 agonists") provide temporary relief but do not treat inflammation. These are available as an Inhaler or a tablet form. Unfortunately the tablets are slower and have a few side affects.
Theophylline is available in a liquid, capsule or tablet form. This drug has a long duration of action making it a very good soother for "night time" Asthma.
Ways of preventing asthma
There are no ways of preventing Asthma because it is usually genetic, allergically related or following a dose of bronchitis, but there are ways to prevent it from flaring up and turning into an attack.
A sufferer can be very careful about his or hers diet because the diet can greatly affect the Asthma. Due to allergic reactions etc.
Staying away from pollens and animal fur settles down Asthma. The allergic reactions are the highest causes of Asthma.
Make sure you always have medication with you such as Intal and Becotide. These preventative medicines will stop an attack occurring.
For an Asthma sufferer breathing can sometimes be a great difficulty due to the fact that at any time their wind pipe can shrink due to inflammation, making it very hard to breathe. But with the right medication eg. Inhalers and Theophylline their life can be much easier. If they also stay away from triggers such as pollen, fur and cigarette smoke the air ways may not be so vulnerable.
Even if you don't have Asthma you should keep an eye out for the symptoms which are - chest and lung tightness, wheezing and loss of breath especially in cold weather.
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Asthma is a condition in the airways of your lungs. It tightens your muscles surrounding your air ways and there is swelling plus irritation in your airways called inflammation. It causes to narrow the airways so it feels like your breathing through a straw. The common symptoms of asthma is wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or hard to breath. If asthma is left untreated it can cause long term loss of lung function. When you are exposed to something or like a trigger your airways become more inflamed or swollen than usual making it even harder to breathe or making your condition even worse. The airways also get tighter and they can get congested due to a build up of mucus.
Some of the triggers can be caused from allergies, infections, and strong odors or fumes that come from your house. It is important to watch what you are around so you don’t become more infected. Every one who has asthma has different triggers that bother their asthma symptoms. So you should recognize your triggers and stay away from them. You should try to get rid of all the triggers out of your house as you can such as animals, smoking, odors, etc. That can help you have fewer symptoms. When your asthma is not under control of or have not told a doctor about your asthma.
These symptoms will occur. Wheezing which is when you breath you hear a whistling sound. You will have a bad cough that will not go a way or your chest feels so tight. It can also feel like you can not catch your breath. Those symptoms will occur or you will have an asthma attack unless you contact a doctor about your asthma and stay with your treatment. When an asthma attack happens constriction happens, which is when the muscles tighten around the airways in the lungs. Makes it really hard to breath. And there is inflammation, which the airways are swollen and irritated and become more irritated when the attack happens. Inflammation limits the amount of air into your lungs.
It is very important that you treat your asthma whether you have the symptoms or not. Because you could be feeling just fine then your asthma attack could occur so stick to your treatment. If it is left untreated you will have asthma attacks or may cause long term loss of lung function. That is not good. If you have asthma you should stay away from this list of triggers. Smoking, dust mites, most pets, cock roaches, indoor and outdoor mold, strong odors, sprays, and pollen. And keep your self healthy. Try to get rid of all the triggers out of your house as you can, as such triggers up above. That should help you to stay healthy and your asthma symptoms down. You should exercise daily, drink lots of fluids, and avoid from getting a cold, also avoid eating junk food.
People usually get asthma because it runs in their family. Asthma will last for the rest of your life. Asthma can not be cured it can only be treated. The treatment is usually using inhalers (which help open up the air ways in your lungs) prescribed by doctors and getting rid of the triggers in your house plus seeing your doctor. Children can usually out grow asthma between the ages 2-11, but ages 11 and up can not out grow it. So children have a bigger advantage of getting rid of their asthma than adults are. Children start out by wheezing. Still very important to consult your doctor about your child’s asthma. No one is more susceptible to asthma. Except children can usually out grow it. With human race everyone is equal to asthma. Over 17 million Americans suffer from asthma. If you would like more information on asthma go to i breath.com or health talk.com. Or go to a library and find a book on asthma called asthma…
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