Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Asthma

ASTHMA CAUSES SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT PREVENTION

Asthma is one of the most scary medical conditions which can affect both adults and children. Symptoms of asthma vary widely from person to person and are sometimes even different within the same person.


Asthma is a disease of the airways- bronchi and bronchioles. It is characterized of constriction of the smooth muscles of the airways, by inflammation and excessive secretion of mucus. This causes narrowing of the air passages, increasing the effort of breathing and reducing the amount of oxygen available.  Read about Asthma in children

Causes

There is a genetic component to asthma where children of asthmatics are more prone to develop asthma. It can be triggered by :
- viral infection of respiratory tract
- inhaled irritants like tobacco, smoke, pollutants, and fumes
- vigorous exercise or stress
- allergies to pollen, mold, and pets
- exposure to cold air
Asthma attacks can be very severe which can lead to decreased oxygen in the blood requiring external ventilation. Death caused by asthma is not uncommon.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. They include dry cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and audible wheezing. In severe cases, there can be increased heart rate, sweating, extreme anxiety and inability to speak without gasping for air. 

Emergency symptoms include bluish color of the face and lips, extremely labored respiration, mental confusion, and exhaustion. These symptoms require immediate medical attention. 

Diagnosis
History: 

Questions include: 
-what activities cause onset of symptoms, 
-if there are any exposure to irritants, cold air, exercise
-any recent illnesses or exposure to any sick contacts
-what, if any, home medications have been used thus far


Examination:
-Physical exam by medical personnel

Diagnostic tests include:
-Chest x-ray
-Pulmonary function tests
-incentive spirometry
-skin test for allergens

Classification of Asthma

 

Daytime Symptoms

Nighttime Symptoms

PFTs

Intermittent < 2x/ week < 2x/ month > 80%
Mild persistent > 2x/ week > 2x/ month > 80%
Moderate persistent Daily  > 5x/ month 60- 80 %
Severe persistent Continuous Frequent

< 60 %

     

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Note : All statements given are only for information purpose. We are not responsible or liable for any problems related to the utilization of information on this site. We suggest that you consult a qualified doctor before trying any alternative health care remedies.