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Health

Everything asthma.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus.

For some, asthma is a minor thing but for others it can be major and interfere with daily activities and may lead to life threatening asthma attacks.

Asthma cannot be cured.

Signs of asthma.

1. Air blockage.

When you breathe the bands of muscle around your airways relax and air moves freely. But when you have asthma the muscles tighten. It is harder for air to pass through.

2. Airway blockage.

People with asthma have sensitive airways that tend to over react and narrow when they come in contact with even the slightest triggers.

3. Inflammation.

Asthma causes red swollen bronchial tubes in your lungs.

Symptoms of asthma.

1. Coughing especially at night or morning.

2. Wheezing sound when sneezing.

3. Trouble sleeping because of breathing problems.

4. Tightness, pain or pressure in your chest.

Classification of asthma.

1. Mild intermittent asthma.

Mild symptoms less than a week. Few asthma attacks. Night time symptoms less than twice a month.

2. Mild persistent asthma.

Symptoms 3-6 times a week. Night time symptoms 3-4 times a month. Asthma attacks may affect activities.

3. Moderate persistent asthma.

Symptoms 3-6 times a week. Night time symptoms 3-4 times a month. Asthma attacks may affect activities.

4. Severe persistent asthma.

Ongoing symptoms both day and night. You have to limit your activities.

Types of asthma.

Childhood asthma.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. It can develop at any age but is slightly common in children than adults.

Adult onset asthma.

Adults are more likely than children to have persistent symptoms.

Some factors that affect risk of developing asthma in adulthood include; respiratory illness, obesity, allergies etc.

Occupational asthma.

It results to an allergen or irritant present in the work place. Eg in bakeries, hospitals, zoos, farms etc.

Seasonal asthma.

It occurs in response to allergens that are surrounding environment at certain times of the year.

Difficult to control and severe asthma.

5-10 % of asthma have severe asthma.

Causes of asthma.

1. Airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, mites etc.

2. Cold air.

3. Physical activities.

4. Respiratory infections.

5. Air pollutants such as smoke.

6. Strong emotions and stress.

7. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) I’m which stomach acids back up into your throat.

Diagnosis.

They include; 

1. Your family and symptom history.

2. Physical exam.

3. Medical tests.

How is physical history used in diagnosis of asthma?

The doctor will watch the way your chest and stomach muscles move when you breathe and use a stethoscope to listen to air flowing in and out of your lungs.

How is family and symptom history used in diagnosis of asthma?

The doctor will ask you questions about your family health background and symptoms of the disease.

Medical tests.

They include;

Spirometry test.

Uses spirometer to see how well your lungs work.

Methacholine challenge test.

This medication causes a brief tightening of the airways that is more intense in people who have asthma.

FeNo test.

Stands for Fractional Exhaled nitrous oxide and measures the amount of nitrous oxide gas in your lungs.

Treatment of Asthma.

1. Use of inhalers.

There are two types;

1. Metered dose inhalers.

Use an aerosol canister inserted into a plastic mouth piece to deliver a short burst of medicine.

2. Dry powder inhalers.

Deliver medicine as dry powder using a special inhaler.

Medicine.

Long term control medicine.

Help you control and prevent asthma symptoms.

They include;

1. Inhaled corticosteroids.

2. Inhaled long acting beta agonists.

3. Combination inhaled medicines.

4. Biologolics.

5. Leukotriene modifiers.

6. Cromolyn sodium.

7. Theophylline.

Quick relief medicines.

Help relieve asthma symptoms when they happen.

Include;

Short acting beta agonists.

Anticholinergics.

Combination quick relief medications.

Combination quick relief medications.

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