Asthma - Everything About It


Asthma - Everything About It

Brief Summary:

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the air passages of the lungs, and results from inflammation and narrowing of the respiratory passages; which prevents the flow of air into the airways; Which leads to repeated episodes of shortness of breath with wheezing in the chest (wheezing in the chest) accompanied by coughing and phlegm after exposure to inhalation of substances that provoke allergic reactions (allergic reactions) or irritation of the respiratory system, and these attacks vary in intensity and frequency from one person to another, and it is one of the most common diseases Common among children.

Causes Of Asthma:

Some studies have indicated that the cause is due to genetic or environmental factors, such as pollution of the surrounding environment and air pollution from factory smoke and car exhaust.

Leading Factors:

  • smoking.
    • Allergies to things such as: chemicals, bird feathers, animal fur, pollen, dust, certain foods, liquids or preservatives.
    • Viral infections of the respiratory system.
    • Certain medications such as: aspirin, beta-blockers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Psychological agitation.
    • Vigorous exercise.
    • Hormonal changes such as the menstrual cycle in some women
    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

    Symptoms Of Asthma:

    • Shortness of breath.
    • Chest contractions or pain.
    • Sleep disturbance due to shortness of breath.
    • A whistling sound when breathing or exhaling.
    • Frequent coughing accompanied by a runny nose and sneezing, especially when you have a viral infection in the respiratory tract.

    Symptoms of an acute asthma attack:

    • An increase in the severity and frequency of symptoms of the disease.
    • severe difficulty breathing;
    • An increasing need to use bronchodilators.

    Groups most at risk of asthma attacks:

    There are factors believed to increase the chance of developing asthma, and these factors include:
    • Family history of asthma.
    • Obesity and overweight.
    • Smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, or maternal smoking during pregnancy.
    • Exposure to one of the irritating factors such as chemicals used in cleaning, planting or hairdressing.
    • Pollution of the surrounding environment and air pollution from factory smoke and automobile exhaust.

    Diagnosis Of Asthma:

    The doctor relies in diagnosing asthma mainly on the medical history, including symptoms, their frequency and their etiology, and then the clinical examination.

    Pulmonary Function Testing:

    • Spirometer test: This test measures the extent of airway constriction, during which it measures the amount of air that can be exhaled after a deep inhale, and the speed at which this exhalation is done.
    • Peak flow meter is a simple device that can detect small changes that may occur even before symptoms are felt. If the result is lower than normal, it is a sign that asthma is soon onset.
    • Functional performance tests of the lungs are done before and after using a bronchodilator. If there is an improvement in the functional performance of the lungs of the person being examined as a result of using the bronchodilator, it is likely that he has asthma.
    • Metacholine Challenge: Metacholine is an asthma-stimulating substance that causes narrowing of the airways. If the result is positive, it confirms the disease of asthma. Such an examination is carried out if tests of the functional performance of the lungs show normal results.
    • Nitric oxide test: It is a test that measures the amount of nitric oxide gas in the breath. In the event of inflammation in the airways, the level of nitric oxide is higher than normal in asthmatics, and this test is not common.
    • Radiographic examination: X-rays and CT scans are used to diagnose asthma, by imaging the lungs and nasal cavity.
    • Allergy testing: Allergy testing is done by skin or blood. Allergens can be identified, for example, from pets, dust, mold or pollen.

    Types Of Asthma:

    Intermittent mild asthma: Symptoms are mild, up to two days per week and two nights per month.
    Persistent mild asthma: Symptoms more than twice a week and no less than once a day​
    Moderate persistent asthma: Symptoms once a day and more than one night a week​
    Persistent severe asthma: Symptoms throughout the day and often at night

    Treatment Of Asthma:

    Asthma treatment aims to:
    • Reaching the stage of stabilization of the disease.
    • Reduce the number of acute asthma attacks and use as few bronchodilators as possible.
    • The patient continues to practice his normal life without any obstacles.

    Drug Therapy:

    Medications for long-term asthma control:
    Inhaled corticosteroids.
    Leukotriene levels.
    Long-acting beta2 agonists
    Medicines to treat asthma attacks:
    It is a group of medicines that expand the airways by relaxing the muscles inside the bronchi, thus relieving the symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing in the chest, which the patient suffers during an acute crisis. The doctor may also advise some patients to use such drugs before performing activities that require high effort, such as exercising, for example.
    • Short-acting beta2 agonists
    • Ibertropium
    • Oral and intravenous corticosteroids

    Allergy medications:

    These drugs reduce the body's sensitivity to the factors that trigger an asthma attack and are divided into:
    • Immunotherapy: Gradually injecting certain amounts of the allergen into the body, allowing the body to get used to it.
    • Omalizumab (Omalizumab): It is an injection given every two to four weeks for people with severe asthma, and it works by changing the body's immune system.
    • Allergy medications: These include antihistamines and decongestants, taken orally or nasally.

    Thermal bronchoplasty:

    It is a technique based on inserting a tube through the nose or mouth into the lungs, after which the catheter emits thermal vibrations to the smooth muscles surrounding the trachea; Which helps to stretch these muscles, makes breathing easier, and reduces asthma attacks, and this technique is used in very severe asthma cases.

    General guidelines for prevention and control of asthma:

    • Prevention of internal and external allergens.
    • Joint work between the doctor and the patient, and the development of a complete treatment program that includes drug therapy, basic examinations and regular follow-up appointments.
    • Follow up with the family doctor and adhere to the doctor's instructions.
    • You must have a medical file in the hospital and health center.
    • Cooperation between the follow-up family physician at the health center and the treating physician in the hospital (referral system).
    • Carry a follow-up card with you that records all medications with you.
    • Do not dispense medications on your own or buy them at a pharmacy without consulting your doctor.
    • Do not use medicines that are dispensed to others.
    • Maintain general health and fitness by eating healthy food and exercising.
    • Quit smoking, refrain from sitting with smokers, and avoid the factors that trigger an asthma attack.
    • Take the seasonal flu shot to reduce the severity of the flu.

    Go to the hospital as soon as possible in the following cases:

    • Severe or persistent symptoms such as wheezing with choking, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
    • Failure to respond to bronchodilators.
    • Worsening of symptoms, inability to breathe or speak.
    • Chest constriction, gasping, feeling unwell, stuffiness, increased respiratory rate and heart rate.
    • Blue discoloration in the extremities, deterioration of the general condition, and loss of consciousness in later cases.
    Stay Healthy...

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