Asthma

By Arianna Deldin

Introduction

Asthma is a common condition in the lungs where the airways swell and produces thick mucus. This makes the trachea (windpipe) narrow and hard to breathe through. When someone has asthma, its very hard, or feels hard, to get the air in and out of their lungs.

About Asthma

Asthma is a long-lasting inflammatory disease in the lungs.

Triggers for asthma include:

  • Cold air

  • Exercise

  • Dust mites

  • Pollutants in the air

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Animal dander

  • Pollen


Asthma is a recurring condition that anyone can get. It can be genetic but it is mostly caused by allergies. It is common among all people of any age. Although, asthma is mostly found in African American children. Asthma is everywhere. There is no specific location in the world where it is normally found.


Symptoms:


Some symptoms of asthma are-

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Coughing

  • Pain in chest

  • Itching on the back of neck


Diagnosis:

The diagnosis process is performed an allergist. During the physical exam, the allergist will listen to your chest with a stethoscope. This will evaluate some distinctive breathing sounds. They will also look for chest expansion during inhalation. Signs for narrowed airways are hunched shoulders and contracting neck muscles. Certain respiratory tests can confirm a patient has asthma after the physical exam is done. Spirometry is a test where it measures how rapidly air is exhaled and how much air was maintained within the lungs.


Treatment:

The first step is to control asthma is that the patient must reduce or avoid exposure to known allergens or triggers like dust, cold air, or pollen. The medications are short-acting, quick relief and long-acting, controller. The short-acting medication is only taken when needed. It resolves pain or tightness in the chest and reduces all symptoms quickly. Long-acting is usually taken daily so that the patient can maintain control of their asthma.


Fatal or not?

Asthma can be very fatal. If someone is having an asthma attack and doesn’t have an inhaler or any medication to stop it, not enough oxygen will get through their lungs or to their brain. This could cause them to faint from air loss, suffocate, or in extreme cases, they could die.


Even though it can be treated and controlled, asthma has no cure. I believe that allergists are only working on enhancing a stronger inhaler or medication, not an actual cure.

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10 Facts


1. Asthma is a lung condition in which makes breathing difficult. It is common and affects everyone; young children, teens, adults and elderly people.


2. When people have asthma, the airways are inflamed so they swell up which makes the airways more narrow.


3. During an asthma attack, the muscle tissue in the bronchi has a spasm and produces mucus.


4. Boys have a higher incidence of asthma than girls. It is still unknown why this is.


5. Most children experience their first symptoms of asthma at the age of 5, but it could occur at any age.


6. Unusual symptoms of asthma could include rapid breathing, sighing, fatigue (inability to exercise properly), difficulty sleeping, anxiety (difficulty concentrating), and a chronic cough without wheezing.


7. Currently, asthma is effecting 10-12 percent of children in the U.S. and is steadily increasing.


8. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization for people under the age of 15.


9. Since 1980, asthma has increased 160 percent in children that are at least the age of 4.


10. A mothers exposure to tobacco(smoke) during pregnancy could cause a child to have asthma. Also if the child is exposed to tobacco(smoke) they could developed asthma.

5 Things about how to Maintain a Healthy Condition

1. The asthma patient should stay out of exposure of triggers such as cold air, dust, exercise, or animal dander.


2. If you have asthma, yoga helps reduce stress and control your breathing. It also helps relieve acupuncture to reduce asthma attacks and improve lung function.


3. Some children have experienced improved asthma symptoms but limiting dairy products and sugar in their diet. Studies show the vitamin C helps symptoms as well.


4. Patients should limit their contact with allergens. If they are allergic to peanuts, their household should contain nothing made from peanuts. Also, they should ask when eating somewhere else what ingredients are in the food.


5. An air filter should be used in the patients bedroom to prevent asthma attacks from un-purified or dangerous air.
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Citations

Cramer, David; Costello, Angela. "Asthma." Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health: Infancy through Adolescence. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. 9 Mar. 2015


"TeensHealth." Asthma. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.


"Unusual Asthma Symptoms: Cough, Sleep Problems, Anxiety, and More."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.
Arianna Deldin

A2 3/13/15