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Causes of asthma, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Asthma is a chronic disease, the inflammation and constriction of the airways causes restricts the passage of air. It may be due to inherited characteristics, but that does not mean that the child of an asthmatic person is bound to the disease.

The narrowing of the airways, which may reverse spontaneously or with medication, sometimes endangering the lives of patients.

In general, asthma treatment and practice of preventive measures can be controlled. Medical care is always important.

Asthma can affect people of all ages and races. It is estimated to affect about 10% of children and 6% of adults, but the incidence is increasing worldwide.

The origins of asthma

The air we breathe, the lungs through a tube that begins in the throat, called the trachea. At its base, the trachea divides into two smaller lines, the two bronchi, each discharging a lung. Bronchi, which are further divided into segments of progressively smaller size. The smallest of them, are the millions who are at the ends of this "tree", called bronchioles. Each bronchiole ends in a small bag, the alveoli. And right here in the alveoli that gas exchange, the blood absorbs oxygen and removes carbon dioxide in the air is that the opposite approach - the alveoli, the bronchi and trachea, nose and mouth, and from there to the body .

In a fit of asthma, the mechanism by errors caused by narrowing of the airway muscle contraction of the walls of the channels - a phenomenon known bronchospasm - as well as by increasing the production of secretions (sputum) of the lung.

In the bronchial walls of asthma patients cells which cause, under the stimulation of various agents, inflammation and bronchospasm are consistent can. Perpetuated if the inflammation of the bronchial tubes is more sensitive to deterioration of disease progression.

Cause

Asthma attacks can be triggered by various factors. The patient or caregiver should observe what usually solve the crisis in order to improve the effectiveness of prevention measures.

Among the most common triggers are: house dust - dust mites, the (small arachnids can solve substances harmful to the human body), hair and feathers of animals, allergens (any agent that causes allergies), food, cigarette smoke, strong odors, infections by viruses, sudden changes in temperature and emotional factors.

Constant exposure to inducing agents may lead to asthma epidemics increasingly intense and frequent. This can be caused, for example, the so-called occupational asthma by inhalation substances in the work environment. If the diagnosis of occupational asthma, we have to work absence.

Diagnosis

It is based on physical examination and history-based. It is important that the physician receives a broad range of information, especially regarding the possible etiologic factors and the intensity and frequency of attacks.

It is possible to prove the obstruction of the airways by methods such as the measurement of peak flow and spirometry (

also known as a pulmonary function test, it is with a device called a spirometer, which measures the volume of air breathed in and out already).

The diagnosis is often difficult especially in infants and the elderly. In the first case of asthma disease may also contain various clinical state of respiratory distress (including infections caused by viruses) has. In older patients can easily be confused with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF).

This is a special circumstance called asthmatics, where hospitalization is necessary because the crisis is serious enough to not be able to control it with the usual therapeutic measures. In extreme cases it can lead to respiratory arrest, the use of artificial respiration.

Symptoms

The most common are: shortness of breath (dyspnoea), persistent cough and shortness of breath. The tightness in the chest when you wake up, can mean a manifestation of the so-called nocturnal asthma. The intensity and frequency of symptoms vary from person to person.

Coughing - sometimes the only symptom of asthma, especially in children, usually worse at night. It can be as bad, and if so, taken from vomiting, after intense physical activity or in case of infection.

There are periods when the symptoms become more intense: they are called asthma attacks.

Treatment

The first step is to identify the cause of the crisis to try to avoid them. In addition, a recipe follow and learn to recognize periods of deterioration, in an attempt to further crises are controlled almost every time can be recognized immediately to prevent.

Drugs

They can be embossed, used in emergency situations. They are essentially bronchodilators (expand the airways by relaxing muscles in the airway wall)

It can coticoides acting "steroids", which reduce inflammation of the bronchi

Preventive medicines are used to detect the occurrence of seizures should not be used during an acute process, but also prevent long-term treatment, prophylactic characteristic. This is especially inhaled steroids (such as cortisone "inhalers") and inhibitors or leukotriene antagonists (substances that trigger inhibit the effect of asthma), in the form of tablets, submitted.

Since asthma is a disease of the airways, where possible, should be on medication is administered by inhalation, are preferred, such as "crackers", solutions or inhalation of dry powder inhalers

Forecast

Asthma is a chronic disease that, in extreme cases, may even be life threatening. But in general, it is easily controlled through the adoption of appropriate treatment. In this case, the patient can get rid of symptoms, particularly those that cause the most discomfort, shortness of breath and coughing.

Asthma can begin in childhood, at some point, spontaneously regress and do not manifest themselves for years or for life. In other situations, it improves youth to adulthood later, again with more intensity. Therefore, doctors are not able to forecast with any certainty the likely evolution of the disease may show.

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