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What is Asthma? Edit

Asthma is a breathing condition (that people are usually born with). It causes difficulty in breathing when there is spasms in the bronchi of the lungs. It usually happens because of an allergic reaction. There is swelling and mucus in the breathing tubes in your lungs. The inflammation of the airway is what causes it to be very sensitive. It can tighten and block the airways. Asthma is a respiratory condition that usually happens when someone with asthma is having an allergic or other forms of reactions. When someone is having an asthma attack they usually will have difficulty breathing.

A reaction of the body is when the walls of the trachea and the bronchi constrict, causing shortness and

AsthmaAirways

difficulty when breathing. This is usually a reaction to an allergy or a sensitivity to something. I.e. dust mites, animals, etc

Asthma is a long term lung disease which temporarily agitates and tightens airways. Airways are tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. This is how it should work, but people with asthma have a narrow and inflamed airway which makes it difficult for air to pass through these tubes. As the airways get inflamed or agitated they get tighter, swollen, and more sensitive. 

How does it connect to the Respiratory System? Edit

Asthma connects to the respiratory system because asthma is a respiratory condition that occurs when airways in the lungs close up and causes a patient to have difficulty breathing. Asthma mainly affects the bronchi. The bronchi is a passage of airway that allows air into the lungs. The bronchi goes into smaller tubes, which are bronchioles.

This disease is connected to the respiratory system because it directly affects the system as it constricts the bronchi and can prevent breathing in some serious cases, stopping the system from working.

The respiratory system carries oxygen to the lungs and removes carbon dioxide from the body. As people breath through the mouth or nose, air goes through airways into the chest. The airways then split into smaller airways which are called the bronchioli. These new smaller tubes begin to turn into even smaller tubes until they reach the nodes in your lungs. Asthma affects the bronchial tubes. When you have asthma the tubes are very sensitive and narrow which makes it difficult for oxygen to pass through the bronchial tubes. The airways also produce a thick mucus which blocks the air tubes. 

Signs and Symptoms Edit

The most common signs of asthma are:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightness
  • difficulty with breathing
  • not being able to do physical activity

- Coughing:

o Specifically at night, when laughing, and when exercising

- Wheezing

o  Chest whistles or squeaks when breathing specifically exhaling

Diagnosis Edit

Talk to your doctor about your breathing difficulty, if your doctor confirms you have Asthma then he will do some tests. These tests are spirometry and methacholine tests. The Spirometry test, tests how much and fast you can breathe through your lungs. For the Methacholine test, the patient will breathe in nebulized methacholine through a mask that turns the methacholine into a gas, so it can be breathed in. There are two ways in which you could get asthma. First, you could have Asthma because of your family history. If someone in your family has Asthma than you may as well. Second, you could have it because you got an allergic reaction. Asthma can worsen from the environment outside which causes the airways to swell even more.

Looking through medical history and doing breathing tests. Some of these tests are called spirometry. Spirometry is a test where you test your lung capacity by taking a deep breath and blow into a sensor to measure the amount of air your lungs can hold and the speed of the air you inhale or exhale. This test diagnoses asthma severity and measures how well treatment is working.

To test if someone has asthma they have to take a lung function test. There are two different types of tests, spirometry test and methacholine challenge test. The spirometry test is a quick test that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs. The methacholine challenge test is a test that will only be taken if the spirometry test is unclear or may be untrue. Patients must breath into a nebulized methacholine or histamine to get results.

Treatment Edit

Inhaler

If a patient appears to have asthma the patient’s doctor should prescribe an inhaler (which opens up the airways), or bronchial thermoplasty. Bronchial Thermoplasty is a procedure that uses gentle heat to shrink the smooth muscles in your lungs. The inhaler for asthma should be taken every day, and is a long-term treatment for asthma. The inhaler helps to open closed airways that are limiting breathing. A short-term treatment is short-acting beta agonists. When these are inhaled they will act within minutes opening up airways that have been closed due to an asthma attack. These short-term treatments are best taken when an asthma attack is in progress.

Avoid triggers, i.e. don’t get a dog if you are allergic to dogs. The other option would be to use an inhaler or puffer, which gives you corticosteroids, which reduce the inflammation of the walls of the bronchi.

Controller medications and quick relief medications can also be used to treateat Asthma. The controller medications prevent asthma attacks. The quick relief medication relaxes airways muscles so air can pass through the body with no trouble.

References Edit

http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/asthma.aspx

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma

http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/what-is-asthma

http://www.hadassah-med.com/children-site/parents/chronic-deseases/asthma

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