What is asthma? Definition of asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can cause difficulty breathing. It is characterized by narrow, inflamed airways (bronchioles).” The word “asthma” is an ancient Greek word that means “shortness of breath” and as the name suggests, it can leave you breathless. An obvious sign of an asthma attack is wheezing for breath. Other asthma symptoms include chest tightness, coughing and shortness of breath.
When the breathing tubes in the lungs become chronically inflamed, they become sensitive to inhaled environmental allergens and irritants, which can trigger asthma. These environmental triggers include pollen, pollution and tobacco smoke. Exercise can also be an asthma trigger for some people.
Who gets asthma?
In the United States, about 25 million people have asthma, and about 6 million of them are children. The condition affects men and women equally.
Asthma can be deadly.
Asthma causes more than 14 million doctor visits and nearly 2 million visits to the emergency room each year. And, unfortunately, asthma can lead to death. Most people who die from asthma are over the age of 50, but children sometimes die from the disease as well.
Asthma Treatment. Inhalants
Asthma inhalers and nebulizers have advantages over oral medications and injections because they deliver the medication directly to your airways. They also have fewer side effects than other forms of asthma medication.
The most common treatment for asthma is the use of a device called an inhaler. An inhaler is a small device that delivers asthma medication directly into the airways. There are two types of inhalers.
Metered-dose inhalers (MDIs). MDI’s are the most common type of inhaler. They squirt medication from the inhaler like an aerosol can.
Dry powder inhaler. Dry powder inhalers provide a powdered medication that does not squirt out of the inhaler. Instead, the user must inhale the drug quickly and forcefully.
Sometimes, metered dose inhalers are used in conjunction with a device called a spacer. Spacers help coordinate breathing with the release of asthma medication and use smaller droplets that are easier to inhale.
Infants and young children cannot use inhalers. For them, a nebulizer can be used. The nebulizer is powered by electricity and turns asthma medicine into a fine mist.
Respiratory System. How it should work
Breathing is the process by which our body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. This process becomes more difficult during an asthma attack.
As you inhale, air passes through your windpipe (trachea). At the same time, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, creating air spaces in your chest cavity. The air enters your lungs, passes through your bronchial tubes, and finally enters your small air sacs (alveoli).
Oxygen from the air enters the bloodstream from the alveoli through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. The capillaries carry this oxygen-rich blood to the pulmonary veins, which in turn carry it to the left side of the heart. The heart then pumps the oxygen-rich blood to other parts of your body.
When you exhale, air rich in carbon dioxide (CO2) is expelled from your lungs, through your windpipe, and out through your nose and/or mouth. In vitro.
How does asthma affect breathing?
During an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and sensitive. The swelling narrows the airways, making it difficult to breathe and often leading to wheezing and wheezing. There are three factors that can cause the airways to narrow.
Overreaction (Asthma Triggers)
Asthma Causes. Inflammation
Inflammation is the main cause of airway narrowing during an asthma attack. It makes the airways more swollen and sensitive. When the airways are inflamed, the passage of air becomes smaller. In addition, during an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways may tighten, further narrowing the airflow opening.
As the airways respond to inflammation, they also produce more mucus. This viscous fluid can clump together and also narrow the air passages.
In addition, certain allergic and inflammatory cells (white blood cells, including eosinophils) can collect at the site of inflammation and cause tissue damage. Further narrowing of the airways. This chain reaction leads to difficulty breathing during an asthma attack.
What are the causes of asthma? bronchospasm
The larger tubes that separate from the airways into the lungs are called bronchioles. These tubes are surrounded by muscles, and when the muscles of the bronchial tubes contract during asthma, they block your airways. When the bronchial muscles contract in asthma, they block the airways in a process called bronchospasm.
Coughing and wheezing may be symptoms of bronchospasm, which occurs when the airways are irritated by cold air. Bronchospasms may occur suddenly. It can be treated with medications called bronchodilators.
What are the causes of asthma? Causes of Asthma
People with asthma may become hypersensitive (overreact) to certain inhaled allergens or irritants. Known as asthma triggers, these triggers can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways. This occurs because some people’s bodies are immunologically predisposed to overreact to certain substances. The exact substance that may cause this reaction varies from person to person. In the next three slides, we’ll review asthma triggers in more detail.
Types of Asthma Triggers
Things that can trigger an asthma attack are called “triggers”. Not everyone with asthma has the same triggers. Triggers can be allergens or irritants. People with asthma need to know what their triggers are so that they can be best controlled and avoided.
Identifying and avoiding triggers can help you prevent further asthma attacks. Allergists and immunologists are doctors who specialize in helping patients identify irritants and allergies that cause problems like asthma. They can help develop a plan to avoid asthma triggers in order to optimize daily health.
Asthma Triggers. Allergens
Asthma can have both allergic and non-allergic triggers. The triggers for allergic asthma include many allergens. Some of these allergens include
Some foods, including peanuts, eggs, dairy, soy and fish.
Asthma Triggers. Irritants
Non-allergic asthma triggers include many irritants. Some of these come from environmental toxins, including tobacco smoke, fumes and various chemicals, dust and occupational gases. They can also come from medications, such as over-the-counter painkillers and beta-blockers. Sometimes respiratory tract infections can trigger asthma, as can GERD. Exercise can also cause asthma attacks.
Asthma symptoms in adults and children
Asthma can develop at any age. However, asthma does tend to start in children between the ages of 2 and 6. At this age, asthma is usually triggered by allergens, such as dust mites, tobacco smoke, and dust mites. In younger children, asthma may first be diagnosed as a reactive airway disease (RAD).
Asthma can also occur in adults, and only about 30% of asthma triggers for adult-onset asthma are related to allergies. Risk factors for adult-onset asthma include female, obesity, hormonal fluctuations such as during or after pregnancy or menopause. and viruses or other infections.
Type of Asthma. Allergic (Extrinsic)
Allergic (extrinsic) asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergic reaction. It is an example of your immune system reacting to an irritant. Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, affecting more than half of all patients. It can usually be controlled with medication and tends to be less severe than other forms of asthma.
Type of Asthma. Non-allergic (intrinsic)
Non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma is caused by factors other than allergies, such as exercise, stress, cold air inhalation, smoke, viral infections and other irritants. This type of asthma is less common, occurs more often in adults, and is more difficult to treat than allergic (extrinsic) asthma. In many cases, this type seems to be more severe.
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
Different people experience asthma differently. When asthma is under control, you may have fewer or no symptoms. Asthma symptoms are the same for both allergic and non-allergic types. These symptoms include
shortness of breath (medicine)
high mucus production
Not every person with asthma will have every symptom, and the severity of symptoms will vary from person to person – even an individual’s symptoms will be Changes over time.
Asthma. Mild to severe
The U.S. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program classifies asthma into the following four categories based on the patient’s symptoms and pulmonary function tests.
acute asthma attack
An asthma attack is an acute exacerbation of asthma symptoms. During an acute asthma attack, there is inflammation, bronchospasm and excessive mucus production. These can lead to the following symptoms
shortness of breath (medicine)
Interference with daily activities
Usually an asthma attack can be controlled with an inhaler (inhaled bronchodilator). When this does not work, the patient should immediately call 911 or be taken to the emergency room. When asthma does not respond to initial treatment, it can lead to a life-threatening reaction called an asthmatic state.
Asthma screening and testing
There are several tests to determine if you have asthma and how severe your asthma is. Pulmonary function tests measure how well your lungs are functioning. These tests may include a spirometry or peak flow meter test.
A bronchial challenge test can help your doctor determine how well your lungs are responding to environmental triggers. Such tests include a methacholine challenge test, a histamine challenge test, and a bronchial vibration test.
Blood tests measure the IgE antibodies released during an allergic reaction. Other tests may be used to rule out other causes of shortness of breath, including acid reflux and sleep apnea. A chest x-ray or electrocardiogram is sometimes performed to detect foreign bodies in the lungs or other conditions.
Medical treatment of asthma
Asthma medications are divided into long-term control and rapid relief. Most medications are inhaled, rather than taken in tablet or liquid form, and act directly on the airways where breathing problems begin.
Medications for long-term control include
Montelukast, an oral medication that helps prevent wheezing and breathing difficulties.
Cromolyn, taken by nebulizer or inhaler.
Omalizumab (anti-IgE), administered by injection
Long-acting beta2-agonists (bronchodilators)
Oral leukotriene modulators
Rapid relief medications include.
Salbutamol and other short-acting beta2 agonists (bronchodilators).
Medications commonly used in inhalers and nebulizers include the following three categories.
Inhaled corticosteroids. Inhaled corticosteroids can reduce airway inflammation. Sometimes these medications are even used for people who do not have any asthma symptoms because they can help prevent future asthma attacks.
Short-acting bronchodilators. Bronchodilators do not contain steroids. They work by relaxing the tiny muscles that can tighten the airways during an asthma attack. Short-acting bronchodilators provide quick relief from asthma symptoms.
Long-acting bronchodilators. Long-acting bronchodilators are taken daily to help control asthma and prevent future asthma attacks. Types of long-acting bronchodilators include salmeterol and formoterol.
Asthma Review. Asthma Review: quick facts
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can make it difficult to breathe. It causes inflammation, swelling, and narrowing of the airways (bronchial tubes).
Approximately 25 million people in the United States have asthma, 6 million of whom are children.
The diagnosis of asthma is based on a physical exam and the patient’s medical history. A breathing test is used to confirm the diagnosis.
Asthma is caused by three main factors: inflammation, bronchospasm, and hyperresponsiveness.
Allergy plays a role in some, but not all, cases of asthma.
Allergens and irritants can cause asthma attacks. When they do so, they are called “triggers.”
The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers as much as possible, which is different for every asthma sufferer.
Medications can reverse or prevent bronchospasms.