Bronchial asthma is a common chronic lung disease seen in children and adults and it causes varying ranges of mortality in children and adults if not treated properly. It is defined as a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways resulting in airway obstruction due to mucosal edema and mucus production. Asthma is reversible either spontaneously or with treatment, and it can occur at any age. It is the most common chronic disease of childhood. For most of the children this disrupts their school attendance, occupational choices, physical activity and quality of life in general.
There are many causes of asthma. It is very important that the cause of the disease is identified very early in life because this will help to prevent further attacks of the disease.
Allergy can be a predisposing factor for Asthma .common allergens are pollens,dust.mold,grass etc.Even irritants such as pollutants, cold, heat, weather changes, strong odors or perfumes exertion, stress are also triggering factors.
Symptoms of asthma
The three most common symptoms of asthma are cough,dyspnea and wheezing. In some instances cough might be the only symptom which is more at night. Cough may be productive or non -productive. There may be wheezing on expiration accompanied by chest tightness, dyspnea, diaphoresis and tachycardia. When the symptoms occur, the affected person will feel really trouble because the person is not able to take a breath. This can feel terrible, especially for a small child.
Treatment of asthma
Immediate treatment for asthma can help in reducing worsening of the condition as well as speedy recovery. Progressive dyspnea can cause anxiety and can aggravate the situation. Bronchodilators are the drug of choice. It can be short or long acting. There are also corticosteroids to control and reduce mucosal edema thereby reducing the symptoms. Bronchodilators can be used in various forms .They are metered dose inhalers and tablets. Metered dose inhalers are more effective than the other because it does not cause much side effects as well as it acts within 15 minutes.
Asthmatics have to be very careful in preventing exacerbations. They have to avoid exposure to allergens and also protect themselves by taking those drugs wherever they go, especially since this occurs more periodically during the winter season ,precautions have to be taken to prevent attacks.
Triggers causing exacerbations
Viral infections can also be triggers therefore protecting children against viral infections can be made possible. Vaccination against influenza and other pneumococcal vaccines also prevents recurrence in exacerbation.
During acute exacerbation comfort the patient and reduce anxiety and later put the person in a sitting or fowlers position and then give him bronchodilators or if his saturation is low start oxygen and continue with nebulizers if the condition is still the same. Monitor the respiratory rate of the patient, if it increases more than 32/mt then start oxygen. An X-ray will be taken to see the condition and severity.
Prevention of recurrent episodes is the best because there is no specific cure, since it is a chronic lung disease. Parents should try to identify the cause and the triggers that bring on an attack of the disease. They should then try to prevent the trigger. This will prevent the disease on most occasions. Asthma is one of the major diseases that can be better prevented than treating it.
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