Asthma is an inflammatory condition from the lungs to the airways. It renders it difficult to breathe. Asthma occurs when your airways swell in the lining and muscles tighten around them. The mucus then fills the airways, further raising the amount of air through which it can travel.

TYPES

  • ·       Allergic Asthma (Extrinsic Asthma)
  • ·       Non-Allergic Asthma (Intrinsic Asthma)
  • ·       Occupational Asthma
  • ·       Nocturnal Asthma

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

AIRWAY INFLAMMATION

Dendritic cell presentation of antigens with lymphocyte and cytokine response leading to inflammation of the airway and symptoms of asthma. Mast cells, eosinophils, epithelial cells, macrophages and activated T lymphocytes are some of the main cells found in airway inflammation. T lymphocytes play a significant role in controlling inflammation in the airway through the release of various cytokines.

Other constituent airway cells, including fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and epithelial cells, contribute to the disease’s synchronicity. An exaggerated response to numerous exogenous and endogenous stimuli is the presence of airway hyper-responsiveness or bronchial hyper-reactivity in asthma. The mechanisms involved include direct stimulation of airway smooth muscle and indirect stimulation from mediator-secreting cells such as mast cells or non-myelinated sensory neurons by pharmacologically active substances.

AIRFLOW OBSTRUCTION

Various changes may cause airflow obstruction, including acute bronchoconstriction, airway oedema, chronic mucous plug formation, and airway remodelling. Obstruction of the airways causes increased airflow resistance and decreased expiratory flow rates. These changes result in a reduced ability to expel air and can lead to hyperinflation.

BRONCHIAL HYPER-RESPONSIVENESS

Hyperinflation compensates for the obstruction of the airflow, but this compensation is reduced when the tidal volume exceeds the pulmonary dead space level; this results in alveolar hyperventilation. Perhaps leading to this misalignment is vasoconstriction due to alveolar hypoxia. Vasoconstriction is also seen as an adaptive response to the mismatch between ventilation and perfusion. Breathing failure results in respiratory acidosis due to carbon dioxide retention as alveolar ventilation decreases.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Coughing, especially at night, when laughing, or during exercise
  • Wheezing, a squealing or whistling sound made when breathing
  • Tightness in the chest

CAUSES

  • Genetics
  • History of viral infections
  • Hygiene hypothesis
  • Early allergen exposure

TRIGGERS

  • Illness
  • Exercise
  • Irritants in the air
  • Allergens
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Emotions

RISK FACTORS

  • Race: African-Americans and Puerto Ricans are more likely to develop asthma.
  • Sex: Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with asthma in childhood.
  • Genetics: Children born to parents with the disease are more likely to develop it.
  • Health history: People diagnosed with certain conditions, including allergies and eczema, are more likely to also be diagnosed with asthma.
  • Age: Asthma can and does develop in adulthood, but the majority of asthma diagnoses are made while a person is still in childhood.
  • Environment: People living in an area with heavy pollution are at a greater risk of developing asthma.
  • Weight: Children and adults who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop asthma.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Health history
  • Physical exam
  • Breathing tests

TREATMENT

INHALED B2 AGONISTS

  • Albuterol nebulizer solution
  • Albuterol MDI
  • Levalbuterol Nebulizer Solution
  • Levalbuterol MDI

SYSTEMIC B AGONISTS

ANTICHOLINERGICS

  • Ipratropium Bromide Nebulizer
  • Ipratropium Bromide MDI

CORTICOSTEROIDS

  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisolone

MANAGEMENT

  • Eating a healthier diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress

PREVENTION

  • Avoiding triggers: Steer clear of chemicals, smells, or products that have caused breathing problems in the past.
  • Reducing exposure to allergens: If you’ve identified allergens, such as dust or mould, that trigger an asthma attack, avoid them as best you can.
  • Getting allergy shots: Allergen immunotherapy is a type of treatment that may help alter your immune system. With routine shots, your body may become less sensitive to any triggers you encounter.
  • Taking preventive medication: A medicine may be prescribed to take on a daily basis. This medicine may be used in addition to the one used in case of an emergency.

Wanna visit home page (click here)