Asthma / Bronchial Asthma Treatment
What is asthma?
In common term asthma is a condition in which airway narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. In medical term, it is defined as a disorder characterized by chronic airway inflammation and increased airway responsiveness resulting in various symptoms.
It is characterized functionally by the presence of airflow obstruction which is variable over short periods of time or is reversible with treatment.
While asthma is twice as common in boys as girls. In contrast adult women have a higher rate of asthma than men and it is more common in the young than the old.
The exact cause is not known but its thought to be a combination of
- Environmental factors such as exposure to certain allergens or certain viral infections and exercise.
The symptoms that are seen in patients of asthma vary from person to person some may have infrequent asthma attack i.e. symptoms only at certain times or have symptoms all the time. The signs and symptoms include are :
Shortness of breath
Chest pain or tightness
A wheezing sound when exhaling
The symptoms are usually worse at night and in the early morning or in response to exercise or cold air.
A diagnosis of asthma should be suspected when there is is a history of recurrent wheezing, coughing or tightness of chest and these symptoms worse during exercise, viral infection , allergens. The test done to confirm asthma is SPIROMETRY.
Many conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of asthma.
- In children other upper respiratory diseases such as allergic rhinitis ,sinusitis , foreign body aspiration , tracheal obstruction ,enlarged lymph nodes .
- In adults COPD ,congestive heart failure, airway masses .
The prognosis for asthma is generally good especially for children with mild disease. Mortality has decreased over the last few decades due to better recognition and improvement in care.