Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

Ten Symptoms of Asthma You Need To Know

Asthma is one of those very common conditions that almost everyone has heard of, or knows of somebody who is affected. Asthma can affect everyone - male or female, young or old - and it is a devastating condition which, in its worst form, can prove fatal. In fact, asthma is a disease which is described as being a chronic disease of the lungs which become inflamed and thus breathing becomes increasingly difficult. During an asthma attack the respiratory tract may become blocked or obstructed causing inflammation; and thus hyper responsiveness occurs.

The symptoms of asthma are very similar to those of general respiratory tract infections, bronchitis and emphysema and are therefore often overlooked by doctors when trying to make a diagnosis. It is, therefore, extremely important to tell your doctor if you suffer from any of the following 9 symptoms, so that a correct diagnosis - and thus correct treatment - can be made.

Asthma Symptoms

• Wheezing is one of the most important symptoms in making a diagnosis of asthma, as this whistling sound indicates that the bronchi may be blocked or inflamed.

• Pursed lips and flared nostrils also differentiate asthma from the more common respiratory tract infections, in that these two symptoms indicate the great difficulty the patient is having in trying to get air into their lungs.

• A greyish or bluish tinge to the patient's lips and/or finger nails indicates a lack of oxygen - known as cyanosis - which is another indication of how serious the breathing problem is.

• The need to be seated in an upright position during an attack is another indication of asthma, as in such a position the lungs are not compressed, thus giving them a larger overall area to absorb the scarce amounts of oxygen being able to be drawn into the lungs.

• Perspiring or sweating indicates the huge amount of difficulty and exertion the patient has to put into getting air some at least some air into his or her lungs.

• A rapid pulse rate is a symptom of asthma, again caused by the exertion of breathing, but this is not a symptom of more common respiratory tract infections.

• Having a persistent cough could be a symptom of many diseases or disorders of the respiratory tract, but when combined with all the other symptoms of asthma, it is one of the known pointers.

• The feeling of tightness across the chest area is another symptom which could relate to all kinds of respiratory tract infections but, again, when linked to all the other asthma symptoms, helps to pull the diagnosis together.

• Clearly, difficulty in breathing is one of the clearest indications of asthma, but it is another symptom with widespread connotations.

Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

The Facts About Asthma

It seems that these days more and more kids are discovering that they have asthma. For some it is allergy related and for others it may be environmental or hereditary. While in our current society we seem to act as if difficulty breathing is normal, the truth is that it isn't. Everyone should be able to breathe and if they can't there are probably some significant reasons for this difficulty.

Many doctors believe that it is because many children are not given the opportunity to develop fully, and that maybe the timetable that Obstetricians are using to figure out when babies should be born may be off either because the amount of time that it takes a fetus to develop is increasing or because there are so many babies being taken out before they are truly full term. Of course, being that the lungs are one of the final organs to develop this could be a major contributing factor to the increase in asthma in children.

Many factors exist that can add to breathing issues in the young and we ought to be careful not to fail to notice troubles with the atmosphere, problems with cigarette smoke and other pollutants in the atmosphere, in addition to all the other irritants we are exposed to daily. There are even persons who think that the augment in instances of asthma may be due to partially the prenatal examinations performed habitually on the fetus.

A food allergy can also cause asthma flare-ups. Additionally allergens in the air can stop a person from inhalation and leave them out of breath. This can be an extremely scary experience for both kids as well as adults. When a person cannot inhale or exhale it only takes a small number of minutes prior to their color change and they faint which is the reason it is so significant to recognize an asthma attack in the early hours and to bring life-saving medication around with you as backup.

Asthma is considered a very common condition these days and while there are instances of individuals dying from asthma for the most part by using cortico-steroids and a rescue inhaler most people can live a relatively normal life. This does not mean that we should consider not having the ability to breathe freely as a normal facet of life. Everyone should be able to breathe freely and if there are things you can do to avoid those issues that cause asthma flare-ups then that is definitely a better way to manage your asthma.

Senin, 20 Februari 2012

All About Asthma - Introduction and Info on Asthma


Asthma affects more than 5 million people in the United Kingdom and for the majority it is a disease that can be well managed with readily available current therapies. Sadly, in the region of 1,500 patients continue to die from their asthma every year. As well as those patients that suffer a fatal asthma attack (FA), there is a cohort of patients that have suffered from a near fatal asthma attack and are subsequently at higher risk of morbidity and mortality. near fatal asthma attack is defined by the British Thoracic Society (BTS) as an asthma attack associated with a raised PaCO2 and/or requiring mechanical ventilation with raised inflation pressures.Patients with fatal asthma have been hypothesised as representing two distinct subgroups according to the onset of symptoms prior to death. One of the scientist examined the autopsy findings of 37 subjects aged 2 to 34 years dying from asthma and classified them as slow onset (Type 1) (n=21) or rapid onset (Type 2) (n=16). Subjects did not differ by age, race, sex, obesity or use of corticosteroids. Type 1 mortalities were hospitalised more and made more emergency room visits in the year prior to death than type 2 mortalities. Slow onset patients had a predominance of eosinophils and basement membrane thickening along with higher health care utilisation.

Incidence and prevalence of fatal and near fatal asthma

Specific data on FA and near fatal asthma attack in the UK are hampered by the lack of a fatal asthma registry. Two studies have attempted to circumvent this problem in different fashions. Harrison et attempted to analyse all asthma deaths in the Eastern region between 2001 and 2003 by means of a confidential enquiry and compared it with previous Norwich and East Anglian data. Between 1998 and 2003 there was a downward trend in the asthma mortality rate. Misclassification on the death certificate was common. Only 57 of 95 notified deaths (60%) were confirmed as asthma deaths. 311 asthma deaths were studied between 1998 and 2003. In 2001-3 the male: female ratio was 3:2. 53% of patients had severe asthma and 21% moderately severe disease. In 19 cases (33%) at least one significant co-morbid disease was present. Monthly death rates peaked in August, with a smaller peak in April, suggesting a seasonal allergic cause. In 11 cases (20%), mostly males aged under 20, the final attack was sudden and 10/11 occurred between April and August. Therefore in 80% of deaths the final attack was not sudden, and may have been preventable. In 81% of cases there was significant behavioural and/or psychosocial factors such as poor compliance (61%), smoking (46%), denial (37%), depression (20%) and alcohol abuse (20%). The overall medical care was appropriate in only 33% of cases, leading the authors to conclude that 'at-risk' registers in primary care may improve recognition and management of 'at-risk' patients. Watson et analysed data from the CHKS database, which provides data on 70% of inpatient coverage in the UK. Between 2000-2005 the mortality rate was 1063 patients from 250,043 asthma admissions. December and January had the peak number of deaths post asthma admission, which were nearly all in adults. Women and those over 45 years had the highest rate of death. These 2 studies demonstrate that in the UK there is a peak in asthma deaths in young people (aged up to 44 years) in July and August and in December and January in older people.

Risk factors associated with fatal and near fatal asthma

A systematic review of the risk factors associated with near fatal asthma attack and FA has been performed by Alvarez et. Increased use of beta-agonists, oral steroids, theophylline and a history of hospital and/or ICU admissions and mechanical ventilation due to asthma were predictors of near fatal asthma attack and FA. The use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) demonstrated a trend toward a protective effect against FA. Poor compliance with prescribed medication is a key issue; approximately 60% of patients that die from asthma demonstrate evidence of poor compliance to medication, in particular to ICS. Severe asthma and FA may also be associated with fungal sensitization. Many airborne fungi are involved including species of Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium, and exposure may be indoors, outdoors or both. Prevention of fatal and near fatal asthma What can be done to prevent FA and near fatal asthma attack attacks? The majority of severe asthma attacks develop relatively slowly with more than 80% developing over greater than 48 hours. There are many similarities between patients with FA, near fatal asthma attack and control patients with asthma that are admitted to hospital, indicating that better management of high risk patients including early intervention has the capacity to prevent asthma deaths. Improving patient compliance is of key importance in preventing FA and near fatal asthma attack, but this is never easy in clinical practice. Effective measures to improve compliance include patient-directed consultations and addressing patients' fears of ICS side effects. It is critical that patients do not use long acting bronchodilators (LABA) in the absence of ICS; pragmatically this is best achieved, in those patients who need both drugs, by prescribing combination ICS/LABA inhalers, thus guaranteeing ICS delivery to the patient.

Sabtu, 18 Februari 2012

Asthma and Asthma Action Plan

Asthma is an allergic inflammation of the lungs, which is usually triggered by pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, air pollution, chemicals, exercise, temperature changes or ingestion of certain foods. During an asthma attack the walls of the lungs turn out to be swollen and the mucus membranes fill with fluid and thick, sticky mucus making it hard to breathe. Asthma symptoms can include a scratchy throat, coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight feeling in the chest. An asthma attack can be mild, moderate or severe and lasting for a few minutes, hours, or even several days. People with asthma should have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan lets you and your doctor to make a personalized plan for controlling your asthma.

The main key to understanding and controlling asthma is to know yourself. One person might get a severe asthma reaction from a minor whiff of perfume, whilst another asthma sufferer has no reaction at all to the very similar trigger. Everybody who suffers from asthma is unique and is affected differently so the asthma action plan should be tailored plan which helps you manage your asthma.

Knowing when to get emergency help for a severe attack can save your life. If you are experiencing the following, you should look for immediate medical attention:

you have intense difficulty breathing, talking and walking,
your chest feels tight and your ribs are pulled inward as you breathe,
your medication does not control your symptoms
your fingernails or lips are turning blue,
your nostrils flare when you breathe

Very often things that we have eaten, used or are a part of our surroundings for years can unexpectedly become asthma triggers. Because there are so many variables involved that affect getting control of your asthma, the first thing you should do is keep a notebook as a part of your asthma action plan. This will help you identify your triggers. Once you recognize what they are, you can either take away these triggers or reduce them as much as possible.

Some people have both food and environmental triggers or allergies that they are unaware of. This can make determining specific triggers and controlling asthma symptoms much more complex, so keeping a notebook as a part of your asthma action plan is important. If you find that you are feeling asthmatic after consuming some food or drink, one of those stuff could be the culprit, but because you have also eaten quite a few things during the day, it's not always easy to know precisely what it was that caused the difficulty. If you evidence details of everything that was eaten every time you experienced asthma symptoms, you'll see a pattern developing, which will help you to discover exactly what your trigger is. Once you determine your triggers, you can then begin to eliminate them or reduce them as much as possible. This will help bring your asthma under control and help lessen your asthma symptoms.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2012

The Different Types Of Breathing Disorders

There are a lot of breathing disorders that people can suffer from. Some of these breathing problems can be caused by smoking. One of those disorders is emphysema. This disease is primarily caused by smoking and can cause shortness of breath in people who suffer from this disorder. The cigarette smoke can cause the alveolar sacs in the lungs to become damaged, which means they cannot function properly. These sacs are where the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide occur. Since there is trouble with the transfer of carbon dioxide, it makes it harder to breath, which is where the shortness of breath comes from. Carbon dioxide is a waste product, and if it is not expelled from the blood then it can cause some problems to whoever suffers from this disorder.

Another breathing disorder that smokers can suffer from is chronic bronchitis. There is another form of bronchitis, which is acute bronchitis. This disorder is not usually seen in smokers, because it is usually caused by a virus. Chronic bronchitis happens to smokers because they are constantly abusing their lungs, so it makes it difficult for the lungs to heal. The best way to treat this disorder is simply to quit smoking so that your lungs can heal. Some of the symptoms of chronic bronchitis is coughing accompanies by mucus, shortness of breath and sometimes fever, chest pains and fatigue. If you feel that you are suffering from either form of bronchitis it would be a good idea to go to a doctor and get checked out so you can treat it properly.

One of the breathing disorders that non-smokers suffer from is asthma. Sometimes this disorder can be caused by the environment. For example, if you are someone who does not respond well to dust in the air, you can get an asthma attack from dusty surroundings. The same can be said about people who have problems with animal hair. Other people can have asthma problems due to genetics. Some of the people who have problems with asthma will use an inhaler when they have asthma attacks, and also before an asthma attack in order to prevent them from happening. Some of the symptoms of asthma is coughing, wheezing and having a hard time breathing. This breathing disorder is decently common around the world.

One more breathing disorder worth noting is rhinitis. This is more commonly known as a stuffy nose. Some people may find it surprising that this is classified as a breathing disorder, but it does impede people's ability to breath. A reason why sufferers have a hard time breathing with this disorder is because of nasal inflammation. The airways in the nasal cavity become constricted, which makes it harder to breath. This can cause forced breathing, which is very annoying. This disorder can be caused by a virus, bacteria, allergens, or it can even be hormonal. It is difficult to treat because there are so many causes that rhinitis can be from. If you suffer from any of the breathing disorders, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.