What is Asthma?
Asthma is a common disease which affects both children and adults. It can be effectively controlled. But in some cases, it may be life threatened
It is a long term (chronic) disease. In Asthma the airway of the patient is inflamed and narrow and sometimes it produces sputum more than usual, so the lung cannot carry air in and out efficiently. This is called “asthmatic attack”.
What are the symptoms of Asthma?
• Whistling sound when breathing
• Shortness of breath
• Tightness of chest
• Sleeping disorders
Well, if the patient suffers from one or more of these symptoms, shall we consider him as an asthmatic patient? The answer is no. the only doctor can decide if the patient is asthmatic or not
How do doctors investigate?
The first step is physical examination: the doctor will ask the patient about symptoms (how much they occur, when they occur, what make them worsen).
Also, the doctor will ask the patient about his medical history and his family medical history
The second step is the clinical tests: some physical tests are conducted to measure the respiratory function of the patient such as Spiro-meter, Peak flow, Methacholine challenge, Chest x-ray, CT.
If the patient is a child it will be difficult to conduct some tests of them. In this case, the doctor will give the child an anti-asthma drug. If the symptoms relive the child will be treated as an asthmatic patient
Why some people are more likely to get asthma?
In another word
What are the risk factors in Asthma?
Exposure to tobacco either during pregnancy or in childhood
Low birth weight
• Genetic factors
Presence of medical history increase risk
• Race and sex
In children, boys are more likely to have this disease than girls
Exposure to fumes, chemicals and other substances in work increasing the risk of getting this disease.
• Lung infections
Like flu and cold virus
It is a long term disease which can disrupt daily activates and obligate the patient to stay at the hospital for long times. Despite that, it can be controlled so the patient can live a normal life. To control pulmonologists set an” Action plan”. Long term asthma control medications, quick-relief (rescue) medications, avoid triggers, vaccination, healthy lifestyle are the main points of the action plan
• Long term medications:
are used every day to keep asthma under control, they may be one or a combination of ;
• Quick-relief (rescue) medications:
are used for rapid, short-term symptoms relief during an attack
Oral and intravenous corticosteroids
• Avoid triggers
The attack in some patients may occur or worsen due to some triggers like
Infections (cold and flu)
Detergents and perfumes
Medications (anti-inflammatory pain killer like aspirin and ibuprofen)
Changes in temperature and humidity
Stress or laughter
• Vaccination against respiratory viruses like influenza may be useful
• Good lifestyle
If this disease gets uncontrolled it may cause life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and respiratory failure. Asthma may cause abortion if the patient is pregnant. So the patient must pay strong attention to his case and contact his doctor regularly.
Asthma and corona-virus
There is no evidence that asthmatic patient is more likely to get corona-virus. But the corona-virus infection can cause bad complication if the patient is asthmatic. So asthmatic patients must be more careful than anyone.
pharmacist with experience in both the private and public sectors.
responsible for many types of training for different audiences such as doctors, nurseries, technicians, and the general public.
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