Asthma is common disease which affects both children and adults. It can be effectively controlled. But in some cases it may be life threatened
What Asthma is?
Asthma is a long term (chronic) disease. In Asthma the airway of the patient is inflamed and narrow and sometimes it produce 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. only doctor can decide if the patient is asthmatic or not
How doctor investigate (diagnose) asthma?
The first step is physical examination: 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 respiratory function of the patient such as: Spiro-meter, Peak flow, Methacoline 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 risk factors of asthma?
Exposure to tobacco either during pregnancy or in childhood
Low birth weight
• Genetic factors
Presence of asthma medical history increase risk of asthma
• Race and sex
In children boys are more likely to have asthma than girls
Exposure to fumes, chemicals and other substances in work increasing the risk of getting asthma
• Lung infections
Like flu and cold virus
Asthma is a long term disease which can disrupt daily activates and obligate the patient to stay at hospital for long times. Despite that, asthma can be controlled so the patient can live normal life. To control asthma doctor set an” Action plan”. Long term asthma control medications, quick relief (rescue) medications, avoid triggers, vaccination, healthy life style 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 asthma attack
Short-acting beta agonists
Oral and intravenous corticosteroids
• Avoid asthma triggers
Asthma 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
Complications of asthma
Uncontrolled asthma 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 with his doctor regularly.
Asthma and corona-virus
There is no evidence that asthmatic patient are more likely to get corona-virus. But 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 private and public sectors.
responsible for many types of training for different audiences such as doctors, nurseries, technicians, and general public .
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