Describe the symptoms and treatment of asthma

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Unfortunately asthma can be inherited and in many children asthma is diagnosed after having a cold or fever. Studies shows that a high percentage of these children, during their lifetime will have a higher chance of getting rid of the disease. On the other hand if asthma is inherited, most likely the patient will be diagnosed during his or her lifetime. According to statistics, asthma is one of the most common physiological disorders and it can affect all ages. Nowadays, we have specific treatments to control the disease but unfortunately, till now, there is no cure. One of the most important functions of the respiratory system is to breathe. Air is inhaled through the mouth or nose, it then moves through the pharynx, larynx and trachea into the lungs. After that process, the air is exhaled through the same pathway. During normal inhalation the external intercostal muscles and diaphragm contract and as a result of this the rib cage elevates. Due to this the volume of the lungs increases, air pressure drops so air rushes in. On the other hand during normal exhalation the muscles relax, lungs become smaller, air pressure rises and air is expelled.

Asthma is a lung disease which narrows and inflames the air ways, we have tubes which they carry air into our lungs. When a person is diagnosed with asthma these tubes are inflamed. This inflammation makes the airways terribly swollen and sensitive. Due to this the inflammation starts reacting to certain substances that enter the airway. Once the airway starts reacting to these substances our muscles tighten up, as a result of this the airways are narrowed so less air enters to the lungs. Asthma has an impact on other body systems, these are the immune system, the nervous system and the respiratory system. Starting off with the first system, the respiratory system of a person with asthma is more sensitive to environmental irritants than of a normal person. When there is contact with an environmental irritant, automatically the airway narrows making it more difficult to breathe. Second system, the immune system, our immune system helps our body to fight germs. When a person is diagnosed with asthma, his immune system is more sensitive to substances that are not harmful to those who do not have asthma. The last system that I am going to explain is the nervous system. According to John Hopkins University “research indicates that asthma affects your nervous system, a nerve growth factor a nervous system protein, has been found to increase sensitivity to irritants among people suffering from asthma and allergies”. (Apryl Bevelery: 2014)

In this paragraph I am going to mention and explain some asthma symptoms starting off with the first symptom wheezing. Wheezing is one of the most common symptoms, wheezing is a squeaky noise which is normally heard while the person is sleeping. Wheezing can be heard more during this period because the airway normally narrows during respiration. Wheezing happens because there is a narrowing or obstruction from the level of the larynx to the small bronchi. According to studies, wheezing is said to happen by oscillations and vibrations of the airway walls. This sound is formed when air passes through a narrowed portion of the airway, then air passes with high velocity producing a decrease in gas pressure which later on it is flown in the constricted region. Once it arrives in the internal airway the pressure begins to increase which will be barely able to reopen the airway lumen. A second symptom coughing, a person diagnosed with asthma can suffer from coughs during an asthmatic attack, one can think that coughs are painful but it is a natural reflex which protects our lungs. This happens by clearing foreign substances that our body does not want. This process starts by, when an unwanted substance enters, our nerves sends an electric impulse to the brain to tell our muscles in our chest and abdomen to contract against these substances.  When the nerve endings of our airways become irritated coughs usually occurs. After this contraction it will release large amounts of air and high amount of strength to eject these substances. There are different types of coughs namely chronic and acute. Chronic cough means that the cough will stay longer, most probably this is due to a medical condition. While acute cough means that the cough happens only at that moment. The last symptom that I am going to mention is chest tightness and shortness of breath, these are also common symptoms. A patient who is not diagnosed with asthma has a clear bronchiole wall, this wall will be relaxed and provides an open airway. On the other hand a patient with asthma will be very sensitive to irritants, as a result of this when an irritant occurs most probably it will inflame this wall. A list of these irritants can be smoke, stress, dust mites, infections and many more. Due to these problems such as releasing leukotrienes, result of this an inflammation may occur which unfortunately will lead to overproduction of mucus. Overproduction of the mucus will result in constriction in the bronchiole making it difficult for air to move in the lungs. As a result of this an asthmatic attack can occur.

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There are specific factors which may result in triggering asthma, starting off with the first factor which is environmental. Nowadays we live in an environment which has a high amount of pollutants such as, flower scents, mould, pests, dust mites, tobacco, animal dander, car pollution, extreme weather and many more. There are certain factors that we can control especially those that we can find indoors. Those that are found indoors can be controlled in order to avoid asthma triggers, an example of this can be cleaning weekly, keeping pets out of rooms, removing carpets, servicing the air conditioners and ...

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