Asthma Essay

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This essay will therefore also describe how asthma impacts on its victims and their life style.

Kaufman (2011) describes the pathophysiology of asthma as a pathologic condition which affects the lower respiratory tract by narrowing the airways as a result of epithelial damage, excessive mucus production, oedema, bronchoconstriction and muscle damage.

This increases mucus production, thus forming mucous plugs which can obstruct the airways (Monahan et al. Airway oedema is another change that occurs in the respiratory tract due to asthma.

It involves the dilation and leaking of capillaries in the airway walls which limits airflow (Kaufman 2011). (2007) add that increased capillary permeability and leakage can obstruct the airways due to swelling.

In asthma the cells in the epithelium layer can be destroyed and peel away, making the respiratory tract more susceptible to allergens and infections, thereby contributing to airway hyper-responsiveness (Kaufman 2011).

Asthma also triggers the development of mucus cells and mucus glands.When once the cause of allergy has been established, patients should try to keep away from it.Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student.Exposure to allergens, pollutants, cold air, infection and exercise can increase the risk of asthmatics having an attack (Funnel, Koutoukidis and Lawrence 2009).This essay will discuss on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, medical management and clinical manifestations of asthma.According to NACA (2006) frequent cough, feeling weak, wheezing after exercise, shortness of breath and sleeping difficulties can be early signs of asthma while severe wheezing, continuous cough, rapid breathing, anxiety, chest pain, blue lips and fingernails are the symptoms of severe asthma attacks.Diagnosing asthma can be done by obtaining a detailed history, performing physical examinations, pulmonary function testing, and laboratory assessments (Ignatavicius and Workman 2010) According to Ignatavicius and Workman (2010) it is important to ask patients about any experiences of having shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, wheeze and increased mucus production as well as about their smoking habits and any family history of asthma.Antibiotics are also helpful as they control respiratory infections that aggravate asthmatic conditions.In extreme cases mechanical ventilation can be used if the patient does not respond to any of the above therapy.They also explain that the inflammatory agents such as histamine, tryptase, leukotriences and prostaglandins act on smooth muscles of airway walls and cause bronchoconstriction which restricts the airflow to alveoli.Brown and Edwards (2012) write that wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and cough are the most common clinical manifestations of asthma.

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