Introduction:Asthma and night).Risk Factors:In the United States,

 Introduction:Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease involving the airway in the lungs.  The bronchial tubes (airways) allows air to come in and out of the lungs.  When you have asthma the inside (walls) of the airway becomes swollen and sore, making it hard to breathe.  Asthma is not a contagious disease at all (it can’t be transmitted from person to person).  Asthma is environmental and genetic (inherited) factors. Description/Cause:Every time a person takes a breath, air goes through your nose and down to your throat making it to your lungs.  Small air passages in your lungs helps by giving oxygen from the air to your bloodstream.  Asthma symptoms happens when the lining of the air passages swell and the muscles around it tightens.  When mucus fills up your airway there is less air that can pass through (difficulty breathing).  Signs & Symptoms:Just because a person has asthma does not mean all symptoms are the same.  Asthma signs and symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pains and/ or tightness, wheezing and coughing.  When your symptoms are constant and bothering you, it could be a sign that your asthma condition may be getting worse.  Even though you might have these signs and symptoms does not automatically mean that you have asthma.  Wheezing is usually common in children.  Asthma is classified into four categories: mild intermittent (up to two days a week & up to two nights a month), mild persistent (twice a week no more than once a day), moderate persistent (once a day and more than one night a week), and severe persistent (frequently throughout day and night).Risk Factors:In the United States, there are more than 22 million people who has asthma.  It affects people of all ages.  Nearly 6 million of these people are children.  Risk factors for people with asthma includes being a smoker, blood relative (inherited) or family history that has asthma.  Obesity (overweight), chemical fumes, cold air, and other types of pollution can lead a person to having an asthma attack.  People with allergic Atopic Dermatitis and Rhinitis are at risk for an asthma attack.  Beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and Aleve) can trigger your allergies too.Diagnosis:?Doctors usually will diagnose asthma based on your medical condition and/or health problems, family history, physical exam, and a long function test.  During a physical exam the doctor will look for signs of asthma or allergies.  A spirometry test will check to see if your lungs are working properly.  It measures how much air you are able to breathe in/out, and how fast you can breathe it out.  The doctor will also do a peak flow meter which will determine how hard you are able to breathe out.  Based on these types of diagnostic tests, the doctor will be able to determine how severe your symptoms are and what proper type of care is needed for you.Treatment:?In order to control asthma, there are two types of medications.  Asthma can be treated by long-term control medicines by reducing the airway inflammation and prevents any asthma symptoms from appearing and quick-relief (rescue) medicines relives symptoms that may flare up.  Long-term control medications including inhaled corticosteroids which are anti-inflammatory drugs (Flonase, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Aerospan HFA, Alvesco, Qnasl, Asmanex) which would need to be used for days up to a week for the maximum benefit.  Inhaled corticosteroids are safe for long term use with little side effects.  Leukotriene modifiers which are oral medications (Singulair, Accolate, and Zyflo) to help relieve symptoms up to 24 hours.  Long-acting beta agonists are inhaled medications (Serevent, and Foradil) to open the airways for better breathing conditions.  It has not been used as often as before but Theophylline is a daily pill that helps with keeping the airway open by relaxing the muscles around it.?Quick -relief (rescue) medications is a short-term relief during an asthma attack.  Short-acting beta agonists works quickly inhaled to relieve symptoms.  It is a quick relief since it relaxes the smooth muscles around the airways and minimizes the swelling that is blocking the air flow.  Combinations quick relief medicines both are an anticholinergic and a short-acting agonist that comes in an inhaler or a nebulizer.  Ipratropium immediately relaxes your airways making it easier for you to breathe.  Sometimes Ipratropium is used for treating asthma attacks but mostly used for chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  Quick-relief albuterol is still the most common inhaler everyone uses today.Curable or Lifestyle Changes:Asthma is not a curable disease, but it can be maintained by medications, it will never entirely go away.  Life style changes can help avoid your triggers to an asthma attack.  Stay healthy by maintaining a healthy weight (being overweight can either worsen symptoms or cause more health problems), and exercising regularly.  Breathing techniques can also help by opening your airways and being smoke free can help ease asthma symptoms.

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