Chest Diseases
Asthma
​Definition:
It is a chronic inflammation of bronchitis, a patient with chest allergic to certain substances, when inhaling them his airways narrow, swell, and produce extra mucus, leading to narrowing airways and making breathing difficult.
 
Causes:
The causes of asthma still unknown, however some studies attribute it to genetic and environmental factors that play an important role in its occurrence, varying from a person to another.
 
Risk Factors:
There are two types of risk factors for asthma:
 

The first type can be controlled and includes:

  • Smoking and secondhand smoking.
  • House dust mites.
  • Irritants such as chemicals and strong odors.
  • Bird feathers and pet fur.
  • Mold.
  • Some foods and liquids containing preservatives.
  • Frequent respiratory infections.
  • Obesity.
  • Tension and psychological emotions.
  • Some medicines.
The second type is uncontrollable and includes:
 
  • A family history of allergies or asthma.
  • Patient has a history of allergy.
Symptoms:
Main symptoms of asthma:
 
  1. Coughing.
  2. Difficulty breathing.
  3. A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing.
  4. Chest tightness
Diagnosis:
 
  • Primarily, diagnosis depends on medical history and clinical examination.
  • Examinations and x-rays.
Complications:
Asthma symptoms may worsen and patient suffering increases and may lead to death if:
 
  • Patient has not taken necessary precautions to avoid causes of asthma attacks.
  • Patient has not taken medicines as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Patient has ignored asthma symptoms and not asked for immediate help.
Treatment:
Asthma medications are of two parts:
 
1. Long-term asthma control medications:
They are used daily to better control asthma and reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways. They also make it less likely to have asthma attacks. 
2. Quick-relief (rescue) medications:
They are taken when asthma is exacerbated, for treating acute symptoms. They help to repair tightness and widen the airways. Asthma patient has to carry his relief inhaler to use it when necessary.
 
Prevention:
Asthma is a chronic disease; however, it is controllable through the following three basic steps:
 
  1. Avoiding substances and factors triggering asthma attacks.
  2. Taking integrated medications as per doctor's instructions.
  3. Using medicine correctly, especially the inhaler.
Additional information:
 
  1. When it is dusty: stay indoors and do not go out except when necessary.
  2. If you have to go out or surprised by dust: put a mask or wet handkerchief (part of your shimagh or face cover for women) on your nose and mouth and protect your eyes (e.g. by wearing a protective glasses).
  3. During thunderstorms and rain: keep it warm and dry as much as possible.
  4. If you have to go out: cover your head, mouth and nose with a piece of cloth or (shimagh), wear gloves, carry an umbrella and breathe from the nose and not from the mouth to warm the air before reaching the lungs.
  5. Always, carry with you the relief inhaler and use when feeling difficulty breathing, chest tightness, coughing or wheezing (whistling) during breathing.
  6. Use preventive inhaler (Cortisone) as instructed by the doctor.
  7. Stay away from smoking and secondhand smoking, one of the most dangerous triggers of asthma attack. 
 
 
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Last Update 15 March 2018 10:51 AM
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