All you need to know about Asthma

78 views 10:48 am 0 Comments December 25, 2021

Asthma is a distressing condition which usually comes on periodically, and is more likely to occur at times of the year.

Asthma is an alergic condition, an abnormal response of the body to some substance such as pollen, mould, animal fur, various chemicals, fumes, odour, as well as certain foods or drugs. Certain germs in the nose and throat may also cause asthmatic attacks. These attacks are more frequent when the victim is tired or under severe emotional strain. Even changes in weather may sometimes bring on an attack.

Many patients with asthma also suffer from emphysema. During a severe attack, some of the smaller windpipes become plugged with thick, sticky mucus,. The patient can breathe in easier than he can breathe out. This is what causes wheezing. As a result, the air sacs become greatly distended and some of their walls may rupture. In a severe attack, there may also be some bleeding into the air sacs of the lungs.

Asthma may develop gradually during an attack of bronchitis or it may begin suddenly, the moment a person is exposed to some offending substance. Most attacks begin suddenly. The patient first feels a sense of tightness in the chest. This tightness may subside in an hour or two, or it may continue for hours or even days at a time. At the end of the attack, the patient may suddenly cough up the thick mucus and the air passages would be cleared.

FAMILY HISTORY

In many cases, there is a family history of allergy, the parents or other members having hay fever, giant hives, asthma or some other allergic conditions. It is always advisable to take an x-ray of the chest to rule out any other serious condition, such as a tumour in the lungs or an aortic aneurysm.

Asthma beginning in infancy is usually due to foods. If it comes on during the late childhood and early adult years, it is most likely due to pollen, dust,or chemicals. After 45 years of age, asthma is more often due to an infection. Patients suffering from heart failure sometimes have asthma-like attacks, but this is not true bronchial asthma.

TREATMENT

If a definite cause for the asthma can be found, it should by all means be eliminated if possible. Infections of the nose, throat, and tonsils should be given appropriate treatment.

During a severe attack of asthma, Epinephrine adrenaline-in-oil can be given to relieve the severe wheezing.

Epinephrine can also be used in a nebulizer.

Aminophylline is also useful and can be given by vein, but only under the direction of a physician.

Ephedrine 25 or 30mg tablets may be given every four hours during a severe attack, but some suitable sedative should also be given to reduce anxiety and irritability in the heart.

Isoprenaline is of real value to many patients.

Caution: Be careful not to use medicine too freely, especially those that depress the cough, for it is important to raise the thick mucus from the chest.

Elixirs of Terpene Hydrate with codeine such as Codinol, or certain other cough syrups are often helpful. The dose is one teaspoonful every four hours or and as prescribed by the doctor.

During prolonged attacks potassium iodide or ammonium chloride are helpful.

Steam inhalations will bring relief, especially when tincture of benzoin is added.

In severe prolonged attacks of asthma, oxygen may also be necessary. A positive pressure machine, if available, might be tried, but this should be done only under the direction of a physician. The more severe asthmatic cases are best treated in the hospital.

Prednisolone and other steroid preparations are sometimes valuable, particularly during severe intractable asthma. However, these hormone preparations, although effective, must be used with caution and only in more and very severe cases, and must be under the direction of a medical doctor or physician.

Antibiotics medicine, such as penicillin, are of value in treating infections which may bring on an attack of asthma in people who are prone to this condition.

Regular and simple hot packs treatments, will often help in clearing up the chest conditions that bring on an attack.

PREVENTIVE TREATMENT

It is important for the patient to build up his general health. The patient should choose a balanced diet, and avoid unnecessary emotional stress fatigue.

Asthmatic patients should not smoke, mor should they come into contact with other irritants such as chemicals, paints or dust. Asthma itself is rarely fatal unless some serious heart Condition is also present.

The anxiety of of fear and suffocating should be prevented to avoid aggravation of an attack.

Asthma patient must keep calm, for excitement only increases the difficulty in breathing.

Aerosol inhalations are often of value between attacks, particularly in those who are frequently troubled with asthma.

Asthma patient should avoid colds and undue exposure.

However, some children outgrow asthma, but all asthma patient, whether children or adult, should be under the care of a qualified physician.

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