Asthma
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Asthma

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Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your...

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your
airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma,
the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. That makes them very
sensitive, and they may react strongly to things that you are allergic to
or find irritating. When your airways react, they get narrower and your lungs
get less air. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble
breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it's called
an asthma attack. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that
your vital organs do not get enough oxygen. People can die from severe asthma
attacks.
Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief
medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent
symptoms.

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  • 1. Fitango Education Health Topics Asthmahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151
  • 2. Overview Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. That makes them veryhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 1
  • 3. Overview sensitive, and they may react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When your airways react, they get narrower and your lungs get less air. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and troublehttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 2
  • 4. Overview breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, its called an asthma attack. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that your vital organs do not get enough oxygen. People can die from severe asthmahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 3
  • 5. Overview attacks. Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long- term control medicines to prevent symptoms.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 4
  • 6. Symptoms Common signs and symptoms of asthma include: -- Coughing. Coughing from asthma often is worse at night or early in the morning, making it hard to sleep.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 5
  • 7. Symptoms -- Wheezing. Wheezing is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when you breathe. -- Chest tightness. This may feel like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 6
  • 8. Symptoms Shortness of breath. Some people who have asthma say they cant catch their breath or they feel out of breath. You may feel like you cant get air out of your lungs. Not all people who have asthma have thesehttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 7
  • 9. Symptoms symptoms. Likewise, having these symptoms doesnt always mean that you have asthma. The best way doctors have to diagnose asthma is to use a lung function test, ask about medical history (including type and frequency of symptoms), and do a physical exam.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 8
  • 10. Symptoms The type of asthma symptoms you have, how often they occur, and how severe they are may vary over time. Sometimes your symptoms may just annoy you. Other times, they may be troublesome enough to limit your daily routine.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 9
  • 11. Symptoms Severe symptoms can be fatal. Thus, treating symptoms when you first notice them is important, so they don’t become severe. With proper treatment, most people who have asthma can expect to have few, if any, symptoms either during the day or at night.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 10
  • 12. Causes Many things can trigger or worsen asthma symptoms. Your doctor will help you find out which things (called triggers) may cause your asthma to flare up if you come in contact with them.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 11
  • 13. Causes Triggers can include: Allergens from dust, animal fur, cockroaches, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers Irritants such as cigarette smoke, airhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 12
  • 14. Causes pollution, chemicals or dust in the workplace, compounds in home décor products, and sprays (such as hairspray) Medicines such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta- blockershttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 13
  • 15. Causes Sulfites in foods and drinks Viral upper respiratory infections, such as colds Physical activity, including exercise Other health conditions canhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 14
  • 16. Causes make asthma harder to manage. Examples of these conditions include a runny nose, sinus infections, reflux disease, psychological stress, and sleep apnea. These conditions should be treated as part of an overall asthma care plan.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 15
  • 17. Causes Asthma is different for each person. Some of the triggers listed above may not affect you. Other triggers that do affect you might not be on the list. Talk with your doctor about the things that seem to make your asthma worse.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 16
  • 18. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** Your primary care doctor will diagnose asthma based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results. Yourhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 17
  • 19. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** doctor also will figure out the severity of your asthma—that is, whether its intermittent, mild, moderate, or severe. The treatment your doctor prescribes will depend on the level of severity. Yourhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 18
  • 20. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** doctor may recommend that you see an asthma specialist if: You need special tests to help diagnose asthma Youve had a life-threatening asthma attackhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 19
  • 21. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** You need more than one kind of medicine or higher doses of medicine to control your asthma, or if you have overall problems getting your asthma well controlled Youre thinking abouthttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 20
  • 22. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** getting allergy treatments Your doctor may ask about your family history of asthma and allergies. He or she also may ask whether you have asthma symptoms and when and how often they occur.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 21
  • 23. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** Let your doctor know whether your symptoms seem to happen only during certain times of the year or in certain places, or if they get worse at night. Yourhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 22
  • 24. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** doctor also may want to know what factors seem to trigger your symptoms or worsen them. Your doctor may ask you about related health conditions that can interfere withhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 23
  • 25. Causes **Diagnosis and Tests** asthma management. These conditions include a runny nose, sinus infections, reflux disease, psychological stress, and sleep apnea.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 24
  • 26. Diagnosis and Tests Your primary care doctor will diagnose asthma based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and test results. Your doctor also will figure out thehttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 25
  • 27. Diagnosis and Tests severity of your asthma—that is, whether its intermittent, mild, moderate, or severe. The treatment your doctor prescribes will depend on the level of severity. Your doctor may recommend that you see anhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 26
  • 28. Diagnosis and Tests asthma specialist if: -- You need special tests to help diagnose asthma -- Youve had a life-threatening asthma attack -- You need more than one kind of medicine orhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 27
  • 29. Diagnosis and Tests higher doses of medicine to control your asthma, or if you have overall problems getting your asthma well controlled -- Youre thinking about getting allergy treatmentshttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 28
  • 30. Diagnosis and Tests Your doctor may ask about your family history of asthma and allergies. He or she also may ask whether you have asthma symptoms and when and how often they occur. Let your doctor know whether your symptomshttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 29
  • 31. Diagnosis and Tests seem to happen only during certain times of the year or in certain places, or if they get worse at night. Your doctor also may want to know what factors seem to trigger your symptoms or worsen them.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 30
  • 32. Diagnosis and Tests Your doctor may ask you about related health conditions that can interfere with asthma management. These conditions include a runny nose, sinus infections, reflux disease, psychological stress, and sleep apnea.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 31
  • 33. Diagnosis and Tests **Physical Exam** Your doctor will listen to your breathing and look for signs of asthma or allergies. These signs include wheezing, a runny nose or swollen nasal passages, and allergic skin conditions (such ashttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 32
  • 34. Diagnosis and Tests **Physical Exam** eczema). Keep in mind that you can still have asthma even if you dont have these signs when your doctor examines you.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 33
  • 35. Diagnosis and Tests **Lung Function Test** Your doctor will use a test called spirometry (spi-ROM-eh-tre) to check how your lungs are working. This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out. It alsohttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 34
  • 36. Diagnosis and Tests **Lung Function Test** measures how fast you can blow air out. Your doctor may give you medicine and then retest you to see whether the results have improved. If your test results are lower than normalhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 35
  • 37. Diagnosis and Tests **Lung Function Test** and improve with the medicine, and if your medical history shows a pattern of asthma symptoms, your doctor will likely diagnose you with asthma.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 36
  • 38. Diagnosis and Tests **Other Tests** Your doctor may recommend other tests if he or she needs more information to make a diagnosis. Other tests may include: Allergy testing to find out which allergens affect you, if any.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 37
  • 39. Diagnosis and Tests **Other Tests** A test to measure how sensitive your airways are. This is called a bronchoprovocation (brong-KO-prav-eh-KA-shun) test. Using spirometry, this test repeatedly measures your lung function during physical activity or after you receive increasing doses of cold air or ahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 38
  • 40. Diagnosis and Tests **Other Tests** special chemical to breathe in. A test to show whether you have another condition with symptoms similar to asthma, such as reflux disease, vocal cord dysfunction, or sleep apnea. A chest x ray orhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 39
  • 41. Diagnosis and Tests **Other Tests** an EKG (electrocardiogram). These tests will help find out whether a foreign object in your airways or another disease might be causing your symptoms.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 40
  • 42. Treatment and Care Asthma is a long-term disease that has no cure. The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease. Good asthma control will: -- Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms,http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 41
  • 43. Treatment and Care such as coughing and shortness of breath -- Reduce your need for quick-relief medicines (see below) -- Help you maintain good lung functionhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 42
  • 44. Treatment and Care -- Let you maintain your normal activity level and sleep through the night -- Prevent asthma attacks that could result in an emergency room visit or hospital stayhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 43
  • 45. Treatment and Care To control asthma, partner with your doctor to manage your asthma or your childs asthma. Children aged 10 or older—and younger children who are able—should take an active role in their asthma care. Taking an active role to control yourhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 44
  • 46. Treatment and Care asthma involves: -- Working with your doctor to treat other conditions that can interfere with asthma management. -- Avoiding things that worsen your asthmahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 45
  • 47. Treatment and Care (asthma triggers). However, one trigger you should not avoid is physical activity. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about medications that can help you stay active. -- Working with your doctor and other healthhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 46
  • 48. Treatment and Care care providers to create and follow an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan gives guidance on taking your medicines properly, avoiding asthma triggers (except physical activity), tracking your level of asthma control, responding tohttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 47
  • 49. Treatment and Care worsening symptoms, and seeking emergency care when needed. Asthma is treated with two types of medicines: long-term control and quick-relief medicines. Long- term control medicines help reduce airway inflammation and prevent asthma symptoms. Quick-relief, orhttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 48
  • 50. Treatment and Care "rescue," medicines relieve asthma symptoms that may flare up. Your initial treatment will depend on the severity of your asthma. Follow up asthma treatment will depend on how well your asthma action plan is controlling your symptoms and preventing asthmahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 49
  • 51. Treatment and Care attacks. Your level of asthma control can vary over time and with changes in your home, school, or work environments. These changes can alter how often youre exposed to the factors that can worsen your asthmahttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 50
  • 52. Treatment and Care Your doctor may need to increase your medicine if your asthma doesnt stay under control. On the other hand, if your asthma is well controlled for several months, your doctor may decrease your medicine. These adjustments to your medicine will help you maintain the besthttp://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 51
  • 53. Treatment and Care control possible with the least amount of medicine necessary. Asthma treatment for certain groups of people—such as children, pregnant women, or those for whom exercise brings on asthma symptoms—will be adjusted to meet their special needs.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 52
  • 54. Prevention You can’t prevent asthma. However, you can take steps to control the disease and prevent its symptoms. For example: -- Learn about your asthma and ways to control it.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 53
  • 55. Prevention -- Follow your written asthma action plan. (For a sample plan, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes "Asthma Action Plan.") -- Use medicines as your doctor prescribes.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 54
  • 56. Prevention -- Identify and try to avoid things that make your asthma worse (asthma triggers). However, one trigger you should not avoid is physical activity. Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about medicines that can help you stay active.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 55
  • 57. Prevention -- Keep track of your asthma symptoms and level of control. -- Get regular checkups for your asthma.http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=151 56