Asthma is an inflammatory chronic bronchial inflammation due to an ongoing, often of allergic origin. It causes respiratory problems of varying intensity, reversible spontaneously or under treatment.The frequency of asthma is rising in most countries and currently stands at 9% of the French population. This net increase is primarily in young children and adults.
Agents inhaled allergens trigger the disease: dust mites houses, cat hair and less frequently in dogs, rodents, cockroaches, certain molds. But contact with pollen, wood dust, wheat flour ... Other products act through a mechanism of irritation: disinfectants, preservatives. Taking certain medications can help or worsen an asthma attack: aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, beta-blockers. Among the aggravating factors include maternal smoking during pregnancy (supports the development of asthma in children), air pollution, lung infection viral or bacterial.
The asthma attack is characterized by wheezing and difficulty, chest tightness squeezed, cough especially during the night and early morning, especially difficulty in breathing, especially at the end. It is recognized: asthma with paroxysmal crises typical, but no symptoms between attacks. The continuous asthma: shortness of breath on exertion which are grafted crises. The severe acute asthma: severe asthma attack that extends and is resistant to treatment. Think also: pulmonary edema (heart failure), especially in the elderly. Exacerbation of chronic obstructive bronchitis.Obstruction of the larynx or trachea, by a tumor, foreign body, an allergy.
Avoid a crisis contributing factors: dust mites, cat hair or dog, drugs, but more difficult for pollen, air pollution or occupational substances (wheat flour, wood dust) and smoking during pregnancy. Carefully follow your treatment, no interruptions without medical advice, even if improvement. The effort appears on the asthma can be prevented by dilating the bronchial tubes before exercise. Never attempt to come to the hospital on his own in a crisis resistant to treatment. Regularly assess your lung function by means of measuring peak flow. While rinsing the mouth after taking steroids to prevent the development of thrush (fungus).
The study of lung function by pulmonary function tests (PFT) is useful for diagnosis and monitoring of the asthmatic patient. The EFR measure the severity of the obstruction of the lungs. Instant appreciation of the breath can be obtained by measuring the "peak flow" or "peak flow", that is to say, a forced expiration through a pipe marked with a cursor. Useful in assessing the severity of a crisis or effectiveness of treatment. If you suspect an allergic asthma, you realize provocation tests with different substances 'allergens'. The identification of the allergen responsible for the asthma attack is critical.
In case of acute crisis, sprays instantly dilate the bronchi. In the absence of improvement after 6 puffs, preventing the attending physician or an ambulance. In daily treatment, is associated with a spray bronchodilator (increase the volume of the bronchi) with a steroid spray against inflammation of the bronchi. Regular physical activity is important to maintain a good breathing capacity. In a crisis, the administration of oxygen will be conducted, and an antibiotic if an infection is suspected. Chest physiotherapy has no direct effect on asthma, but may allow better control of breathing and facilitate the evacuation of bronchial secretions. Spa treatments can be a good contribution.
The prognosis of asthma is generally good. In 50% of cases, asthma disappears at puberty. Asthma can become a chronic disease. It's unpredictable. The treatments do not eliminate the disease but can control it and live a normal life. The treatment can be adapted to each individual based on the number of crises. This is a serious, sometimes fatal (2500 deaths per year in France).
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