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Definition of adult asthma

Definition of adult asthma
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the lungs and is characterized by breathing difficulties exacerbated during asthma attacks. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that bronchial diameter shrinks, thus impeding the passage of air and breathing. This airway obstruction is related to three phenomena autoentretiennent: the contraction of the muscles around the airways (called bronchospasm), swelling of the wall and finally mucus hypersecretion.

Origins and consequences of asthma
Asthma is a common disease and affects 10% of children and 5% of the adult population. Are attributed to asthma annually nearly 1500 deaths, so a program of actions to decrease by 20% in 5 years the number of hospitalizations associated with this disease has been recorded in the Public Health Law . Better support individual can prevent asthma attacks and to treat them effectively.

Causes and mechanisms of asthma
The main cause of asthma is bronchial hypersensitivity, often of allergic origin (pollen, mold, dust mites ...), the consequence of which is the sudden contraction of the muscles and spasm of the latter. Within the family also plays an important role. Other circumstances are triggers of asthma attacks such as infections, cold, stress, effort or inhaled irritants (including tobacco).

Asthma symptoms
An asthma attack begins abruptly, often in the evening or second part of the night, with symptoms of breathlessness and choking sensation. A trigger is sometimes found to explain the crisis.
The patient is often seated for "searching for air," anxious, sweaty with rapid breathing. The expiration to clear the air in the lungs is difficult and noisy form of whistles. Symptoms of cough and sputum are sometimes possible.

Most often, the crisis is reversible with treatment, but some severity criteria should be sought and needed to call emergency rescue healthcare: difficulty speaking, shallow breathing very fast or very slow depletion bluish lips (cyanosis), ineffective treatment ...

Adult asthma Prevention

With what should we be confused?

The diagnosis of asthma is made after extensive explorations and balance. Other respiratory problems by evolving crises can simulate asthma, especially among the elderly (acute pulmonary edema, improperly called "cardiac asthma") in the subject or respiratory failure (extensive chronic bronchitis).

Is there a prevention possible?

Hygiene simple life can improve the lives of asthma. Allergy plays a major role in asthma, you should eliminate substances that can trigger crises: reduce allergens in the home (anti-mite plastic covers for mattresses and pillows, regular washing of bedding, ventilation of rooms and eviction of carpets and rugs), avoid pets (cats), do not mow during pollen focus less allergenic species (ban cedar, birch and cypress). Smoking cessation is also an imperative, including the entourage because of passive smoking. Vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcus may be proposed by the doctor.

Adult asthma Preparing consultation

When to consult?

A medical care by the treating physician and / or specialist (pulmonologist) is required when the first crisis to investigate the cause, assess the severity and prevent recurrences. Crisis and the lack of rapid improvement under treatment.

What is the doctor?

The physician makes the diagnosis of asthma (interview, clinical examination, looking for other diagnoses), provides a treatment of the crisis (bronchodilators such as Ventolin) and monitors the progress of the disease. It will eventually be brought to prescribe DMARDs to take daily. Explorations as respiratory spirometry annually assess, for example, the severity of the obstruction and allergy testing may be offered to identify allergenic elements to avoid.

How to prepare my next visit?

Consultations between the asthmatic has an easy way to evaluate their respiratory capacity: the peak flow or peak flow. Simple and inexpensive (sold in pharmacies), the meter must be used regularly outside attacks, before / after treatment and also in times of crisis. The measured values ​​are to refer to each use on a notebook and guide the doctor.

Normal values ​​depend on the age, sex and weight (females between 400 and 500 l / min and humans, between 500 and 700 l / min).

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