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Asthma - Case Study Example

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Asthma

An asthma exacerbation can be caused by allergens (Sequeria & Steward, 2007). There are those who only have asthma attacks as a result of an allergic reaction. While it still remains unclear just what causes asthma in general, every individual varies as to what their asthma triggers are. Asthma a condition that results from three major processes, which are airway inflammation, intermittent airflow obstruction, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (Morris & Mosenifar, 2011)..These three processes are present in every episode of asthma Airway Inflammation Airway inflammation is the result of inhaling substances that are triggers for the patient (Sequeria & Steward, 2007). Substances such as toxins that are inhaled can activate airway mast cells which bear IgE antibodies. The antibodies lead to inflammatory responses as the mediators, such as histamine, cause mucus hypersecretion and plasma leakage (Sequeria & Steward, 2007).This inflammation results in epithelial changes, basement membrane changes, and “submucosal infiltration with activated lymphocytes and eosinophils” (Guill, 2004). Chronic airway inflammation can result in airway reconstruction and increased airway resistance (Sequeira & Stewart, 2007). Intermittent airflow Obstruction The mucus hypersecretion that is a result of the airway inflammation causes airflow obstruction. This obstruction makes it very difficult for the patient to breathe, as fresh air cannot be received by the lungs. It is also often the cause of the coughing that often serves as one of the symptoms of asthma. Airflow obstruction is considered to be often reversible, unlike the restructuring that may result from chronic airway inflammation (Sequeira & Stewart, 2007). However, such obstruction has fueled the concern that earlier and more aggressive interventions may be necessary (Guill, 2004). Airflow obstruction can become very severe and even fatal. Without any intervention the hypersecretion of mucus can fill the lungs and block the ability to breathe altogether. Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness There is a lack of complete understanding when it comes to bronchial hyperresponsiveness (O’Connor, 1993). While the understanding of this process in not complete, there have been some additions to the knowledge base brought about by numerous clinical studies. The search to fully understand the process persists. What is known about bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthma is that it is directly correlated with disease severity (O’Connor, 1993). There is a relationship between the airway inflammations that is characteristic in asthma to bronchial hyperresponsiveness, but, unlike inflammation, bronchial hyperresponsiveness can not serve as an asthma diagnostic. Instead, bronchial hyperresponsiveness has been defined as “a functional disorder reflecting a tendency to airflow obstruction” (O’Connor, 1993). Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness only serves to compound the problem of airflow limitations, as it works to increase dyspena. The bronchodilators that are often used in the treatment of asthma have no benefits in the treatment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. (Van Schayck & Van Herwaarden, 1993). In addition to inhaled toxic substances as triggers, it has been found that asthma can be the result of nerve activity in some patients. There are ...Show more

Summary

Jason’s Asthma Jason is among great population of children who suffer from asthma, as it is one of the most common childhood diseases. In fact asthma is one of the most popular chronic diseases of all age categories worldwide (Morris & Mosenifar, 2011). It is characterized by many symptoms; including shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, tightness of the chest (Symptoms of Asthma, n.d.)…
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