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ASTHMA - Essay Example

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Asthma Name Institution Asthma Outline 1 Introduction 1.1 Definition of asthma 1.2 Historical background 1.3 Prevalence of Asthma 2 Types of Asthma 2.1 Classification by triggers 2.1.1 Allergic asthma 2.1.2 Seasonal asthma 2.1.3 Non-allergic asthma 2.1.4 Exercise-induced asthma 2.1.5 Nocturnal asthma 2.2 Clinical classification 2.2.1 Intermittent asthma 2.2.2 Mild persistent asthma 2.2.3 Moderate persistent asthma 2.2.4 Severe persistent asthma 3 Pathophysiology and pathology 3.1 Inflammation of the airways 3.2 Obstruction of the airflow 3.3 Bronchial hyper-responsiveness 3.4 Effects of asthma on the respiratory system 3.5 Gross appearance 3.6 Microscopic appearance 4 Diagnosis of asthma 4.1 …
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ASTHMA

In accordance to Mill (2006), Asthma is a chronic obstructive airway disease that often becomes characterized by hyper responsiveness of the trachea-bronchial tree to various stimuli resulting in spasmodic narrowing of air passages (p.1). Another definition of asthma could be that it is an episodic disease clinically manifested by dyspnoea, wheezing and cough. Asthma hence is a respiratory lung disease that is chronic in nature. Asthma always involves two components: in the lungs, constriction causes tightening of air passages, resulting in inflammation, irritation and swelling of airways. Inflammation and constriction of the airways often cause many symptoms. When asthma is left untreated for long, it often results in chronic loss of lung function; in addition it also contributes to a condition called Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Once a person gets exposed to a trigger, lungs get inflamed or swollen to an extent that it causes difficulty in breathing (Mills 2006, p.10). 1.2 Historical background of asthma. The term Asthma has originated from the Greek word, which means to pant, or sharp breath or exhale using open mouth. In an epic Greek poem, Iliad, asthma was first mentioned. It became recognized in antiquity with the famous Hippocrates. Hippocrates correlated asthma to metal workers, farmers, tailors, and fishermen among others. With the recognition of asthma caused by external factors like dust and pollen, more studies were carried out to find out the causes and origin of this pathology and its effect on the respiratory system. The first well-documented occupational asthma case was implemented on workers of castor beans in 1923 (Mills 2006, p.3). 1.3 Prevalence of asthma. Asthma affects nearly seventeen million Americans, of which five million are children. Incidence of asthma has increased in the last 15 years by over 50 percent. Nearly five hundred thousand patients become often hospitalised due to asthma. Hence asthma is amongst the top five expensive diseases in the health care system (Mills 2006, p.6). 2. Types of asthma. Asthma can be categorized based on the basis of what triggers it. 2.1 Classification by triggers. 2.1.1 Allergic asthma Allergic asthma becomes often progressively atopic or allergic asthma which is the most common asthma type. It often begins in childhood or early adult life. Patients with allergic asthma have family or personal history of preceding allergic diseases like urticaria, rhinitis or infantile spasm. Patients with allergic asthma often exhibit hyper-responsive reactions to extrinsic allergens. Examples of allergens that affect such people are pollens, house dust, moulds, animal danders and others. Patients with this type often have high levels of IgE levels and test positive for skin test (Mills 2006, p.8). 2.1.2 Seasonal asthma Grass pollen, tree pollen, moulds pollen or flowers release pollen that in turn trigger the asthmatic attack. For instance, some people always find their asthma worse in the spring especially when flowers are flowering compared to other seasons. Others may find their asthma ... Read More
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