Asthma is a reversible lung disease characterized by obstruction or narrowing of the airways, which are typically inflamed and hyperresponsive to variety if stimuli. It may resolve spontaneously or with medication treatments. Asthma symptoms range from mild wheezing and dyspnea to life-threatening respiratory failure. Symtoms of bronchial airway obstruction may persist between acute episodes.
Signs and Symptoms
- Nasal flaring
- Wheezing with coarse rhonchi
- Chest tightness
- Coughing with thick, clear or yellow mucus
- Cyanosis (late sign)
- Pursed-lip breathing
Asthma can occur at any age; about 50% of all patients with asthma are younger than the age of 10 and affects twice as many boys than girls
Sensisitivity to specific external allergens or from internal, nonallergenic factors.
- Extrinsic causes
- Animal dander
- House dust or mold
- Kapok or feather pillows
- Food additives containing sulfites and any other sensitizing substance
- Intrinsic causes
- Emotional stress
How to determine asthma severity:
Note: This is just a general guide. This classification of asthma severty is based on people age 12 and older.
- Attacks only 1 to 2 times a week
- Nighttime attacks 1 to 2 times a week
- Inhaler used only 1 to 2 times a week
- Symptoms don't interfer with daily tasks
- Normal FEV1 ratio
- Attacks more then 2 times a week
- Nighttime attacks 3 to 4 nights in 1 month
- Inhaler used more than twice a week
- Symptoms mildly interfere with daily tasks
- FEV1 ratio greater than 80% of your normal lung function normally
- Attacks everyday
- Nighttime attacks more than once a week
- Inhaler used everyday
- Symptoms moderately affect your daily tasks
- FEV1 is greater than 60% but under 80%
- Multiple daily attacks
- Nighttime attacks every day
- Inhaler used several times a day
- Symptoms severely interfere with your daily tasks
- FEV1 is less than 60% overall
Note: The information above is just is only for informational purposes only and is only a general guide. If you have an emergency call 911 directly or speak with your doctor immediately.
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