Asthma takes one of the top positions in respiratory inflammatory diseases structure and the number of cases is increasing every year, especially among children. How does asthma manifest? Speaking about asthma, we usually think first of all about bronchial asthma, classic version of which – dyspnea, whistling rakes, forced patient’s posture, trying to breathe air. However, this term has other meanings, such as abdominal or mitral asthma which have a very different clinical picture and origin. In this article Asthma Inhalers Online focuses primarily on bronchial asthma and its course.
What is Asthma?
Bronchial asthma is a chronic airways disorder, which is based on bronchial tubes spasm, so that a person can not make a full exhale. This spasm is explained by allergen and mast cells interaction, which results in a large amount of histamine release, causing smooth muscles contraction and bronchoconstriction.
Why does Asthma Appear?
Causes of bronchial asthma attack are:
- active or passive smoking;
- hereditary predisposition to allergic diseases;
- allergy to pollen, foods;
- some medical drugs, such as aspirin (aspirin-induced asthma);
- chronic pulmonary and bronchial infections (bronchitis, bronchiectasis, abscess);
- regular mold spores inhalation (for example, when staying in a house with lots of mold-covered walls);
- poplar wool, smoke;
- stress, exercises (exercise-induced asthma);
- changes in temperature (cold-induced asthma);
- insect bites.
What is the Difference between Asthma and Bronchitis?
Obstructive bronchitis and bronchial asthma have much in common, in particular in both cases there appears bronchospasm. How does asthma attack manifest? With stronger spasm and wheezing than at chronic bronchi inflammation. Besides, at bronchitis dyspnea occurs mostly during exacerbation, for example immediately after flu or other respiratory infection, which gave complication to bronchi.
Typical asthma attack can appear at any time, that is, even when a person considers himself completely healthy. And the reason for this attack is contact with allergen, releasing histamine.
In some cases, to distinguish between obstructive bronchitis and asthma, clearly defining what a particular patient suffers from, is difficult even for specialists-pulmonologists.
How does Asthma Manifest at Children and Adults
How does asthma manifest at adults and children? Almost the same: breathlessness attacks, frequency of which depends on disease severity. Nevertheless children usually have milder disease forms because they have shorter disease experience than adults, due to which they have not significantly expressed changes in bronchial mucosa.
On the other hand, asthma attack can be more serious because bronchial lumen at children is smaller than at adults.
Although early disease signs can occur at any age, most often they occur at children. These include:
- recurrent attacks of breathlessness, occurrence of dyspnea at night or during exercise. In addition, these symptoms can be observed in dusty room, transition from cold to warm location or vice versa, smelling flowers or smoke. Such attacks are always sudden;
- cough. This is often a dry cough, appearing on dyspnea background. Cough-variant bronchial asthma is characterized by connection between cough and using any product that causes allergy or inhalation of air containing pollen, house dust, smoke particles. At the end of attack cough gets a bit wet, which allows to cough up a small amount of accumulated sputum;
- shallow breathing with increased exhalation. Attack has not started yet, but patients may complain on difficulties with exhaling air.
At early disease stages, these symptoms may occur very rare, so it’s not a matter of great concern for patients. However, over time their frequency and intensity increases, which leads to classic asthma attack, accompanied by severe dyspnea, whistling dry wheezing, which can be heard at a distance, and signs of lack of oxygen.
As attacks become more frequent, there appear other signs that are typical of asthma:
- general fatigue, exhaustion, which is especially pronounced during attack;
- cyanosis of nose tip, lips, sallow skin;
- heart palpitations, increasing by several times during attack (pulse rate at children can be increased by 20 – 60 percent or more);
- changes in nail bones on drumsticks and crystal-glasses type;
- symptoms of pulmonary heart;
- dizziness, headaches, developing as a result of oxygen deficiency;
- other allergic diseases – atopic dermatitis, eczema, etc.
What is the Different between Status Asthmaticus and Ordinary Attack?
How does asthma manifest if a patient has status asthmaticus? Status asthmaticus is the same bronchial asthma attack, extended in time and lasting for several hours.
During this time, signs of oxygen starvation appear, tachycardia increases, general excitement increases. As oxygen deficiency progresses, excitation is replaced by drowsiness, lethargy and coma.
Besides those drugs that have always been effective are not helping in this situation. Without timely treatment status asthmaticus can result in patient’s death.