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Alzheimer's Disease - Not Exclusive To The Elderly By: Larry Champlin

Asthma can strike at any age, half of all cases first occur in children under age 10; in
this age group, asthma affects twice as many boys as girls. It is one of the leading
Forgot Password? New causes of respiratory illness among children and young adults, however, this
User? condition may progress a lifetime. It's estimated 17-million Americans suffer from

Asthma is a reversible lung disease characterized by obstruction or narrowing of the

airways, the lining of the airways . It may resolve spontaneously or with treatment.
Home Based Business Its symptoms range from mild wheezing and shortness of breathe (dyspnea) to life-
Health & Fitness threatening respiratory failure. Symptoms may persist between acute episodes.
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Loans People with asthma do not have a problem inhaling, but rather, a problem exhaling.
Small Business Airways open up during inhalation with the lowering of the diaphragm as the ribs
Alternative Medicine move out making the lungs bigger allowing air to move around any obstruction.
Business However, when the person exhales, as the rib cage relaxes the diaphragm slides up,
Vehicles preventing the air from getting around the obstruction.
Internet Marketing TYPES AND CAUSES
Weight Loss
Pets Extrinsic asthma results from sensitivity to specific external allergens. In cases in
Beauty which the allergen isn't obvious, it's referred to as intrinsic asthma.
Relationships Extrinsic asthma usually begins in childhood and is accompanied by other
manifestations of atopy -- A hereditary disorder marked by the tendency to develop
View all Categories immediate allergic reactions to substances such as pollen, food, dander, insect
venoms, house dust or mold, kapok or feather pillows, food additives containing
sulfites, or similar allergic conditions.
Submit In intrinsic asthma, no external allergen can be identified. Most cases are preceded
by a severe respiratory infection. Irritants, emotional stress, fatigue, exposure to
noxious fumes, changes in temperature, and changes in humidity, may aggravate
intrinsic asthma attacks. In many asthmatics, intrinsic and extrinsic asthma coexist.

Several drugs and chemicals may provoke an asthma attack. Examples of these
substances include aspirin, various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and yellow
food dye (tartrazine). Exercise may also provoke an asthma attack. In exercise-
induced asthma, bronchospasm may follow heat and moisture loss in the upper

An asthma attack may begin dramatically, with simultaneous onset of many severe
symptoms, or insidiously, with gradually increasing respiratory distress. It typically
includes the following signs or symptoms or some conbination of them:

- progressively worsening shortness of breath

- cough
- wheezing
- chest tightness.
During an acute attack, the cough sounds tight and dry. As the attack subsides, thick
mucus is produced (except in young children, who don't expectorate). Between acute
attacks, breath sounds may be normal.

The intensity of breath sounds in symptomatic asthma is typically reduced. A

prolonged phase of forced expiration is typical of airflow obstruction. Evidence of
lung hyperinflation (use of accessory muscles, for example) is particularly common
in children. Acute attacks may be accompanied by tachycardia, tachypnea, and
diaphoresis. In severe attacks, the patient may be unable to speak more than a few
words without pausing for breath. Cyanosis (a bluish or purplish tinge to the skin and
mucous membranes), confusion, and lethargy indicate the onset of respiratory failure.


Treatment of acute asthma aims to decrease inflammation, coughing, wheezing, and

shortness of breath, bronchial airway swelling, and increase pulmonary ventilation.
After an acute episode, treatment focuses on avoiding or removing precipitating
factors, such as environmental allergens or irritants.

If asthma is caused by a particular virus, bacterium, toxin, or other foreign substance,

it may be treated by desensitizing the patient through a series of injections of limited
amounts of the antigen causing the attack. The aim is to curb the patient's immune
response to the antigen.

Copyright 2006 --
Larry Champlin
Health Clamour
Senior Editor
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