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  1. Asthma Sarah Conrad Kristin Bosserman

  2. General Overview • Asthma--a common disorder in which chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes (bronchi) makes them swell, narrowing the airways. • Involves only the bronchial tubes and does not affect the air sacs (alveoli) or the lung tissue (the parenchyma of the lung) itself.

  3. Diagram of a Lung

  4. Asthma Facts • Around 20 million people have asthma. • 9 million U.S. children under 18 suffer from asthma. • From 1980-1994, asthma cases increased by 75%. • From 1980-1994, the occurrence of asthma in children under 5 increased 160%. • Health care costs account for $18 billion each year. • Prescription drugs accounted for the largest direct medical expenses, over $5 billion.

  5. Facts cont… • There are 5,000 asthma related deaths yearly. • African Americans are more likely to suffer from asthma than whites. (39% higher) • For females, it was 35% higher than in males. • “Every day in America 40,000 people miss school or work, 30,000 people have an asthma attack, 5, 000 people visit the emergency room, 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital and 11 people die due to asthma.” (

  6. Signs Wheezing Coughing at night Shortness of breath Chest tightness, pain, pressure Increased use of bronchodilators Symptoms Frequent cough Tired or weak during exercise Tired, grouchy, moody, or easily upset Signs of a cold Do you have Asthma?

  7. Risk Factors • Overall • Usually diagnosed in young people • Gender • Obesity • Smoking • Race • Family history • Allergies • Children • Exposure to second-hand smoke • Exposure to allergens • Viral respiratory infection • Exposure to a city or town’s air pollution

  8. Diagnosis • Thorough medical history, including family history • Sxs and when they seem to occur • Hx of allergies • Physical exam • Listening to lungs--high-pitched whistling sound • Check skin for allergic conditions

  9. Spirometry--take deep breaths in and forcefully exhale into a hose connected to a machine called a spirometer Forced vital capacity (FVC)--maximum amount of air you can inhale and exhale Forced expiratory volume (FEV-1)--maximum amount of air you can exhale in one second Challenge Test--doctor deliberately tries to trigger asthma symptoms by having you inhale an airway-constricting substance or take several breaths of cold air. After the trigger of symptoms, you retake the spirometry test. Lung Function Tests

  10. Treatments • Develop a daily self-management plan and an emergency action plan with your doctor • Two medicine types: • Quick-relief medicines--taken at the first signs of asthma and for the immediate relief of these symptoms. These are the short-acting inhaled beta-agonists, aka bronchodilators. • Long-term control medicines--taken every day for long periods of time to prevent symptoms and asthma attacks. Long-acting beta-agonists are usually taken together with inhaled corticosteroid medicines. People with persistent asthma need long-term control medicines.

  11. Types of Asthma • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)--inflammation of the inside lining of the nose resulting in a constant runny nose, ongoing sneezing, swollen nasal passages, excess mucus, weepy eyes, and a scratchy throat. Many times asthma symptoms are triggered by allergic rhinitis. • Exercise-Induced Asthma--triggered by exercise or physical exertion. People without asthma can develop symptoms only during exercise. • Cough-Variant Asthma--severe coughing is the predominant symptom and could be caused by postnasal drip, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn). Coughing because of sinusitis with asthma is common.

  12. Types of Asthma cont… • Occupational Asthma--results from workplace triggers. You might have difficulty breathing and asthma symptoms from Monday through Friday but not on the weekends. Some sxs are runny nose and congestion or eye irritation or a cough instead of the typical asthma wheezing. • Nocturnal Asthma--If you have asthma, the chances of having symptoms are much higher during sleep because asthma is powerfully influenced by the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythms). Most deaths related to asthma occur at night.

  13. Sources • • • • • • • •