Differences Between Copd And Asthma
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive lung disorder most commonly associated with smoking. In the early stages of the disease, the symptoms may mimic those of asthma and may even flare if the lungs are exposed to allergens, fumes, or cold weather.
Among the differentiating early clues are fluid retention, trouble sleeping, an increasing nagging cough, and bringing up clear, whitish, or yellow phlegm.
Why Does Someone Get It
Over 10% of people have some history of asthma. It often runs in families. The heritable nature of asthma is not well understood, however, and geneticists cannot define the precise manner in which it is passed from parents to children. All we can say is that families with asthma are more likely to have children with asthma. Although there appears to be an inherited predisposition to develop asthma, severity varies considerably among asthmatics, even among members in the same family. If asthma is present in both parents, the likelihood of a child having asthma is even greater, but even then not all of the children will have asthma. Even among identical twins, both do not necessarily have asthma, although this is more likely than if they were just siblings or nonidentical twins. This suggests that there is some additional factor that we do not yet fully understand, other than inheritance, that influences the development of asthma.
What Are The Types Of Tracheal Disorders
There are two main types of tracheal disorders:
Tracheal stenosis is a narrowing of the trachea, or windpipe, that prevents air from fully reaching the lungs. The effects of this narrowing can range in severity from mild to more severe. In the most severe cases, the patient may be dependent on a tracheotomy tube to breathe.
Tracheomalacia is a condition characterized by cartilage in the walls of the trachea that has broken down, semi-causing weakness or floppiness in the windpipe. The trachea should be rigid for normal breathing. Infants can be born with tracheomalacia, but adults can also acquire it in later life.
Tracheal tumors, while rare, can cause narrowing of the windpipe which prevents air from fully reaching the lungs. They can also cause coughing of blood.
Types of tumors include:
Benign: pleomorphic adenoma, squamous cell papilloma, chondroma, granular cell tumor, glomus tumor, neurofibroma
Malignant: adenoid cystic carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, malignant epithelial tumor, carcinoid tumor, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, small cell and non-small cell lung cancer
Other tracheal disorders managed by The Lung Center include tracheo-esophageal fistula, an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea, and tracheobronchomalacia, a rare condition that occurs when the airway walls are weak, leading them to narrow or collapse.
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Autoimmune And Airway Disorders That Cause Tracheal And Subglottic Stenosis
Tracheal and subglottic stenosis occur with a narrowing of your windpipe, which is the most critical conduit of air travel from your mouth to your lungs. The subglottic space above the trachea is where 100 percent of your ventilation takes place, yet it is quite narrow, so it is important to keep this area as open as possible. Airflow is what causes your respiratory currency; the more active you are, the more energy you are burning and the more support you need for this ventilation. If your airflow tube is narrowed, you need to increase the force to push the air through. However, this requires more effort, as you are expending more metabolic energy. The problem that transpires is that eventually many individuals with difficulties breathing will cut down on their metabolic expenditures, and ultimately, their fitness .
How Is Asthma Diagnosed
To diagnose asthma, doctors will ask questions about a child’s health, problems with breathing, and family medical history. They’ll also ask about any allergies, illnesses, and exposure to things that may make breathing worse.
Kids will have a physical exam and may have a lung function test. This usually involves testing breathing with a spirometer, a machine that analyzes airflow through the airways.
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What Can I Expect
When you become a patient of The Lung Center you will meet with many members of the team who will carefully review your medical history and conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation. You will receive a recommendation for a therapy tailored just for you, based on your specific disorder and other factors, as well as comprehensive monitoring.
Your Respiratory System And Asthma
An asthma patients guide to how the respiratory system works, with tips on keeping asthma under control.
Asthma is a common respiratory condition that affects over 26 million adults and children in the United States. Here’s a look at how the respiratory system works and how asthma impacts the respiratory system.
Upper respiratory tract The main parts of the upper respiratory system include the nose, mouth, throat and voice box. When you breathe in through your nose, the nasal cavity warms the air to keep it from irritating your sensitive airways. Cilia and mucus in the nasal passages trap germs and allergens. Once air is warmed and purified, it travels from your nose down to your throat and voice box and into the lower portion of your respiratory system.
Lower respiratory tract The lower respiratory tract is made up of the windpipe and lungs, including the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli. The air moves down through your windpipe and into the bronchi. Airways that branch off into the lungs have cartilage embedded in their walls to keep the bronchi open. Inside the lungs, these airways then move into smaller passages called bronchioles. These are susceptible to swelling and constriction because there is no cartilage to hold them open.
Avoiding the impact of asthma These simple steps can help you keep your respiratory system healthy:
Medically reviewed in May 2018.
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Can Asthma And Pneumonia Be Prevented
Asthma isnt preventable. Good disease management can cut down on asthma attacks, however.
You can get a vaccination for a type of bacterial pneumonia called pneumococcal pneumonia. Doctors recommend this vaccine for certain people at risk of developing the disease. Ask your doctor if you should get the vaccine.
You can also reduce your risk of getting pneumonia by:
- washing your hands regularly to help reduce the spread of germs
- not smoking, since tobacco use can make it more difficult for your lungs to fight off infection
What Is The Treatment For Asthma
By avoiding asthma triggers, taking medication, and carefully monitoring daily asthma symptoms, asthma attacks can be avoided or at least limited. Proper use of medication is the basis of good asthma control. Drugs used to treat asthma include bronchodilators, anti-inflammatories, leukotriene modifiers and immunomodulators.
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Conditions That Mimic Asthma
There are a number of conditions that can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. While most are related to the lungs and respiratory system, others are associated with other organ systems, such as the heart and respiratory tract.
When investigating potential asthma, your doctor will consider all possible causes of your breathing difficulty in a process called differential diagnosis.
How Can I Stop My Asthma Getting Worse Over Time
The best way to stop your asthma getting worse over time is to stick to a good routine of taking your preventer medicines as prescribed.
And if you notice your symptoms are getting worse, see your GP or asthma nurse as soon as possible so they can review your treatment.
You can also cut your risk of frequent asthma attacks, and your asthma getting worse, by stopping smoking.
Having an;asthma review;at least once a year, gives you a chance to talk through any symptoms or new triggers. You can check youre on the right medicine and that youre using your inhaler in the right way to get the most benefits.
You can also talk to your GP or asthma nurse about whether you need a higher dose or an add-on treatment to help with symptoms.
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Does Asthma Get Worse As You Age
With age, lungs become less elastic, chest walls more rigid and respiratory muscles less efficient, which can aggravate asthma symptoms. Older people may not respond very well to inhaled corticosteroids used to treat asthma, due to physiological changes that come with age.
Older people often have other coexisting conditions which can complicate diagnosis and treatment of asthma. The risk for morbidity and mortality typically increases with age.
What Organs Does Asthma Affect
Asthma is a respiratory illness that affects the lungs, trachea and bronchial passages. An asthma attack occurs when the respiratory system, collectively known as the airways, constricts and prevents oxygen from flowing freely into the body, according to Dr. Miles Weinberger, professor of pediatrics at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
The trachea is a long air tube leading from the neck to the upper chest cavity where it bisects to form the left and right bronchi. Each bronchus forks into several tiny passageways, or bronchioles, that deliver air to small sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. A smooth muscular lining runs throughout the airways and contains a membrane that produces mucus, which normally helps the respiratory system prevent the spread of bacteria in the lungs, says Dr. Weinberger.
During an asthma attack, the muscular lining swells or tightens, causing labored breathing, and the mucus membrane produces excess fluid, filling up the narrow airways, notes the American Lung Association. An asthmatic’s respiratory organs are sensitive to specific stimuli, such as dust, pet dander, smoke or cold weather. Untreated or incorrectly managed asthma can lead to long-term respiratory damage from repeated inflammation. When the respiratory system is permanently scarred, medications lose their effectiveness and the lungs may not be able to distribute air sufficiently.
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Bronchial Tubes Also Prevent Foreign Invaders
While your doctor probably often talks about the overproduction of mucus in asthma, you need some mucus to be healthy. The mucus acts as a sticky pad and tries to keep foreign things that should not be in your lungs out. Not only does the mucus keep the lungs moist, but it acts as a trap keeping out things like dust, bacteria, or viruses that could trigger an asthma attack.
What Is An Asthma Attack
An asthma attack is the episode in which bands of muscle around the airways are triggered to tighten. This tightening is called bronchospasm. During the attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed, and the cells lining the airways make more and thicker mucus than normal.
All of these things — bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production — cause symptoms such as trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and trouble with normal daily activities.
Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:
- Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Feelings of anxiety or panic
- Pale, sweaty face
- Blue lips or fingernails
An asthma attack can get worse quickly, so it’s important to treat these symptoms right away.
Without immediate treatment, such as with your asthma inhaler or bronchodilator, it will become harder to breathe. If you use a peak flow meter at this time, the reading will probably be less than 50% of your usual or normal peak flow reading.. Many asthma action plans suggest interventions starting at 80% of normal.
As your lungs continue to tighten, you wonât be able to use the peak flow meter at all. Your lungs will tighten so there is not enough air movement to make wheezing. You need to go to a hospital right away. Unfortunately, some people think that the disappearance of wheezing is a sign of improvement and donât get emergency care.
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How Is Asthma Classified
Doctors rank how bad asthma is by its symptoms:
Your asthma may be getting worse if:
- You have symptoms more often and they interfere more with your daily life.
- You have a hard time breathing. You can measure this with a device called a peak flow meter.
- You need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often.
Diagnosing Asthma In Older People
Older people are more likely to have other lung diseases that also cause shortness of breath , so doctors have to determine how much of the person’s breathing difficulty is related to asthma and reversible with the appropriate anti-asthma therapy. Often, in these people diagnosis involves a brief trial of drugs that are used to treat asthma to see whether the person’s condition improves.
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Will I Always Have Asthma
Asthma is a lifelong condition; most people who have asthma will always have asthma.
But if youve been diagnosed with asthma as a child, your asthma might improve or disappear completely as you get older, particularly if the asthma was mild. ;
Even if asthma goes away it can come back later in life, perhaps because youve come into contact with new triggers in your job, or youve moved to an area with more air pollution for example. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause can also bring it on again.
But the good news is that even though asthma doesnt go away there are lots of safe and effective;treatments;available to help you stay symptom-free.
If youve tried taking all the usual treatments in the right way, but youre still having symptoms, your GP can refer you to a specialist to see if you have severe asthma. This kind of asthma only affects around 4% of all people with asthma. An asthma specialist can help you find the right treatments for you, for example monoclonal antibodies.
Understanding Asthma Pathophysiology Diagnosis And Management
A chronic inflammatory airway disorder, asthma is marked by airway hyperresponsiveness with recurrent episodes of wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath. Typically, these episodes are associated with airflow obstruction that may be reversed spontaneously or with treatment.
Asthma affects approximately 300 million people around the world. In children, males have a higher asthma risk; in adults, females have a higher prevalence.
Experts believe asthma results from various host factors, environmental factors, or a combination. Host factors include gender, obesity, and genetics. Genetic factors include atopy. Defined as a genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, atopy commonly is linked to an immunoglobulin E mediated response to allergens.
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Allergy And The Immune System
Many researchers have tried to identify the main causes of airways inflammation. Abnormalities of the immune system, which protects our bodies from infection, have been thought to be major contributors to the development of asthma. More specifically, allergic responses have been considered to be the main determinants of the asthma phenotype. Extensive research over the years, however, has shown that there are different phenotypes of asthma and not all are mediated by allergies. Even so, we will first explore the allergy-driven TH2 hypothesis before describing some of the other theories of asthma pathogenesis.
What are the steps involved from being exposed to a piece of dust to developing wheezing? It is clear that this process does not happen to everyone and that only susceptible individuals have this problem. Over the last several decades there have been several basic immune mechanisms described including antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity, that are thought to be responsible for airways inflammation and obstruction in response to an allergic stimulus.
What Asthma Treatment Options Are There
You have options to help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control symptoms. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter and exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to take every day to control or prevent your symptoms.
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen.
- Biologic therapies for asthma when symptoms persist despite being on proper inhaler therapy.
You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or other inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.
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Articles On Leukotriene Modifiers
Asthma and allergies often go hand-in-hand. Asthma is a disease of the branches of the windpipe , which carry air in and out of the lungs. There are several different types of asthma.Allergic asthma is a type of asthma that is triggered by an allergy . According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many of the 25 million Americans with asthma also have allergies, and this is called allergic asthma.
Air is normally taken into the body through the nose and windpipe and into the bronchial tubes. At the end of the tubes are tiny air sacs called alveoli that deliver fresh air to the blood. The air sacs also collect stale air , which is exhaled out of the body. During normal breathing, the bands of muscle surrounding the airways are relaxed and air moves freely. But during an asthma episode or “attack,” there are three main changes that stop air from moving freely into the airways:
- The bands of muscle that surround the airways tighten, causing them to narrow in what is called “bronchospasm.”
- The lining of the airways becomes swollen, or inflamed.
- The cells that line the airways produce more mucus, which is thicker than normal.
The narrowed airway makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. As a result, people with asthma feel they cannot get enough air. All of these changes make breathing difficult.