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Is Asthma A Chronic Disease

Q: How Is Acos Treated

Asthma and Chronic Airways Disease – Professor Chris Whitty

Your provider can begin treatment if you have COPD or asthma alone. But if you have ACOS, you may want to see a pulmonologista specialist in lung health. People with ACOS often experience more severe symptoms than those with a single lung disease, but working with a specialist can help you feel better. Treatment for ACOS usually includes medicine.

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How it works

It is unknown why someone develops asthma, yet someone with a family history of asthma is more likely to get asthma. Which is why an accurate medical history is a part of being diagnosed including a breathing test to measure how adequately your lungs work, called Spirometry. The patient takes a deep breath and blows out into a sensor which then will measure the volume of air your lungs can endure as well as the speed of the air been inhaled or exhaled. This test is used to diagnose the severity of the condition or if treatments are working. Another test that is more commonly used is among patients with eosinophilic asthma a severe type asthma and the testing is to determine the amount of inflammation present. Patients will asthma are more commonly diagnosed with allergies which is why allergy testing may additionally be performed to help avoid allergic traits decreasing the asthma symptoms

Not only is the cause of asthma unknown, but the way to prevent it is as well. Modifying your lifestyles is a step plan that can help ease living with your condition. Avoiding certain triggers that worsen your condition, adjusting to a different layout for a goal to have little to no contact with your triggers. Take your medications as directed and prescribed by your doctor even when feeling better unless told by your doctor. And constantly stay up-to-date with your vaccination for pneumonia and influenza as it can help prevent flare-ups.

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Inflammation In Asthma And Copd

Despite the similarity of some clinical features of asthma and COPD, there are marked differences in the pattern of inflammation in the respiratory tract, with different inflammatory cells, mediators, consequences, and responses to therapy . In addition, inflammation in asthma predominantly involves the larger airways, whereas in COPD, it involves predominantly small airways and the lung parenchyma. However, patients with severe asthma have airway inflammation that is more similar to that seen in individuals with COPD, suggesting a convergence of cytokine networks.

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Who Strategy For Prevention And Control Of Asthma

Asthma is included in the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

WHO is taking action to extend diagnosis of and treatment for asthma in a number of ways.

The WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions was developed to help improve NCD management in primary health care in low-resource settings. PEN includes protocols for the assessment, diagnosis, and management of chronic respiratory diseases , and modules on healthy lifestyle counselling, including tobacco cessation, and self-care.

Reducing tobacco smoke exposure is important for both primary prevention of asthma and disease management. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is enabling progress in this area as are WHO initiatives such as MPOWER and mTobacco Cessation.

What Should I Do If I Have A Severe Asthma Attack

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A severe asthma attack needs immediate medical care. The first step is your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to open up your airways. Its different than your normal maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should only use the rescue inhaler in an emergency.

If your rescue inhaler doesnt help or you dont have it with you, go to the emergency department if you have:

  • Anxiety or panic.
  • Bluish fingernails, bluish lips or gray or whitish lips or gums .
  • Chest pain or pressure.

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How Can I Prevent An Asthma Episode

The best way to prevent an asthma episode, or attack, is to follow your treatment plan. Learn your triggers and avoid them. Take your allergy and asthma medicines when you should. Use your quick-acting medicine as soon as you start to notice symptoms.

Many people live normal lives with asthma if its properly managed. With a good treatment plan and guidance from your doctor, you can still do much of what you enjoy. For example, many professional athletes have asthma.

Q: Whats The Difference Between Asthma And Copd

Asthma occurs frequently in people with a family history of the disease and often begins in childhood. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness, and these symptoms flare up during an asthma attack. At other times, symptoms may fade or become minimal.

COPD is different and usually strikes later in life. Most people diagnosed with COPD either used to smoke, or still do. Some symptomssuch as chest tightness and coughingare similar to asthma. Other symptoms, such as mucus production, are distinct to COPD. Unlike asthma, symptoms rarely ever fade completely.

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Are There Rehabilitation Programs For Copd

The goals of COPD rehabilitation programs include helping the patientreturn to the highest level of function and independence possible, whileimproving the overall quality of the persons physical, emotional, andsocial life. Attaining these goals help people with COPD live morecomfortably by improving endurance, providing relief of symptoms, andpreventing progression of the disease with minimal side effects.

In order to reach these goals, COPD rehabilitation programs may include thefollowing:

  • Medication management

  • Exercises to decrease respiratory symptoms and improve muscle strength and endurance

  • Respiratory treatments to improve breathing ability

  • Assistance with obtaining respiratory equipment and portable oxygen

  • Methods to increase independence with activities of daily living

  • Exercises for physical conditioning and improved endurance

  • Stress management, relaxation exercises, and emotional support

  • Smoking cessation programs

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Asthma Prevention And Control

Asthma – The most common chronic childhood disease

Asthma is a common disease affecting the lungs. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. With treatment, a person with asthma can live an active life. If left untreated, asthma can severely impact a persons life.

Asthma affects the airways in the lungs. People with asthma have airways that are extra sensitive to different things in the environment such as cigarette smoke, dust mites and mold. When people with asthma breathe in these things, their airways become inflamed and swollen. Air cant get through the airways and it is harder to breathe.

Asthma is a chronic disease. It is a lifelong condition that can cause permanent damage if it is not treated properly. Asthma is not contagious, but it often runs in families that have a history of asthma and allergies. Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the number one reason why children miss school.

Access to environmental data, information, and resources

Access to information on comprehensive asthma control services in schools

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What Is An Asthma Action Plan

Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop an asthma action plan. This plan tells you how and when to use your medicines. It also tells you what to do if your asthma gets worse and when to seek emergency care. Understand the plan and ask your healthcare provider about anything you dont understand.

Reducing The Burden Of Asthma

Asthma cannot be cured, but good management with inhaled medications can control the disease and enable people with asthma to enjoy a normal, active life.

There are two main types of inhaler:

  • bronchodilators , that open the air passages and relieve symptoms and
  • steroids , that reduce inflammation in the air passages. This improves asthma symptoms and reduces the risk of severe asthma attacks and death.

People with asthma may need to use their inhaler every day. Their treatment will depend on the frequency of symptoms and the different types of inhalers available.

It can be difficult to coordinate breathing using an inhaler especially for children and during emergency situations. Using a spacer device makes it easier to use an aerosol inhaler and helps the medicine to reach the lungs more effectively. A spacer is a plastic container with a mouthpiece or mask at one end, and a hole for the inhaler in the other. A homemade spacer, made from a 500-ml plastic bottle, can be as effective as a commercially-manufactured inhaler.

Access to inhalers is a problem in many countries. In 2019, only half of people with asthma had access to a bronchodilator and less than one in five had access to a steroid inhaler in public primary health-care facilities in low-income countries .

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How Is Asthma Classified

Doctors rank how bad asthma is by its symptoms:

  • Mild intermittent asthma. Mild symptoms less than twice a week. Nighttime symptoms less than twice a month. Few asthma attacks.
  • Mild persistent asthma. Symptoms three to six times a week. Nighttime symptoms three to four times a month. Asthma attacks might affect activities.
  • Moderate persistent asthma. Daily asthma symptoms. Nighttime attacks five or more times a month. Symptoms may affect activities.
  • Severe persistent asthma. Ongoing symptoms both day and night. You have to limit your activities.
  • 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.

    Type I And Type Iii Ifns


    Type 1 IFNs and type III IFNs play an important role in innate immunity against viral infections, but IFN- and IFN- show reduced expression in epithelial cells of asthmatic patients and are associated with increased rhinovirus replication, which may predispose these patients to viral exacerbations of asthma . The molecular mechanism for these defects in innate immunity is not yet understood. Low-dose IFN- seems to give marked benefit in patients with severe corticosteroid-resistant asthma but again the mechanism is unknown .

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    The Role Of Proinflammatory Cytokines In Asthma And Copd

    Proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-, IL-1, and IL-6, are found in increased amounts in the sputum and BAL fluid in individuals with asthma and COPD and amplify inflammation, in part through the activation of NF-B, which leads to the increased expression of multiple inflammatory genes. In other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases, blocking these cytokines has proven to be of clinical benefit, so there has been considerable interest in determining whether the same approach might also be useful in inflammatory airway diseases.

    Comorbid Diseases Or Conditions

    Comorbidity is the simultaneous existence of two or more diseases or conditions in an individual. Comorbidity for the purpose of respiratory disease in the CCDSS was defined as the co-existence in an individual of one of either asthma or COPD with diabetes, hypertension, mood and/or anxiety disorders, asthma or COPD .

    For asthma, the prevalence of four comorbid diseases or conditions was calculated among those with and without asthma. For diabetes and mood and/or anxiety disorders, the prevalence was calculated for those age one and older for hypertension, it was calculated for those aged 20 years and older and for COPD, for those aged 35 years and older.

    For COPD, the prevalence of COPD was reported among those with and without each of the comorbid conditions. Therefore the prevalence of COPD was calculated among those with and without diabetes, mood and/or anxiety disorders, hypertension and asthma. The prevalence was calculated among those aged 35 years and older among all four comorbid diseases or conditions, corresponding to the reporting age for COPD.

    The following case definitions were used for the comorbid diseases and conditions:



    Mood and/or Anxiety Disorder

    Individuals aged one and older with at least one physician billing claim listing a mood and/or anxiety diagnostic code in the first field, or one hospital discharge abstract listing a mood and/or anxiety diagnostic code in the most responsible diagnosis field in a one-year period.

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    How Do You Monitor Asthma Symptoms

    Monitoring your asthma symptoms is an essential piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may have you use a peak flow meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.

    Medical History And Physical Exam

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    Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for asthma and your symptoms. They may ask also about any known allergies. This includes how often symptoms occur, what seems to trigger your symptoms, when or where symptoms occur, and if your symptoms wake you up at night.

    During the physical exam, your doctor may:

    • Listen to your breathing and look for symptoms of asthma
    • Look for allergic skin conditions, such as eczema

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    What Your Lungs Do

    The lungs are not just empty sacs that inflate and deflate with each breath. They are made up of a complete system of filters and membranes that move oxygen into your body and get rid of waste gases like carbon dioxide.

    If you were to take the entire surface area of your lungs and stretch it out in a straight line, the total length would be about 1,500 milesroughly the distance between Las Vegas and Chicago.

    Air enters the lungs through your nose and mouth, traveling down the trachea and through the bronchial tubes to the left and right lungs.

    There are millions of tiny balloon-like air sacs called alveoli in your lungs that transfer gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air that you breathe to your blood. Even though your lungs contain millions of alveoli, the sacs are only about one cell thick and can be easily damaged by chemicals and other irritants.

    When alveoli are damaged, little by little your body loses its ability to take in oxygen and get rid of toxic gases, which then build up in your blood.

    What Are The Signs Of A Severe Asthma Attack

    Asthma may lead to a medical emergency.

    Rescue inhalers can help you: otc inhalers

    Seek medical help immediately for:

    • Fast breathing with chest retractions
    • Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones
    • Rapid movement of nostrils
    • Ribs or stomach moving in and out deeply and rapidly
    • Expanded chest that does not deflate when you exhale
    • Infants with asthma who fail to respond to or recognize parents

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    Objective Measurements To Confirm Variable Expiratory Airflow Limitation

    In a patient with typical respiratory symptoms, obtaining objective evidence of excessive variability in expiratory airflow limitation is essential to confirming the diagnosis of asthma . The greater the variations in lung function, or the more times excess variation is seen, the more likely the diagnosis is to be asthma. Spirometry is the preferred objective measure to assess for airflow limitation and excessive variability in lung function. It is recommended for all patients over 6 years of age who are able to undergo lung function testing .

    Spirometry measures airflow parameters such as the forced vital capacity and the forced expiratory volume in 1 s . Lung volumes are not measured with spirometry, and instead require full pulmonary function testing. The ratio of FEV1 to FVC provides a measure of airflow obstruction. In the general population, the FEV1/FVC ratio is usually greater than 0.750.80 in adults, and 0.90 in children. Any values less than these suggest airflow limitation and support a diagnosis of asthma . Because of the variability of asthma symptoms, patients will not exhibit reversible airway obstruction at every visit and a negative spirometry result does not rule out a diagnosis of asthma. This is particularly true for children who experience symptoms predominantly with viral infections, or who are well controlled on asthma medications. Therefore, to increase sensitivity, spirometry should be repeated, particularly when patients are symptomatic .

    Asthma Facts And Figures


    Asthma causes swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritating things entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms. Symptoms include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Asthma can be deadly.

    • There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed with proper prevention of asthma attacks and treatment.
    • More Americans than ever before have asthma. It is one of this countrys most common and costly diseases.

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    What Causes Asthma Or An Asthma Attack

    It is not clearly known why or how people develop asthma. Research suggests that a combination of family genes and environmental exposures produce asthma.

    Asthma can begin in early childhood or may first appear later in life. Not all childhood asthma continues into adulthood.

    Family history of asthma, respiratory infections in young children, exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and the first years of life, occupational exposures, house dust mites, air pollution, or cockroach droppings are a few of the things that may lead to asthma. An asthma trigger is anything that inflames your airways and flares your symptomslike tobacco smoke, dust, viral infections, cold weather, pet dander, pests , pollen and mold and strong fumes.

    There are many kinds of triggers, and triggers may be different for different people. Pet dander, tobacco smoke, air pollution, pollens, mold, mildew and dust are common triggers. When the lungs become irritated, the airways swell and mucus builds up, causing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest pain or tightness, tiredness or a combination of these symptoms.


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