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Medical Article

Asthma

Asthma is one of most common chronic disease in the world. The word asthma comes from Greek word breathlessness or panting. Asthma is a condition in which the airways of the lungs become narrowed or completely blocked, obstructing normal breathing, due to certain allergens. Although the airways normally have the potential for constricting in response to allergens, the asthmatic airways are more prone to constriction leading to inflammation and swelling .The obstruction takes more effort to the intake of air resulting in a whistling sound called Wheezing. Irritation of the airways by excessive mucus may provoke coughing.

Causes
Allergens-common allergens in food; nuts, peanuts, egg, chocolate, milk etc
In plants; pollens grasses
In animals; Dust mites, feathers, canine saliva

Diagnosis
Blood and Sputum examination shows increased  eosinophils.
Chest X ray shows abnormality in airways
Pulmonary function test

Treatment of Asthma

During acute attack
Take a from puff from the inhaler
Loosen any tight clothing and open the windows of the room if warm

Long term treatment strategies
Controlling the environment factor; by avoiding the allergic environment like dust, dust from bed carpets etc
Controlling asthma attacks by taking regular medications; anti - inflammatory and Bronchodilators
Nebulizer therapy
Spacer

Other anti-inflammatory drugs that are useful are
Cromolyn sodium
Nedrocromil; Reduce the symptoms of asthma
Zafirlukast and Zileuton
Short acting  broncho  dialators;
Metaproterenol
Ephedrine
Terbutaline
Albuterol
Long acting bronchodilators
Salmetrol
Metaproterenol
Theophylline
Atropine
Immunotherapy
Regular follow up visits to doctor