Asthma Clinical Review Essay – Pathophysiology of Asthma
Breathing is a vital process that enables our body to nourish our cells with the proper amount of oxygen and eliminate the carbon dioxide, the waste resultant of our cellular activity. The respiratory system is made by many organs, and by acting together they allow the respiration process to be successful (Martine Podesto, 2010). The human respiratory system starts on the nose including its nasal passages, where the inhaled air become warm, humidified and filtered as it travels through the throat and hits the windpipe (trachea). The trachea is located bellow the voice box (larynx). The trachea then branches into two parts: the right mainstem bronchus and the left mainstem bronchus. The right mainstem bronchus brings air to and from the right lung, and the left mainstem brings air to and from the left lung (Claudia S. Plottel & B. Robert Fedman, 2008) .The right lung is larger than the left since the left side needs to accommodate the heart while the right side has only the lung. When the trachea is split the right and the left mainstem bronchi are connected to their respective lung subdividing into tiny tube-like passages originating the tracheobronchial tree. The bronchi continue subdividing into narrower bronchi, and the tiniest subdivision is called bronchiole. At the end of the bronchioles there are air sacs (alveoli). The alveoli are one of the most important part of the respiratory system. They do the air exchange allowing the oxygen-rich air to enter and the air rich in carbon dioxide to exit. Oxygen is vital and deprivation leads to death. Certain forms of respiratory failure present abnormal levels of carbon dioxide accumulated in the bloodstream. There is also a well-known respiratory disease that affects people from all age groups, and is also life threatening when uncontrolled, asthma. Need assistance with writing your Pathophysiology Asthma Assignment Help? Get Help from Experts based in Australia.
Asthma is best described as a chronic disease that involves inflammation of the pulmonary airways and bronchial hyperresponsiveness that results in the clinical expression of a lower airway obstruction that usually is reversible. Physiologically, bronchial hyperresponsiveness is documented by decreased bronchial airflow after bronchoprovocation with methacholine or histamine. Other triggers that provoke airway obstruction include cold air, exercise, viral upper respiratory infection, cigarette smoke, and respiratory allergens. (PubMed,2003)
Asthma is the most common chronic disease among people. Its manifestation can occur anytime from infancy to late adolescence and beyond. What asthma does is throwing a wrench into the normally smooth-running airway. As an example, the airways of a typical child with asthma are inflamed, which makes them oversensitive, poised to react by narrowing whenever they come in contact with an asthma trigger. As a result, with asthma, airways become hyper- responsive or twitchy. They overact with constriction and narrowing of the bronchial tubes when confronted with various materials and conditions which people who don’t have asthma have no reaction (Michael J. Welch, 2011).
The symptoms experienced by an asthmatic person can be differentiated by its intensity and frequency. Cough, mucus production, wheezing, chest tightness or pressure, can be considered as typical asthma symptoms.
Asthma management will only succeed if there is interest from the side of the affected individual in learning about asthma and mastering self-management skills combined with a comprehensive medical treatment.
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Asthma treatment is still inadequate in Australia. Even though deaths from asthma had decreased in the last years, asthma control in Australia is not optimal. Patients are still not being treated correctly. Around half people diagnosed to be asthma patients aged between 15-34 years old have their preventive drugs dispensed only once a year, indicating that most people aren’t taking enough medicine to reduce the risk of asthma flare ups. There are also many patients being over-treated. Preventive prescriptions given to adult Australian patients are mostly the ones with the highest potency combination of inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2-agonist rather than a low dose inhaled corticosteroid which by itself would be sufficient for most of the patients (Australian Prescriber, 2012). People with asthma should be reassessed once or twice a year to adjust their treatment if necessary and have an updated written action plan. If patient shows worsen symptoms, other conditions should be considered, such as rhinitis, cardiac failure or vocal cord dysfunction. The proper use of inhalers is fundamental in asthma control. Health care practitioners should always make sure the patient knows how to use his devices properly.
Drug treatment for asthmatic patients accordingly to the National Asthma Council Australia:
The drugs to treat asthma are classified as: relievers, preventers, symptom controllers and combination medication.
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