The key to understanding why your doctor prescribes certain medications or asks you to do certain things related to asthma is to understand a little about asthma pathophysiology.
Asthma pathophysiology can be thought of as the study of the changes like inflammation and bronchoconstriction that occur in the lungs related to asthma. The term pathophysiology comes from the Greek stems:
Pathos– meaning “suffering or disease”
Physiologia– combining physis meaning “nature” plus logos meaning “study”.
Thus, asthma pathophysiology is the study the processes that lead to asthma and its complications. This includes all of the things that may contribute to asthma and consequently can be intervened upon as part of your asthma treatment.
All of the following topics can be considered part of asthma pathophysiology:
- Immune system
- Airway remodeling
Asthma Pathophysiology: What Happens When the Lungs Don’t Work Right
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As your asthma worsens, three primary asthma pathophysiology changes take place in your lungs:
Increased Mucus: As your airways become irritated and inflamed, the cells produce more mucus. The thick mucus may clog the airways of your ling.
Inflammation and Swelling: Just as your ankle swells from the irritation caused by a twisted ankle, the airways of your lungs swell in response to whatever is causing your asthma attack.
Muscle Tightening: As the smooth muscles in your airways tighten in response to your asthma attack, the airways become smaller.
The narrowing of the airways may occur and bring on symptoms quickly, or it may occur over a longer period of time. The symptoms of the attack itself may range from very mild to very severe.
These symptoms include:
– Shortness of breath
– Chronic cough
– Chest tightness
With appropriate treatment, progression of asthma pathophysiology may be prevented. Over time if asthma is poorly controlled, remodeling can occur and lead to permanent damage to the lungs. Poor control may result from not being prescribed enough medication, not having a large enough dose of medication, or not taking your medication as prescribed.
Preventing the Consequences of the Progression of Asthma Pathophysiology
Preventing asthma from worsening is hard because your risk depends on a number of factors both under and not under your control. For example, you can’t do anything about your family history, but you can control your exposure to smoke.
On the other hand, once you have been diagnosed:
- Learning about the symptoms of asthma
- Understanding and complying with a treatment plan
- Identifying and avoiding your asthma triggers
- Knowing what to do when your symptoms worsen
Will all help you gain control of your asthma. Understanding the pathophysiology of asthma will help you understand how your asthma works — what makes it worse, what makes it better, and what you need to do to keep your asthma under control.
Wheezing is but a single of the Symptoms of Asthma
Many folks can simply recognize wheezing as one particular of the signs and symptoms of asthma, but it is not the sole indicator. Although this wheezing, and possibly whistling, sound is a dominant indicator of symptoms of asthma, it is critical to recognize other indicators, particularly if you are a caregiver for a individual suffering from this debilitating condition.
Other substantial indicators of symptoms of asthma consist of a dry, hacking-like cough that persistently occurs accompanied with a tightening of the chest and extreme difficulty trying to breathe, specifically when physically moving or in the late hours of night or early hours of the morn.
There are quite a few “unusual” symptoms that might also indicate an impending asthma attack. A single of these is a naturally occurring act most humans experience. It really is known as sighing. That is correct. Asthma sufferers will outwardly exhibit the act of sighing.
But in contrast to most men and women, this sighing activity could be 1 of the signs and symptoms of asthma exhibited when it happens frequently and this frequency accelerates. Other unusual symptoms of asthma incorporate:
* Rapid breathing – this contains continuous gasping for air
* Overwhelming fatigue – often exhibited with small, if any, physical exertion
* Inability to sleep – normally interrupted by other signs and symptoms such as a persistent cough
* Paranoia – this can become a chronic manifestation of anxiousness where a sufferer begins believing the worst of every single moment
* A chronic cough not accompanied by any wheezing or whistling may also be one particular of the symptoms of asthma
One of the issues identifying a accurate symptom of asthma is that there is no consistent appearance of one particular or other of these signs and symptoms. One sufferer may only encounter symptoms of asthma at night, referred to as “nocturnal” asthma. An additional may possibly sleep peacefully via the night but manifest persistent symptoms of asthma during the day such as a continuous cough.
What are the Triggers for Signs and symptoms of Asthma?
There are numerous. Individuals have distinct triggers initiating the onset of signs and symptoms of asthma that incorporate allergens, reaction to certain medications, cold air, dust, pet dander, smoke, workout and in response to infections.
Nevertheless, there are quite a couple of other wellness circumstances, like heart failure and bronchitis, where an individual might exhibit what appear to be signs and symptoms of asthma but are not. This can present a hard challenge not only for you but also for your physician to make correct diagnoses along with producing an effective therapy strategy.
Easy Cough May Be Starting
A simple cough might be the first indicator of symptoms of asthma. The cough generally appears in what is mistakenly considered a cold or an upper respiratory infection. It also manifests in the early stages as a “tickle” in the sufferer’s throat. In some asthma sufferers, this cough is triggered by exercise and even laughing. Yes, laughing can cause a cough that may possibly be a symptom of asthma, but it is no joke. The circumstance can lead to more severe symptoms of asthma.
Sadly, coughing that accompanies an asthma condition can’t be treated with cough suppressants. Consequently, you will be throwing income away getting cough drops, liquid suppressants and other traditional remedies. You require to have a medical evaluation by a licensed physician if the cough continues three to six weeks. Only suitable testing will establish if this is really experiencing symptoms of asthma or might be some other respiratory ailment.