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Bronchial Asthma|
Pediatric and Adolescent Care (psych)|
Jessica Chrysostom 00022492Deniece La Roche 00036255Kendon Simmons 00039205|

Table of Contents
Topic Page # Introduction 2-4 Clinical Manifestation 4 Asthma and Age

Diagnosis
Diagnostic challenges
Major Criteria
Minor Criteria
Drug Category (Bronchodilators)

INTRODUCTION
Bronchial asthma, also known as asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease which causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow affecting the passage of air to and from our lungs. This then leads to periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. Inflammation also causes sensitivity of the airways to irritation, leading to an increasing vulnerability to allergic reactions. Persons who suffer from asthma are said to be asthmatic, and have what are known as asthmatic episodes or asthmatic attacks. An asthmatic attack occurs when symptoms are worse than usual, and can range from mild or moderate, to severe. These attacks are usually triggered by allergens that become sensitive to the airways, causing allergic reactions. They include substances such as cockroach droppings, mold, house dust or dust mites, pollen, animal proteins or even certain foods. At inception, asthma attacks allow sufficient air to enter the lungs; however, carbon dioxide does not exit the lungs fast enough. In prolonged episodes this can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the lungs which is poisonous, and also lowers the amount of oxygen being allowed to enter the bloodstream. In severe asthmatic episodes oxygen does not enter the lungs due to blockage of the airways; therefore, oxygen does not get to the bloodstream, thus never reaching the body’s vital organ which requires immediate hospitalization, as this can be fatal. Though it is not completely known what causes asthma, it is believed that this chronic disease can be inherited, but is also triggered by chemical, environmental and infectious factors. These triggers causes the body to release histamine and others agents causing inflammation in the airways, along with the release of other factors which causes the airways to become smaller by tightening. Mucus production is also increased, which blocks the airways. Other triggers of asthmatic episodes also include respiratory infections and sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux, sensitivity to medications, smoke, irritants, exercise, and emotional anxiety and nervous stress. Upper respiratory infections often caused by cold and flu viruses causes irritation of the airways, lungs, nose, throat and sinuses, worsening asthma. Gastroesophageal reflux is a condition which is characterized by a persistent reflux of stomach acids with symptoms such as spitting up in infants, belching and heartburn, and is common in individuals with asthma. Up to twenty percent of asthmatic attacks in adults are caused as a result of allergic reactions or sensitivities to certain medication. These include medication such aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, indomethacin and naproxen, and sulphites which are used as preservatives in food and beverages, such as most processed or pre-cooked meals, jams, prawns and concentrated fruit juices. Smoke generally has been known to worsen asthma. Whether directly or passively inhaled, tobacco smoke affects asthmatics. As a result, both children and adults who have been exposed to second hand smoke, have a higher risk of asthmatic occurrences. Smoke from heating stoves, fire places and the burning of wood releases irritating chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, which also affects asthmatics. Many irritants also affect asthmatics causing daily triggers. These include air pollutants, chemical exposures...
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