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Physiological Disorders
Caroline McKeever
Shannon McGee
P1, P2, P3 & M1

Asthma is a condition that affects your airway passages. Small tubes which are called your Bronchi carry oxygen into your lungs. People who have asthma have airways which are always narrowed even if they are not having an asthmatic attack. This is because their bronchi are always red and inflamed. The airways narrow because the smooth muscle in the bronchi walls swells. The bronchi also produce extra mucus which reduces the airflow.

There are many things that can asthmatic attack; Symptoms of an asthma attack are coughing, wheezing, tightest in chest and shortness of breath. A cold or a viral infection may be enough to trigger an asthmatic episode but not everyone who has Asthma will experience all of these symptoms. There is many other things that can trigger an asthma attack, which include: Dust, allergies, cigarette smoke, air pollution and aerosols etc. Asthma is a related allergic condition which involves hay fever and eczema, asthma is often in the family and may be inherited. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/signs.html

There are ways of diagnosing asthma, to diagnose asthma your doctor could perform a lung function test, a breathing test that which assesses how well your lungs are working. The machine that you use to detect how well your lungs are working is called a spirometer. To use this spirometer you have to blow into it and it takes 2 readings, it measures the volume of air that you can breathe out in 1 second and the total amount of air that you can breathe out.

To diagnose asthma you can always use a peak flow meter, a peak flow meter is used to see how much air you can blow out of your lungs in one breath. A person with asthma will be given a peak flow meter so that they can use daily and record their measurements of the peak flow meter.

Another test that is used to detect asthma is airway responsiveness test; this is a...