The Effects of Asthma on Teens
My Capstone Project is on Asthma. The patient, a high school cheerleader, named Tammy is 17-years old and has been diagnosed with asthma. Tammy is an active teenager who attends many social events. After high school, she plans to attend View University on a cheerleading scholarship. Tammy is nervous about living away from home and has trouble controlling her asthma. It is very important for Tammy to understand what asthma, how to control it and if it will have an effect on her activities. Asthma is a disease that affects the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. Patients who suffer with the chronic condition are said to be asthmatic (Medical News Today, 2011). Asthma occurs when the inside walls of an asthmatic’s airways are swollen and inflamed. The swelling and inflammation makes the airways sensitive to irritations and increases the susceptibility to an allergic reaction. Inflammation causes the airways to become narrow, causing less air to pass through them, both to and from the lungs. Due to the narrowing, a patient will experience wheezing, chest tightness, breathing problems and coughing. Wheezing is the high pitched whistling sound that you may hear as you breather when air flow is obstructed in the lung. Wheezing may occur at the beginning of an asthma attack and usually while breathing out or exhaling and may occur while breathing in if the attack worsens (About.com, 2011). As your airways become more inflamed, filled with mucus and the smooth muscles in your airways constrict, chest tightness may be experienced as the inability or perception of not being able to move air in and out of your lungs. The feeling of chest tightness may increase your anxiety and further worsen the sense of not being able to move air through to your lungs (About.com, 2011). Asthma is diagnosed and distinguished from other lung disorders by a combination of medical history, physical examination, and...
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