Shortness of Breath or Breathlessness ?

                                               DIFFICULTY IN BREATHING ?

There are a number of lung conditions that can cause breathing difficulty. All of these require immediate medical attention. These are-

  1. Asthma
  2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)
  3. Chronic Bronchitis
  4. Emphysema
  5. Pneumonia
  6. Pulmonary Embolism
  7. Pulmonary Fibrosis
  8. Bronchiactasis and so on.

Here I mention about Asthma.

Asthma: Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways. Which causes shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing. So if the inflammation occurs in the airways it can be described as Asthma and it is the main condition of Asthma. 

Symptoms: The common sign and symptoms of Asthma are Coughing, Trouble in breathing or Shortness of breath, Chest pain or Tightness in the chest, Wheezing when exhaling, Increase heart rate during everyday activities, Sneezing, Runny nose, Nasal itching, Nasal congestion, Difficulty falling a sleep etc.

Common triggers: Outdoor allergens such as Pollens, Molds, Indoor allergens such as House-dust, Mites, Animal dander, Insects (e.g. Cockroach allergen), Odors (Perfume, Cleansers, Air freshener etc), NSAIDs (e.g. Aspirin).

Clinical Classification of Asthma:

► Mild intermittent: Attacks occur 2 times per week or less.

► Mild persistent: Attacks occur more than 2 times per week.

► Moderate persistent: Attacks occur daily or almost daily and are severe enough to affect activity.

► Severe persistent: Attacks are very frequent and persist for a long period of time; attacks severely limit activity.

Treatment of Asthma:

The appropriate drug treatment regiment for Asthma is based on the frequency and severity of the asthma attacks and may include the following:

► Avoidance of triggers and allergents.

► Short/Long acting beta-adrenergic receptor activators e.g; Salbutamol, Salmeterol, Formoterol these drugs block bronchoconstriction but do not prevent the inflammatory response.

► Xanthine drugs e.g; Doxophylline causes bronchodilation and also inhibit the late phase asthma.

► Cromolyn sodium is an anti-inflammatory agent that blcks both the early phase and late phase of asthma.

► Anti-inflammatory drugs(Corticosteroids) can be used orally or by inhalation to blunt the inflammatory response of asthma. Example: Fluticasone, Budesonide, Methylprednisolone etc.

► Leukotrienes modifiers (Montelukast) that blocks the synthesis of the key inflammatory mediators, leukotrienes.

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