ASTHMA - by: Jade Birkby

1) The common and scientific name of the disease.

The common and scientific name is Asthma. Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects breathing.

2) What causes it?

The exact cause of asthma is unknown. However, many factors have been proven to play a part in the causes of asthma. Genetics can play a part in the cause of asthma because it is known to run in families. Also, often people who have asthma also suffer from allergies such as rhinitis, which is when the lining of the nose becomes inflamed. The environment that surrounds the person can also contribute to asthma. For example, homes that allow dust mites to breed contributes to asthma in children. Exposure to smoke during pregnancy can also trigger the development of asthma in the unborn child and make the symptoms more severe. A person's diet may affect whether they develop asthma. If a person has a high intake of processed foods, salts and lower antioxidants then it is more likely that they will develop asthma. Another factor in the contribution to asthma is having a lack of exercise. This is because reduced exercise prevents the airways from stretching, it is more possible for airway wall muscles to contract abnormally when there is exposure to small allergens. Asthma can develop in adults if they are exposed to irritants in the workplace such as, chemicals, gases, dusts, pollens and moulds. These irritants can be found industries such as woodworking, chemical production and spray painting cars.


3) What are the symptoms? How long do they it last? Is it deadly?

Asthma causes the bronchial tubes to become chronically inflammed and leads to narrowing and swelling of airways. Asthma makes the suffer have a difficult time breathing and minor irritants can trigger asthma attacks. Minor irritants include pollen, dust, weather changes and fumes. Also, other symptoms include, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Asthma will always be with the person and is therefore a chronic condition, even if they are breathing normally, asthma is still there. However, it is at its worst when there is an asthma attack which is when there is a time of increased asthma symptoms.
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Asthma can be deadly and every year it counts for approximately 4000 deaths in America alone. If it is not treated, asthma can kill. Often people do not realise this and can also be ignorant to the fact that 20 million Americans suffer from this disease.

The link to an article below demonstrates how serious asthma is:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7467007/Boy-left-dying-in-school-corridor-by-teacher.html

4) Can it be cured? If so, how? If not, is there any way that we can at least treat it?

Asthma cannot be cured. However, there are several treatments

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that work by reducing the inflammation of the airways. The main way of treating asthma is through something called an inhaler, inhalers contain drugs that allow symptoms to subside. The reliever inhaler contains bronchodilator drugs and is taken when the sufferer is wheezing or is feeling short of breath. It works by relaxing the muscles in the airways allowing breathing to get better. Preventer inhalers usually contain steroid drugs and are taken everyday to prevent symptoms. Long acting bronchodilator inhalers are also used to treat asthma. There are many different types of inhalers that can be used. However, when choosing an inhaler the sufferer must take into account the convenience of the inhaler, the age of the sufferer, the coordination the asthmatic has and the side affects the drugs in the inhaler can cause.



Bibliography:

(2008). Inhalers for asthma. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Inhalers-for-Asthma.htm

Szeftel, A and Schiffman, G. (n.d.). Asthma. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from http://www.medicinenet.com/asthma/page8.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S04dci7NTPk

Collins, N. (2010). Boy left dying in school corridor by teacher. Retrieved, March 20, 2010, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7467007/Boy-left-dying-in-school-corridor-by-teacher.html

(2007). Asthma. Retrieved, March 20, 2010 from http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbasthma.htm