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Most of the patients develop symptoms in early childhood. 80-90 percent of them experience symptoms before 6 years of age (Morris, 2014). But, the clinical presentation can occur at any age. If left unattended and in the presence of severe symptoms, asthma can contribute to morbidity and mortality. Asthma is an incurable disease and individuals with this condition will need regular follow-up and monitoring of symptoms. In this essay, advances in asthma will be discussed with reference to a case scenario.
The most common symptoms of asthma in an adult are are wheezing, cough, nocturnal or exercise-induced cough, breathlessness, tightness of chest and sputum production (Morris, 2014). The symptoms may be perennial or seasonal, continuous or intermittent, or during the day or night. Some of the precipitating or aggravating factors include viral infections, intense emotions, environmental irritants, exercise, pets or carpets at home, drugs like aspirin, additive foods, weather changes, stress and certain diseases like gastrointestinal reflux, sinusitis and rhinitis (Morris, 2014; Hamilos, 1995). Many patients have a family history of asthma or other allergy conditions.
Based on the history of frequency and the severity of acute exacerbation, asthma is classified into four types. They are mild intermittent asthma, mild persistent asthma, moderate persistent asthma and severe persistent asthma. It is important to ascertain the severity of asthma in a patient because; treatment of asthma is based on the severity and frequency of symptoms. In mild intermittent asthma, the symptoms occur less than twice a week. The flare-ups are brief and the intensity vary. Night symptoms occur less than 2 times a month and no symptoms occur in between flare-ups. FEV1 is atleast 80% of normal values. The variability of peak flow is less than 20 % (SIGN, 2009). In mild persistent asthma, the
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The airways of an asthma patient swell hence restricting the flow of air in and out of the lungs, thereby making breathing complicated. This disease is also characterized by extreme mucus production, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
This has increased the number of people coming up to get treatment for chronic diseases. According to Falvo (2009), these developments have helped to save the lives of individuals suffering from chronic illnesses. Different from the ancient centuries where the society had negative misconceptions on chronic illnesses, the public has now been sensitized on the positivity of the matter.
The technological advancement proved by the existence of Dolly represented major medical progress, a new method for curing illness. The event also caused great apprehension from those worried it may mean a future populated by human clones. The questions concerning human cloning have been a troubling topic of throughout all segments of society
In addition, most asthma patients usually complain that the chest feels tight during asthmatic attacks (flare-ups or exacerbations). Asthma attacks may occur infrequently like once or even fewer times a month, or as frequent as a number of times a day (Murphy 5).
It is a common respiratory condition and affects population of all age groups irrespective of race and gender. It constitutes about 2 percent of emergency room visits (Smith and Goldman, 2012). If left unattended and in the presence of severe symptoms asthma can contribute to significant morbidity, mortality and economic costs.
To attain successful management of asthma, guidelines from internationally recognized organizations and institutions advocate the comprehensive and continuous patient education and regular follow up in addition to the maintenance treatment with inhaled corticosteroids.
Epidemiological studies have shown that the incidence of asthma in the US is among the highest in the world. The incidence of asthma is much greater (up to 20%) in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland. The global incidence is