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How to Treat an Asthma Attack

How to Treat an Asthma Attack

In an asthma attack, the muscles of the air passages in the lungs go into spasm. This makes the airways narrower, making it difficult to breathe. This can be triggered by an allergy, a cold, or smoke. At other times, someone may have a sudden attack with no obvious trigger. If you think someone is having an asthma attack, there are five things you may see: They may have difficulty breathing or speaking They may be wheezing They may be coughing a lot They may be distressed and anxious They may have a grey-blue tinge to the lips, their earlobes or their nailbeds. People with asthma usually know how to deal with their own attacks by using their reliever inhaler usually with a blue cap – at the first sign of an attack.

But if they don’t, or if the attack is severe, you may need to help. When treating someone having an asthma attack, keep calm, reassure them and advise them to use their reliever inhaler straight away. Advise them to use a spacer if they have one. Ask them to breathe slowly and deeply to help them control their breathing. Sit them down in a comfortable position. If it doesn’t get better within a few minutes, it may be a severe attack.
Get them to take one or two puffs of their inhaler every two minutes, until they’ve had 10 puffs. If this is their first attack, the attack is severe, they are not getting better, they are getting worse or they are becoming exhausted, call 999/112 for emergency help. Help them to continue to use their inhaler as needed. Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response. If they do become unresponsive at any time, treat a casualty who is unresponsive.

So remember, reassure them. Help them to use their reliever inhaler. If the attack is severe call 999/112 for emergency help and monitor their level of response. If they become unresponsive treat as an unresponsive casualty. And that’s how we help someone with an asthma attack.

What do you want to know about asthma?

Symptoms
type
The diagnosis
Classification
Causes
treatment
The intensity
Asthma vs COPD
Prevention
Management

asthma is caused by :

hey friends if you ever witnessed someone coughing holding their chest tightly as if they are feeling some pressure on it and trying to breathe faster but are still feeling short of breath please keep in mind that there are chances that this person might be having an asthma attack yes my friends I’m sure you must have heard that term asthma before or know someone who is battling it but have you ever wondered what factors are responsible for it so in today’s episode let us explore the science behind the disease called asthma and try to reach its root cause zoom in so what is asthma it is a lung condition that causes breathing problems it is common in kids and teens and could be hereditary it can be mine or so severe that it gets in the way of day-to-day life but what’s happening in our body during an asthma attack well it

all starts in the passageways inside your lungs known as bronchi and bronchioles through which the air forces these passages have an inner covering called the mucous membrane or mucosa surrounded by a layer of smooth muscles normally when someone inhales air goes in through the nose or mouth down the windpipe called trachea and into the Airways of the lungs and the mucus inside passageways helps to trap any outer particles like dust or pollen but when people that

asthma exposed to certain triggers like smoke dust pollen colder climates etc an asthma attack can occur making it difficult for them to breathe and tha is because the smooth rings so clean the a passages in the lungs tightens and narrows down and at the same time the dust particles cause the mucosal lining to swell and produce lots of thick bukas that blocks the Airways making it harder for the infected person to breathe as they feel their chest tighten making them coughs uncontrollably due to soul and Airways they make a breathing sound as the air whistles while passing through the narrow space these symptoms

may seem like the asthmatic person is having difficulty in breathing in but in reality during the attack it is difficult for them to breathe out that’s because carbon dioxide gets trapped inside the body cutting the supply of fresh oxygen resulting in an asthma attack but the crucial question is how can we prevent these attacks well one way to limit asthma includes knowing what triggers it and avoiding them but unfortunately it isn’t really possible to live in pollution and dust free environment so this is where inhalers come into the picture most asthma medicines need to be breathe in and an inhaler helps get medicine in the form of powder into the lungs now we know how asthma works but the most important question is what causes it well on an honest note we don’t know yes no one really knows the reasons behind its cause although it is believed that certain genetic and environmental factors could be the main

culprit sure of your time did you know in children boys are more likely to develop asthma than girls but in adults women are more likely to suffer than men also asthma is a reason for children missing more than 10 million school days a year it’s question time what is the other name for windpipe do you write your answer in the comment section below and get a chance to get it featured by

the end of our videos so here are the winners of the previous episode hope you

Symptoms

the symptoms of asthma can vary for mild to more serious not everyone will get all of the symptoms some people get symptoms from time to time especially if they come in contact with the trigger such as pollen or a cold virus it’s important to know what the common symptoms of asthma are so you can spot them and take immediate action to stop an asthma attack the common symptoms of asthma are first of all wheezing this is a whistling sound usually when you breathe out everyone’s wheezing sounds different and in some people you can’t have a wheeze at all coughing is also a common symptom a lot of people with asthma cough shortness of breath is another common symptom of asthma can be described as struggling to get air into their lungs or it can be struggling to breathe normally and some people with asthma describe it as breathing through a straw and finally tightness of the chest is also a common symptom of asthma and some people describe it as a heavy weight on their chest when they’re trying to breathe and remember you don’t have to put up with symptoms if you take your Provencher inhaler

  • Coughing, especially at night, when laughing, or during exercise
  • chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty talking
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • asthma is caused by

type

asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes recurrent
episodes of wheezing shortness of breath chest tightness and cough hallmarks of the disease are intermittent and reversible airway obstruction chronic bronchial inflammation with mark diazinophilia bronchial smooth muscle cell hypertrophy and hyperreactivity and increased mucus accretion first let’s discuss about the pathogenesis of asthma the major idiologic factors of asthma are genetic predisposition to type 1 hypersensitivity also known as atopi acute and chronic airway inflammation and bronchial hyper-responsiveness to a variety of external stimuli these stimuli may vary among individuals and may not trigger the disease in every individual common ones are cat and dog fur
cockroaches pollens of various grasses and trees respiratory infections especially viral infections smoking cold air stress and exercise as i said before development of the hypersensitivity in asthma is genetically determined when an allergen like a pollen or something reaches the airways it is engulfed by dendritic cells located in the mucous aligning of the airways then this dendritic cell will process the foreign antigens and present them to a native cd4 positive t helper cell this antigen presentation will result in activation of the t helper cell this activated t helper cell then secretes interleukin-5 which increases the development and activation of the eosinophils interleukin-13 which increases the mucus

accretion and interleukin 4 which increases the synthesis of ig antibodies these ig antibodies are the principal mediators responsible for the pathogenesis of asthma ig antibodies have a region called fc portion which acts as a ligand to bind onto the surface receptors on mast cells
these ig bound mast cells reside within the submucosa of the respiratory tract with subsequent exposure to the allergen these mast cell-bound ig will bind to those allergens this will activate intracellular signaling pathways and trigger the release of pre-formed mediators into the submucosa by the mast cell the major substances are histamine proteases and chemotactic factors like eosinophil chemotactic factor and neutrophil chemotactic factor in addition to the release of granular content binding of allergens to the ig will increase the production of arachidonic acid from membrane phospholipids this arachidonic acid will then be converted into prostaglandin d2 and the quatrain b4 c4 and d4 ultimately these substances will induce two types of reactions within the airways the immediate hypersensitivity reaction and late phase reaction

immediate reaction consists of the following bronchoconstriction mediated by histamines leukotriene c4 and e4 prostaglandin d2 and direct stimulation increased mucus production mediated by histamine and prostaglandin d2 visa dilation and increased vascular permeability mediated by histamine and the cautry in c4 and d4 tissue damage which is caused by proteases recruitment of leukocytes mediated by
cytokines like tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1 and chemokines late phase reaction consists of chronic inflammation which is characterized by edema and eosinophil rich mixed inflammatory infiltration the inflammatory mediators will sustain the inflammation even without further exposure to allergens this inflammation and bronchial hyper responsiveness are the major causes for persisting signs and symptom therefore controlling of the late phase

reaction with inhaled steroids is mandatory in the management of asthma morphological features of the airways in an asthmatic patient include the following there is increased mucus in the airways sometimes the smaller airways may be blocked by mucus plugs microscopically abundant eosinophils and eosinophil derived substances like curchment spirals and charcot-laden crystals can be seen in the airways as well as in sputum samples surface epithelium will have increased numbers of goblet cells and thick and basement membranes bronchial wall will show smooth muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia along with mucus gland hyperplasia the vascularity of the walls increases to

drive more white blood cells to the site and with time some areas may undergo fibrosis due to chronic inflammation these changes occurring in the airways are collectively known as airway modeling here is an image from the robin’s textbook of pathology showing a part of a normal airway this image shows the airway of an asthmatic patient see there is a thick mucous layer on top of the respiratory epithelium and there is a mucus number of mucus glands have been increased to secrete more mucus the thickness of basement membrane is also increased lamina propria is flooded with large numbers of neutrophils and there are more blood vessels number of smooth muscle cells are increased and they look hypertrophic the number of glands within the submucosa is also increased

now some types of asthma may follow the above description of classic asthma and some types may not atopic asthma is the classic example for ig mediated type 1 hypersensitivity reaction which we have discussed earlier it is the most common type and usually begins in childhood and these patients always have a positive family history of asthma and non-atopic asthma which is usually not very common

the ceramide g levels are quite normal and they usually do not have a positive family history of asthma this type of asthma usually begins i adulthood and it is more severe and persistent compared to the atopic type however the morphology of airways is quite similar to atopic asthma rarely some drugs may trigger asthma and certain individuals the classic example is aspirin-induced asthma these patients usually have other conditions like recurrent episodes of rhinitis and nasal polyps and urticaria with concomitant bronchospasms occupational asthma is stimulated by

fumes like epoxy resins and plastics organic and chemical dusts like wood and cotton and gases like toluene repeated exposure to these substances will trigger intense bronchospasms within these individuals we have already came across the clinical features of asthma in previous slides let’s recall them quickly a classic asthmatic attack usually lasts one to several hours these people usually present with wheezing cough with or without sputum
production chest tightness and shortness of breath there is a more severe condition called status medicus in which the peroxism persists for days and even weeks there is a high degree of airway obstruction which may manifest to zionism or even death the diagnosis is based on demonstration of an airway obstruction difficulty with exhalation which is characterized by prolonged expiration and wheezing peripheral blood eosinophilia and eosinophil derived substances like kirschmann spirals and charcot-laden crystals and sputum as asthma is an obstructive airway disease and spirometry the forced expiratory volume during the first secon or fv1 and fv1 to forced vital capacit ratio

will be decreased treatment includes two steps immediate management is aimed at relieving signs and symptoms of the patients usually given drugs are short-acting beta-2 agonists like salbutamol short-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists like hypertropium and intravenous metals and things like aminophylline all of these drugs will cause bronchial smooth muscle relaxation and dilate the airways in addition to that aminophylline has an anti-inflammatory action as well long-term management is aimed at reducing chronic inflammatory reaction involving the airways for that patients are usually given glucocorticoids like becca medicine produce alone and hydrocortisone and diaphyllin

The diagnosis

if you were your GP suspect that you may have asthma they will start off by making sure they’ve got a accurate history of your symptoms your lifestyle any past medical history and also family history – to see if ask them as a possibility to help with diagnosing asthma it’s important to do some tests to find out exactly how well your lungs are working and to be able to identify whether they’re inflamed which is a key

aspect of asthma one of the tests you’ll be asked to do is to blow into a peak flow meter this is a child’s version it’s very difficult to diagnose asthma in children but once they’re about 5 to 6 years of age they may be able to blow into one of these blowing into one of these will give us a reading of how fast you can blow your air out you may be asked to take this home with you and to record peak flow readings over several times a day to get a variation and that will help the doctor actually diagnose whether you’ve got

asthma or not you’ll also be asked to do a spirometry test this measures lung function how much your lungs actually can hold and how quick you can blow your air out now this takes a little bit more time and you would have to attend the surgery to have this done you may be at the surgery between 20 minutes and an hour depending on the test you’ll be asked to blow into this spirometer after the test you will have four puffs

of a blue reliever inhaler through the spacer and after 20 minutes you’ll be expected to do the test again and these results will show us compared with your age and your height whether they are normal or less than predicted it’s important to remember that you may have to do these tests several times to ensure that we get an accurate diagnosis asthma can vary day to day week to week month to month so you may get an abnormal test one day and it might be normal another even if all the results from the tests come back as normal it doesn’t exclude asthma and your GP may decide to put you on a trial of treatment which you would have to take for about six eight weeks and see all your symptoms got better

 

Classification

welcome to the understanding asthma video series brought to you by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America spay / project promoting asthma patient engagement and research this segment will cover levels of asthma I’m dr. Michael piston ur an allergist in Mass General Hospital for children I’m here to talk to you about the importance of patient engagement and research and how you can help researchers ask the questions that are important to you together we can improve the lives of people in our community

after watching this video series you will have a basic understanding of asthma be able to recognize some of the common symptoms and triggers and learn more about uncontrolled asthma and asthma attacks you’ll also understand why it’s essential for those with asthma and their caretakers to be involved in asthma research after watching this segment you will have a basic understanding of the different levels of asthma and learn more about

uncontrolled asthma there are four levels of asthma based on how severe it is intermittent asthma you have symptoms less than twice a week and wake up less than two nights a month mild persistent asthma you have symptoms two or more days a week and wake up three to four nights a month moderate persistent asthma you have symptoms at least every day and wake up one or more nights a week and severe persistent asthma you have symptoms during the day and wake up every night due to asthma knowing if your asthma is controlled or uncontrolled can be helpful to you as you learn to manage your

asthma there are signs of uncontrolled asthma such as increase in asthma symptoms like cough chest tightness or shortness of breath keep the rules of 2 in mind your asthma is well controlled if daytime symptoms happen less than 2 times per week nighttime symptoms happen less than 2 times per month and you need reliever medicine less than 2 times per week [Music] additionally your activities are not limited and you don’t need oral steroids or only need them once a year so your asthma isn’t well controlled if your activities are limited you need oral steroids more than once per year you have daytime symptoms 2 or more times per week we have nighttime symptoms two or more times per month or you need your reliever medicine two or more times per week[Music] if your

asthma is not well controlled it’s time to see your doctor review your treatment plan and make sure you understand your medicines and when to use them

 

Causes

hey friends if you ever witnessed someone coughing holding their chest tightly as if they are feeling some pressure on it and trying to breathe faster but are still feeling short of breath please keep in mind that there are chances that this person might be having an asthma attack

yes my friends I’m sure you must have heard that term asthma before or know someone who is battling it but have you ever wondered what factors are responsible for it so in today’s episode let us explore the science behind the disease called asthma and try to reach its root cause zoom in so what is asthma it is a lung condition that causes breathing

problems it is common in kids and teens and could be hereditary it can be mine or so severe that it gets in the way of day-to-day life but what’s happening in our body during an asthma attack well it all starts in the passageways inside your lungs known as bronchi and bronchioles through which the air forces these passages have an inner covering called the mucous membrane or mucosa surrounded by a layer of smooth muscles

normally when someone inhales air goes in through the nose or mouth down the windpipe called trachea and into the Airways of the lungs and the mucus inside passageways helps to trap any outer particles like dust or pollen but when people that asthma exposed to certain triggers like smoke dust pollen colder climates etc an asthma attack can occur making it difficult for them to breathe and that is because the smooth rings so clean the a passages in the lungs tightens and narrows down and at the same time

the dust particles cause the mucosal lining to swell and produce lots of thick bukas that blocks the Airways making it harder for the infected person to breathe as they feel their chest tighten making them coughs uncontrollably due to soul and Airways they make a breathing sound as the air whistles while passing through the narrow space these symptoms may seem like the asthmatic person is having difficulty in breathing in but in reality during the attack it is difficult for them to breathe out that’s because carbon dioxide gets trapped inside the body cutting the supply of fresh oxygen resulting in an asthma attack but the crucial question is how can we prevent these attacks well one way to limit asthma includes knowing what triggers it and avoiding them but unfortunately it isn’t really possible to live in pollution and dust free environment so this is where inhalers c

ome into the picture most asthma medicines need to be breathe in and an inhaler helps get medicine in the form of powder into the lungs now we know how asthma works but the most important question is what causes it well on an honest note we don’t know yes no one really knows the reasons behind its cause although it is believed that certain genetic and environmental factors could be the main culprit sure of your time did you know in children boys are more likely to develop asthma than girls but in adults women are more likely to suffer than men also asthma is a reason for children missing more than 10 million school days a year it’s question time what is the other name for windpipe do you write your answer in the comment section below and get a chance to get it featured

by the end of our videos so here are the winners of the previous episode hope you enjoyed today’s episode until next time it’s me dr. by NOx zooming out hey kids you liked my videos didn’t you before you go don’t forget to click on the subscribe button and the bell so you won’t miss out on my latest videos hahaha see you

 

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