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Explain details about Asthma? How is asthma diagnosed? Part 2

• The word Asthma is derived from ancient Greek and means “panting or short drawn breath.”
• Out of the various respiratory diseases, it is fairly common and is one of the most troublesome.
• Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is caused by the inflammation of the airways or of the bronchi, this in turn affects the way that air enters and leaves the lungs.
• Such an inflammation of the airways leads to disrupted breathing in the patient.
• Due to this inflammation, asthma patients develop extra sensitive or hyper responsive airways (and not in a positive way).
• The irritation or inflammation of the airways leads to them becoming narrow or obstructed. Such a narrowness causes problems in the passage of air, making it difficult for the air to move in and out.

Indicators for asthma can be broken into different conditions:
• Severity of acute asthma
• Whether the asthma can be near-fatal
• Whether the asthma is life threatening

As a part of the diagnosis steps, need to check on the history of the symptoms of asthma:
• Cough, especially if it gets worse at night.
• A recurring wheezing, accompanied (or separate from) difficulty in breathing.
• Tightness in the chest.

There can be many causes of these symptoms (not only asthma):
• Recent exercise leaves the person winded and out of breath.
• A Viral infection.
• Presence of fur in the clothes or nearby.
• Hair flying around.
• The presence of dust mites in the houses can cause severe breathing problems.
• Smoke, especially thick smoke or that caused due to cooking can be bad for the lungs and cause coughing or wheezing and daily exposure can cause these symptoms to be elongated.
• Pollen can have a huge impact on those people allergic to pollen.
• Changes in weather – Such changes impact people tremendously.
• Laughing very hard can cause fits of coughing.
• Crying hard.
• Airborne chemicals can cause a lot of coughing.
• Dust, especially when in the air can cause fits of coughing.

Other conditions that may cause symptoms and that mimic asthma are:
In Infants and Children
• Diseases of the Upper airway
• Allergic rhinitis
• Allergic sinusitis
• Obstructions in the airways (can cause coughing fits)
• Foreign body in the trachea can cause coughing fits
• Vocal cord dysfunction
• Vascular rings
• Laryngotracheomalacia
• Tracheal stenosis
• Bronchostenosis
• Enlarged lymph nodes
• Tumor in the lungs or airways
• Viral bronchiolitis
• Cystic fibrosis
• Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
• Heart disease

In Adults
• COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
• Congestive heart failure
• Pulmonary embolism
• Benign and malignant tumors
• Pulmonary infiltration
• Cough caused as a reaction to drugs
• Vocal cord dysfunction

What is skin testing for allergies?

A major part of the overall process of diagnosis is the diagnosis of allergies that triggers the asthma. A testing for these allergies is called skin testing for allergies.
• Skin testing for allergies is used to identify the substances that cause the allergy symptoms.
Normal process of the skin test is:
• Start by applying an extract of an allergen to the skin.
• Scratching or pricking the skin to allow exposure to the allergen.
• Once this is done, the next step is to evaluate the skin’s reaction.
• It is left to be seen after about 15 minutes.
• If a lump surrounded by a reddish area appears (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site then the test is positive.

What are main types of skin tests?

1. Scratch test or Puncture or prick test
• A trained medical personal will examine the skin on your forearm or back and clean it.
• Next, areas on the skin are then marked with a pen to identify each allergen that will be tested.
• A drop of extract for each potential allergen is placed on the corresponding mark.
• A small disposable pricking device is then used so the extract can enter into the outer layer of the skin.
• This layer is called the epidermis.
• The skin prick is not a shot and doesn’t cause bleeding.
What can be these allergens?
– Pollen
– Insect venom
– Grass
– Others

2. Intradermal test
• After examining and cleaning the skin, a small amount of the allergen is injected just under the skin.
• This is similar to a tuberculosis test.

3. The Patch test
• Another method is to apply an allergen to a patch.
• This is then placed on the skin.
• This may be done to pinpoint a trigger of allergic contact.
• If there are allergic antibodies in your system, your skin will become irritated and may itch.
• This reaction means you are allergic to that substance.

Life and Breath Natural Relief for Your Child’s Asthma Asthma Allergies Children: A Parent’s Guide

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