Asthma is characterized by expiratory dyspnea crisis, often at night, not related to a cardiovascular disease, between which any associated obstructive syndrome does not persist, associated with blood and sputum eosinophilia. It was initially included, along with chronic bronchitis and emphysema in COPD. Today it is considered as a separate entity.
For positive diagnosis of asthma, you should have at least three of the following five criteria: personal or family history of allergy, the onset of the crisis before 25 or after 50 years, paroxysmal and expiratory dispneea , reversibility of crisis under corticosteroid treatment, disturbances of the plasmatic volumes and flow expiratory volume (FEV decline in particular).
Bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema are entering the broad concept of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Asthma, bronchitis, can often be the cause of the onset of emphysema. Asthma can become infected, wearing the look of bronchitis asthma. The latter is preceded always by asthma.
Asthma is not a disease, but rather a syndrome, which lasts a lifetime (the patient is born and dies with asthma), it has a long and sicontinous evolution, very capricious. It has an allergies base, with two elements: a general factor (atopic) and local factors (airway hypersensitivity). The key is the general factor, atopic (allergic), which is usually hereditary.
The most common allergens are: pollen, chamber dust, animal hair and dander, fungi, some food allergens (milk, eggs, meat) or drugs (aspirin, penicillin and some microbial products).
Asthma Signs And Symptoms
At first, the attacks are typical, with a very abrupt beginning and end, with free intervals, later in intervals between crises, there are signs of emphysema and chronic bronchitis with dyspnea more or less obvious. The crisis usually occurs in the second half of the night, often violently, with dyspnea and anxiety, itching and hypersecretion, sometimes it is announced by sneezing, tearing, itching of the eyelids, and a headache. Paroxysmal dyspnea intalls with difficulty in breathing with prolonged expiration and wheezing. The patient remains in bed or runs to the window to breathe with a big air thirst. The patient usually sits with his head back and supported in their hands, with bloodshot eyes and dilated nostrils.
Evolution is long, variable and very capricious. Pure form occurs in children and tends to diminish at puberty. Sometimes, seizures are very common. Over time, complications arise: bronchopulmonary infections (chronic bronchitis, bronchial dilatations, lung diseases), pulmonary emphysema, respiratory failure and many more.