17 February 2011

Information for parents of asthmatic children

  • Studies have shown that 50-80% of children with asthma experience symptoms before age five.
  • The childhood asthma often goes undiagnosed.
  • In children under five years, the most common cause of asthma symptoms is viral respiratory infection.
  • Factors associated with childhood asthma are allergy, family history of allergy / asthma and exposure to smoke and inhaled allergens.
Several studies have shown specifically that the risk of asthma increased in children with one or both parents smoke.
The exposure of children to snuff smoke increases respiratory symptoms such as cough, sputum or phlegm production and wheezing, and carries the risk of developing asthma and suffer asthma attacks.
The children of two to four years living with a smoker have a 280% more likely to suffer wheezing than children in households without smokers.
In addition, smoke snuff is also been associated with increased number and severity of respiratory disorders, including allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections, upper respiratory tract and nose.
As children are very susceptible to respiratory infections, exposure passive smoke snuff is made ​​even more worrying.

12 February 2011

Causes of Asthma

Pollens: Although pollination occurs during the spring, variations according to different climates and types of plants. Symptoms are usually detected at concentrations above 50 grains of pollen per cubic meter of air. The small size favors pollen remaining airborne for long periods and walk long distances to penetrate the breathing passages.
Prevails in Spain grass pollen, olive trees in the south and Parietaria in the Mediterranean area. Dust mites: These microscopic parasites that live in house dust and feed on skin flakes and other debris. They need to develop precise conditions: temperature 25 ° C and 85 percent humidity.
In Spain the most important are Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae.
  • Food : Asthma episodes related to food are common during childhood and are accompanied by other symptoms such as hives and vomiting, so they tend to be confused with food poisoning. Products that cause major reactions are milk, eggs and fish. In adulthood, this type of asthma is less common.
  • Fungi : Certain fungi produce allergens that settle on their spores and the release of these depends on the humidity, temperature and the presence of organic matter in their environment, such as garbage or shower curtains. Times more favorable for its development are spring and fall, the most common and highlight the alternaria, the Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and mucor.

10 February 2011

Learn what is asthma and asthma prevention

The first thing a patient with asthma should achieve after discovering that asthma is, is the subject of preventing asthma ... for that we have some curious data that can open the view on this important issue is the prevention of asthma.
Before 1950, there were few reasons for children to play indoors. Normal behavior includes two to four hours per day of outdoor play. From mid-1950, increased television programs aimed at children, so that in a period of 15 years became normal for children at home watching a screen for the same period of time . That this change has had negative consequences for the health of children is not in doubt. The most obvious (or parallel shift) has been the rise in obesity, reflecting both reduced physical activity and dietary changes, but the weight and height are much easier to measure the activity or diet. Therefore, many studies only include reliable data on weight and height. The decrease in physical activity and increased time spent sitting are closely linked with the respective consequences for lung physiology, and asthma is no exception to this fact. A simple question arises from all this: is it harmful or sitting outside activity is protective?
The proof that sitting for long periods of time is harmful has come from different types of studies: First, epidemiological studies have shown that children who spend more hours watching television are at higher risk for obesity and asthma , which would be contrary to policies for the prevention of asthma. Two hours per day at the age of three years doubled the risk of asthma at age 11. Second, there is a long series of experiments showing that the full expansion of the lungs may decrease pulmonary resistance. The normal pattern of breathing includes intermittent deep breaths or sighs, and there is good evidence that sighs rates decrease significantly during periods that the children are sitting watching a screen. Further research is needed to determine whether prolonged periods of sitting with low rates of sighs allow the lungs to enter bronchospasm.
Evaluate the relevance of physical activity is complex. Two to four hours per day playing outside is not the same as high-demand activity two or three times a week. The latter type of activity is associated with an increased incidence of newly diagnosed asthma. It is also well established that exercise can induce acute bronchospasm in patients with asthma. Worse, there are children whose normal lives as undemanding activities include any exercise causes shortness of breath or "whoop." In general, we would argue that prolonged exercise is beneficial, although the data are confusing, because many children are not well conditioned and develop dyspnea during vigorous exercise.
The secondary consequences of sedentary entertainment are also complex. More time at home could increase exposure to indoor allergens, 18 to 23 hours in the interior is sufficient to explain the increased prevalence of asthma. Being in the interior has reduced exposure to sunlight with a consequent decrease in the production of vitamin D. However, the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and allergic disease requires further investigation.
Exposure to farm animals early in life is negatively associated with the development of allergic disease. The move away from an agrarian society began at the time of the industrial revolution and was approximately 90 percent total for 1940. There were only small additional reductions in the number of families directly associated with agriculture between 1960 and 2000. This change in lifestyle gradually decreased the number of children exposed to farm animals. Currently, less than one percent of children have contact with farm animals during childhood.
In rural areas of Africa and Papua New Guinea, where people hardly know it's asthma, where asthma rates are low, children are barefoot and are exposed to helminths and ectoparasites. In addition, water quality remains poor in these regions and is often contaminated. Children in these villages are physically active, low body fat, and generally do not spend much time indoors. These children tend to have high levels of total serum IgE, consistent with the high rate of parasitic infections. But were these alterations responsible?, Could help create plans to prevent asthma?, Could help us understand that it is final and specifically asthma?.

07 February 2011

What is Bronchoconstriction?


Bronchoconstriction is another term that is familiar to people with asthma. Part of what happens during an asthma attack . The part "bronco" the word refers to the bronchial tubes that branch from the trachea to the lungs. "Constriction" refers to the contraction of the muscles that surround the airways.
When a person with asthma is exposed to certain triggers , the muscles around the airways can contract, thus narrowing the internal air duct and is difficult much air flow inlet and outlet of the lungs. The airway may also become inflamed and clogged with even more mucus. This causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing
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