Etiology and Symptoms of Asthma – Respiratory System Example

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        "Etiology and Symptoms of Asthma" is an interesting example of a paper on the respiratory system.     The etiology of asthma has not been understood clearly; however, genetic predisposition and environmental influences such as pollens, molds have been found to trigger asthma in individuals. At times, extreme emotional arousal with fear or anger can also trigger asthma. Moreover, certain drugs have also been found to trigger asthma (World Health Organization, 2014). The paper attempts to explore symptoms, diagnosis, treatments that include medical and lifestyle changes in the following paragraphs. Symptoms                                                                  Usual symptoms of asthma can be described as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Not all people have the same kinds of symptoms; similarly, said symptoms do not always indicate having asthma to the person. Medical history, physical examination, and lung function test can only ascertain to having asthma to the person (National Institute of Health, 2012).             Many conditions give way to asthma symptoms. For example, air pollution, dust, chemical odors, sprays with pungent smells, even cigarette smoking can trigger asthma symptoms. Often, allergens from several sources such as carpets, animal fur, or mold can trigger allergic reactions culminating in asthma.

Many people have been found to have allergies to some specific medicines that include aspirin, beta-blockers, and NSAIDs. Untreated upper respiratory infections may also develop asthma. In many other health conditions to developing asthma include sinus infection, runny nose, stress, reflux disease. It is important to note that conditions to trigger asthma vary from person to person (National Institute of Health, 2012). Diagnosis             Apart from physical examination, the diagnostic test called spirometry establishes with certainty how the lungs of the affected person are performing.

Basically, the test measures the amount of air one can breathe in and out. How fast one blows air out is also measured through this test. Lower than normal readings will diagnose the person with asthma. Plethysmography test is employed to measure the amount of air that is present in the lungs after taking a deep breath. It also measures the amount of air in the lungs after expiration. Thus, the test measures the amount of air that lungs are capable of holding (National Institute of Health, 2012). Treatment                   Asthma has no permanent cure as such; however, the treatment regime aims at controlling the disease.

That is done by preventing symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing. It also aims at maintaining normal lung functioning. Finding substances that trigger asthma and keeping them away as far as possible is a good way to manage asthma symptoms (National Institute of Health, 2012).                 For treating asthma, two kinds of approaches are taken. In the first kind of approach, medicines are prescribed that provide quick relief to the patient.

Inhaling short-acting beta2-agonists provide quick relief from asthma.   The medicine prevents asthma symptoms that may flare up otherwise. In long-term control of asthma symptoms, medicines are prescribed to reduce airway inflammation. Long-term treatment will depend upon how severe asthma symptoms are to necessitate the treatment process. For long-term control of asthma conditions, corticosteroids are given through inhaler to controlling inflammation and keeping asthma symptoms away. The favorable point with inhaled corticosteroids is that they are not habit-forming and one can take it for many years without any side effects. Often, patients with severe asthma are administered medicines through nebulizer that reaches to lungs straight providing immediate relief (National Institute of Health, 2012). Lifestyle Changes                 Lifestyle changes such as remaining active physically not only help control asthma symptoms but improve the immunity of the body.

Vegetables and fruits intake enhances lung performance due to nutrients and antioxidants present in them (Mayo clinic, 2014).                 Thus, asthma attacks can be controlled through medicines; however, lifestyle changes help to enhance body immunity and reduce the dosages of medicines.


Mayo clinic (2014). Life Style and Home Remedies. Retrieved April 13, 2014 from


National Institute of Health (2012). Explore Asthma. Retrieved April 13, 2014 from

World Health Organization (2014). Causes of Asthma. Retrieved April 13, 2014 from

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