Causes and Effects of Asthma

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Slide 1
My presentation is about asthma.
Slide 2- So what is asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory condition which affects the bronchioles in the lungs. It is a chronic condition,
which means that it is long term, which inflames and narrows the airways making it very difficult for
the sufferer to breathe. It causes reoccurring periods of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
and tightness of the chest.
Slide 3- Who can get asthma?
Almost anybody can get asthma, however it mostly affects children and young adults. In the UK, over
5.2 million people are suffering with asthma, of which 1.1 million of them are children. It affects
around one in 12 adults and one in 8 children, which means that around 1 person in every 5
households is affected with asthma. Asthma is an increasingly common respiratory condition in the
developing world, and this is thought to be caused by things such as pollution, processed food and
centrally heated houses- as this is an ideal environment for dust mites, which can make asthma
worse.
Slide 4- factors increasing likelihood of asthma
Some things that can increase the likelihood of people developing asthma are: a family history of
asthma or other conditions such as eczema or hay fever; developing food allergies; having
bronchiolitis as a child, which is a respiratory infection which is most common in young children; being
exposed to tobacco smoke as a child; and being born prematurely.
Slide 5- symptoms of asthma
The symptoms of asthma are coughing- especially at night time, wheezing, shortness of breath and a
tight chest. When the sufferer's symptoms worsen, it is called an asthma attack. Other symptoms of
an asthma attack include difficulty speaking, very rapid breathing, chest pain, retractions (which are
tightening of the neck and chest muscles), and feelings of panic. An asthma attack is caused by the
muscles around the airways being triggered to tighten, which is called bronchospasm. During the
attack the cells around the airways produce more and thicker mucus than normal, and the lining of the
airways become inflamed.
Slide 6- asthma triggers
There are many triggers of asthma, and they are often different for different people. Some asthma
triggers include:
Chest or airway infections
Dust mites, pollen, cigarette smoke and other airborne irritants
Some painkillers such as ibuprofen
A sudden change in weather conditions such as temperature and humidity
Exercise ­ people whose asthma worsens with exercise are often thought to have
exercise-induced asthma
Food allergies
Slide 7- treatment of asthma
There is no cure for asthma, however there are two types of treatments that you can use which are
called preventers and relievers. Preventers reduce the swelling, inflammation and excess mucus in
the airways, whilst relievers (known as bronchodilators) relax and open up the airways without
reducing the swelling. The most common type of preventers are steroid inhalers, however if your
asthma is severe you can be given a course of steroids as tablets. The most common type of reliever
for asthma is a salbutamol inhaler inhaler- mostly known as a blue inhaler.

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