Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:
Describe the pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic asthma and acute asthma exacerbation. Be sure to explain the changes in the arterial blood gas patterns during an exacerbation.
Explain how the factor you selected might impact the pathophysiology of both disorders. Describe how you would diagnose and prescribe treatment for a patient based on the factor you selected.
Construct two mind maps—one for chronic asthma and one for acute asthma exacerbation. Include the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation, as well as the diagnosis and treatment you explained in your paper.
Asthma is the leading cause of chronic respiratory conditions that changes the respiratory function of the body. As indicated by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (2012), the World Health Organization defines asthma as an inflammatory disease of the airways that is characterized by episodes of wheezing and breathlessness. The difficulty in breathing is attributed to the constricting and swelling of the airways. Exposure to pollutants, cold air, allergens, infection, and exercise all can increase the risk of asthma victims to have an attack (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 2012). This essay will discuss the pathophysiology mechanisms of acute and chronic asthma exacerbation, diagnosis, medical management, as well as clinical manifestations of asthma based on the gender factor. Asthma is an important cause of chronic disease in young children, which is both upsetting and life threatening. According to Briscoe (2012), asthma patients often have frequent visits to the Emergency Department of the hospitals. Therefore, early diagnosis, prevention as well as the long-term treatment is essential to prevent the frequent asthma attacks.
According to Patel (2013), uncontrolled Asthma is associated with the reduction of quality and quantity of sleep caused by the onset of asthma symptoms during the night The patterns of airway inflammation are allergen-specific and extremely complex. Detection of an allergen by the body initiates a Th-2-mediated immunoglobulin E respiratory response that generates an inflammatory reaction that results in airway inflammation, constriction of small airways with mucus, as well as bronchial hyper reactivity. Collectively, these processes contribute significantly to airway obstruction characteristic of asthma exacerbations. Airway inflammation results to airway hyper reactivity and swollen bronchial membranes that lead to bronchospasm. Both of these processes lead to contracted airways (Huether & McCance, 2012). In addition, mucus discharge leads to occluded airways and contributes further to obstruction of airflow. It is believed that the final stage is common to all inflammatory mechanisms, with vasoactive prostaglandins; histamine, leukotrienes, as well as other cellular mediators, have a role in pathogenesis.
One of the justifications for the difference between genders can be attributed to the greater exposure of women to risk factors including household environmental factors as well as presence of pets in their houses. However, in the present study, there were no noteworthy gender differences in exposure to passive smoking as a child or at home, use of maintenance medication or presence of pets. Elderly people both males and females exposed to air pollution and showing airway hyperreactivity and high total IgE levels have been reported to have different responses to the same level of exposure (Samarasinghe et al., 2014).
In conclusion, it is of importance that health care professionals be cognizant of and understand the greater impairment in women than in men with asthma. Appropriate asthma management requires an ongoing partnership between the patient and her physician regarding physiological factors including pregnancy, sexual hormones, obesity, and depression as well as non-physiological factors including smoking and drug adherence. All of which can contribute to improvement in asthma control. Asthma-related risks are higher for women than for men, however, implementation of a specific management plan together with psychological support, can certainly help in reducing the burden of asthma on women.
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Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.aafa.org