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There is an inherited tendency toward the development of extrinsic asthma. It is related to a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune response. The patient often gives a family medical history that includes allergies of one kind or another and a personal history of allergic disorders. Secondary factors affecting the severity of an attack or triggering its onset include events that produce emotional stress, environmental changes in humidity and temperature, and exposure to noxious fumes or other airborne allergens.
Drugs given for the treatment of asthma are primarily used for the relief of symptoms. There is no cure for asthma but the disease can be controlled with an individualized regimen of drug therapy coupled with rest, relaxation, and avoidance of causative factors. Bronchodilators such as epinephrine and aminophylline may be used to enlarge the bronchioles, thus relieving respiratory embarrassment. Other drugs that thin the secretions and help in their ejection (expectorants) may also be prescribed.
The patient with status asthmaticus is very seriously ill and must receive special attention and medication to avoid excessive strain on the heart and severe respiratory difficulties that can be fatal.
Exercises that improve posture are helpful in maintaining good air exchange. Special deep breathing exercises can be taught to the patient so that elasticity and full expansion of lung and bronchial tissues are maintained. (See also lung and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.) Some asthmatic patients have developed a protective breathing pattern that is shallow and ineffective because of a fear that deep breathing will bring on an attack of coughing and wheezing. They will need help in breaking this pattern and learning to breathe deeply and fully expand the bronchi and lungs.
The patient should be encouraged to drink large quantities of fluids unless otherwise contraindicated. The extra fluids are needed to replace those lost during respiratory distress. The increased intake of fluids also can help thin the bronchial secretions so that they are more easily removed by coughing and deep breathing.
The patient should be warned of the hazards of extremes in eating, exercise, and emotional events such as prolonged laughing or crying. The key words are modification and moderation to avoid overtaxing and overstimulating the body systems. Relaxation techniques can be very helpful, especially if the patient can find a method that effectively reduces tension.
Asthmatic patients fare better if they feel that they do have some control over their disease and are not necessarily helpless victims of a debilitating incurable illness. There is no cure for asthma but there are ways in which one can adjust to the illness and minimize its effects.
cardiac asthmaAn asthmatiform response to congestive heart failure characterised by wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath due to a fluid overload/pulmonary oedema.
car·di·ac asth·ma(kahr'dē-ak az'mă)
cardiac asthmaAttacks of severe breathlessness, often occurring at night, caused by congestion of the lungs from failure of the heart to pump blood away from the lungs fast enough (left HEART FAILURE).
Rostan,Léon, French physician, 1790-1866.
cardiac asthmabronchoconstriction and pulmonary oedema secondary to left ventricular failure
car·di·ac asth·ma(kahr'dē-ak az'mă)
Patient discussion about cardiac asthma
Q. CARDIAC ASTHMA what age group does it effect?
Q. What’s the difference between bronchial asthma and cardiac asthma?
Q. I want to get cure for asthma and develop my cardiac tissue. What is the best exercise for me to do? This is Daron, 20/m. I have had asthma since I was 3 yrs old, and suffer from exercise induced asthma as well as weather and food. Running is the worst thing that induces asthma in me. I want to get cure for asthma and develop my cardiac tissue to ensure fitness. What is the best exercise for me to do? I will be very thankful if I get suitable suggestion or advice..