The Macquarie dictionary explains asthma as "A paroxysmal disorder of respiration with laboured breathing, a feeling of constriction in the chest, and coughing". Within the following pages there will be more and more information like and unlike this to help anyone learn more about this disease. .
This report is based on the facts about asthma and will focus on trends and treatments of the past, today and the future. Future problems, ethical and financial issues will also be considered. .
If this report is made correctly, anyone that can read should be able to pick up this assorted bundle of text, read it and then understand a lot more about asthma. .
2.0 Defining the Disease .
2.1 Definition .
Asthma is a condition in which the airways of the lungs become either narrowed or completely blocked, obstructing normal breathing. Once the airways have become obstructed, it takes more effort to force air through them, so that breathing becomes laboured. .
Although everyone's airways have the potential for constriction in response to allergens or irritants, the asthmatics airways are oversensitive or hyperreactive. Asthmatic's airways may become obstructed by one of the following; constriction of the muscles surrounding the airway, inflammation & swelling of the airway or increased mucus production which clogs the airway. Irritation of the airways by excessive mucus may also provoke coughing. .
2.2 History .
Asthma is not new. Asthma like symptoms were first recorded 3500 years ago in an Egyptian. The word means "Laboured Breathing" in Greek. The famous Greek physician Hippocrates first used the word Asthma to describe an illness 500 years later. The Romans used to treat asthma by giving sufferers Owl's blood in wine. .
A Spanish doctor, Moses Maimonides, wrote the first book specifically about asthma in AD 1190. Maimonides wrote that asthma was characterised by sudden bouts of breathlessness. Physicians during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries realised that asthma was due to constrictions of the Bronchi (The airways into the lungs).