Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway that impacts a person’s and their family’s quality of life. In people with asthma, their airway becomes constricted with swelling and excessive mucous. This constriction or narrowing of the airway makes it difficult for the person with asthma to breath (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2009). If asthma is left uncontrolled, it leads to further wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness, and stress. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2009).
Asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in children and is responsible for nearly 10% of the Emergency Room visits for children <15 year of age. It occurs in as many as 10%-12% of children in the United States and is gradually growing. Asthma can begin at any age , but most children have their first symptoms by age five. Because Camp Wapiti is for children ages 8-13 exclusively, this report will focus primarily on childhood asthma.
To better understand the impact of asthma, a brief overview of the causes (aetiology) and disease progression (pathophysiology) must be shown. As common as asthma is, not much is known about its aetiology, according to findings presented by Subbaroa, Mandhane and Sears (2009, pg. 181-187) in a review from the Canadian
As of 2009, studies conducted by the CDC have shown that asthma impacts approximately one in every twelve people, and the numbers only continue to grow (CDC, 2011). Some of the most common symptoms can range anywhere from coughing (especially at night or during exercise), wheezing and chest tightness, to shortness of breath. Asthma is often a chronic condition and while many times it can present itself as being mild, it can also sometimes lead to death if a person suffers an asthma attack. Asthma can be genetic, but it can also be caused, as well as exacerbated by, environmental factors such as air pollution. Studies have shown that children living in the Bronx are experiencing asthma at levels eight times higher than the national average. In addition, rates of death from asthma are a whopping three times higher than the national average, and hospitalization rates at about five times higher.” (Ruppell, 2000). Asthma is not a disease that targets only one group of people, yet the Bronx still exhibits disproportionately high levels of asthma especially in neighborhoods that are poorer areas of the city. In fact, people from these poor areas are 21 times more likely to be hospitalized due to asthmatic conditions compared to people from more affluent parts of the city (Ruppell,
Respiratory disorder, mostly affect the upper or lower respiratory tract, however bacterial or viral infection are the causative agent and the disease is common in all ages. In addition, the lungs and the bronchi can also be affected, causing inflammation and obstruction of the airflow resulting in wheezing, chest tightness, stridor, low grade fever, cough, and hemoptysis due severe damage to the lung tissues. Most common diseases of the respiratory system include; pneumonia, croup, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, and tuberculosis, affected disease location determines the signs and symptoms. Hereditary and environmental factors such as allergens and other irritants can be a contributory factor, especially in children. However, respiratory compromise occur as a result of incomplete airway development among this vulnerable population predisposing them to chronic asthma (Huether & McCance, 2012).
Breathing is a vital process for every human. Normal breathing is practically effortless for most people, but those with asthma face a great challenge. During an asthma attack, breathing is hampered, making it difficult or even impossible for air to flow through the lungs. Asthma is an increasingly common problem, and has become the most common chronic childhood disease. At least 17 million Americans suffer from it(1), and although it can be fatal, it is usually not that severe(4). There is no cure for asthma, but with proper care, it can usually be controlled.
Throughout the years knowledge about asthma has grown, as well as treating it effectively. Over 300 million people are said to be victims of this disease with another 100 million being estimated by 2025 globally (Currie and Baker, 2012). In the United Kingdom, asthma is increasingly becoming one of the leading disease affecting individual of different age, ethnicity, race and gender. British Lung Foundation (2011) stated that it is more common at childhood stage and can also occur at a later age. According to Asthma UK (2014) asthma in men is less prevalence than it is in women and children troubled more with asthma than adults. Recent data in the UK shows that in children and occupational asthma in adult is on the rise with an estimate
Features of asthma include increased airway response to stimuli (internal or external to body), airway obstruction via bronchospasms, inflammation of airways, and is treatable but not curable. Asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (immune response, allergens, exercise, air pollutants, occupational factors, respiratory tract infections, nose and sinus problems, drugs and food additives, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and psychological factors). Symptoms include recurring bouts of wheezing, breathlessness, coughing, tightness in the chest; symptoms being most common at nights or early morning. The rate of Australians suffering from asthma is one of the highest in the world (8-12% of population or 2 million people) and this rate is increasing. (Kaufman 2015)
According to Barnett and Nurmagambetov, from the time period of 2002-2007, 886 children under the age of 15 died due to asthma. Using the 2009 figure for value of an average life of any of those children, the grand total for loss of life in the world for just those 5 years is almost 1.2 billion dollars. (145-152) Child-onset asthma may not be the greatest killer of children to plaque this planet but it is a real and terrifying experience for both children and their parents. Mothers and fathers can fight against this illness but they need to know how to deal with asthma and what to do when an attack happens can help prevent these deaths from happening.
Asthma has become a rising issue at hand, especially in Oakland, California. Asthma is at an all time high in Oakland because of the factories and smog that surrounds the local communities. After conducting research, I decided to dig deeper in asthma in Oakland because I wanted to learn more and to see if there was a way to reduce the rise of asthma. Asthma in Oakland is an issue for all ages, especially the younger ones because their lungs are still developing. For my term paper, I plan to explore the disproportionate burden of hazard of the population of air quality in Oakland, California, an area that is impacted by factory smoke, which can lead to asthma in children who are 18 years of age or younger.
As a result of the rapid rate of industrialization in our society today, the environment as well as the existence of certain living things, is threatened. The rising of industries, as well as the use of certain machines like cars, has led to the release of certain air borne toxins which are responsible for the gradual change in climate. Air toxins, change in climate, as well as many other factors, work together and breathing effectively is made difficult in the process. The question most times is, “Does the gradual change in climate have an effect on the prevalence of asthma as well as other respiratory diseases?”. While some feel asthma is a hereditary disease, all sources agree with the fact that climate
Professor’s comment: This student’s research paper synthesizes the results of a well-selected group of articles that explore relationships between asthma and air pollution. That laboratory science is at base a social enterprise is nicely exemplified by the focus of the studies she reviews. In drawing from the articles she reviews and in organizing her paper, the student maintains a good balance between discussing air-borne pollutants themselves and their physical effects, between analysis and implication. The result is a readable and interesting explanation of current work on this increasingly important subject.
Asthma is a disease that involves periodic episodes of severe but reversible bronchial obstructions in people with hypertensive or hyper responsive airways. While it can be a reversible disease, frequent repeated attacks can lead to irreversible damage in the lungs and can develop intro chronic asthma. This is why asthma can be classified as acute or chronic asthma, acute refereeing to a single episode and chronic referring to a long-term condition (vanmeter 300).
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (2014) defined Asthma as “a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.” Asthma exacerbation is classified to three levels: mild, moderate, or severe enough to become life-threatening events (NHLBI, 2007). Asthma is a common chronic disease. CDC's National Asthma Control Program Grantees (2013) indicate that 39.5 million have asthma in the U.S, 18.9 million (8.2%) are adults and 7.1 million (9.5%) are children. Adults who aged (18-24) years have the highest prevalence of asthma compared the other age groups