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Many pulmonary diseases are caused as a consequence of viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Such is not the case for asthma, “the result of processes that inflame the airways to contract, impeding the flow of air in and out of the lungs” (Klag 69). When a patient suffers from asthma, the usual symptoms include tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, wheezing and coughing. When doctors attempt to diagnose asthma they use a variety of methods, including lung functioning as measured by pulmonary performance tests, chest x-rays, and allergy tests aimed at revealing sensitivity levels to a variety of substances.

Asthma is an inflammatory disease brought on in the majority of cases by allergic reactions in the individual to allergens. Asthma afflicts millions of individuals and a third of them are children, “asthma affects some 15 million people in the United States alone. The disease is responsible for an estimated 100 million days of restricted activity each year and more than 5,000 deaths. Some 5 million children are asthmatic, making it the most common childhood disease” (Shapiro 1). Because of children being the most susceptible population, early diagnosis and intervention in terms of treatment and management are even more crucial to this vulnerable population whose immune systems and bodies are only beginning to develop.

There are two primary types of asthma, intermittent and persistent. The milder form of the breathing disorder is intermittent asthma. Persistent asthma can run the gamut from mild to severe. Knowing the patient’s asthma severity dictates the kind of management and treatment that is necessary. In 1997, the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) established guidelines for asthma therapy because of the enormous costs to society and individuals that are associated with asthma-related illness. According to these guidelines, the goals of asthma therapy are: “To prevent asthma ...

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Asthma. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:12, April 21, 2019, from