Asthma Research Papers
Asthma research papers from Paper Masters outline the information you see below. We have provided a sample here on how our medical, nursing and health writers cover a topic such as asthma. Use what you see here as a guide for your own project or have our writers custom write you a research paper on asthma or any other disease.
How to Begin a Research Paper on Asthma
Research papers on Asthma reveal that it is a chronic lung condition with ongoing airway inflammation that results in recurring acute episodes of breathing problems such as:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
This process occurs when inflammation constricts the airway in reaction to physical activity, respiratory infections, allergens, and irritants, giving the disease its medical name: Reversible Obstruction Disease. Medical Health Research shows the lungs may only narrow or they may become blocked entirely, which ever the case, breathing is hampered.
In America, about 20 million people are suffering from asthma. More than 70 percent of them are also diagnosed with allergies and about 5,000 of them die each year. Asthma costs this country more than $11.5 billion in direct health care costs. Asthma makes children miss 12.8 million school days each year. With no cure currently available for this chronic respiratory disease, treatment is the only option. This report defines asthma and outlines its symptoms and discusses how it is diagnosed and treated.
What is an Asthma Attack?
An asthmatic attack can occur by the introduction of various stimuli into the patient. Bacterial or viral infections, often upper respiratory, can provoke an attack, as can cigarette smoke and strong orders such as perfume, paint or chemicals. Your research paper on asthma will want to explore the instigators of an asthma attack. The changing of seasons, bringing with it, temperature change and tree and grass pollen, can trigger episodes. Molds, animal mites, preservatives and food coloring, like the entire list, can be fatal to the sufferer. Included in that list are various medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and beta blockers.
While the symptoms described above are typical indicators of asthma, not all people suffer in the same way. Research shows that some people may have the coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, while others may have a different combination of the symptoms at different times. Sometimes during an attack, some of the symptoms will be worse than others, and even vary from one episode to the next. Some are mild and generally more common, while some episodes are more serious. The life-threatening attacks may be less common, but they also may last longer in length and require emergency medical care. One important way to manage asthma is by getting to know the early warning signs and symptoms.
Early signs of asthma come just before the beginning of an asthma attack. They are subtle changes that warn a person that his or her asthma is getting worse. And while they are not serious enough to disrupt everyday activities, by recognizing these warning symptoms, an attack can be prevented: frequent coughing at night; shortness of breath; feeling weak during exercise followed by wheezing and coughing; moodiness; trouble sleeping; and signs of allergies or an upper respiratory infection. If those early symptoms are not treated, an asthma attack can come on quickly. Once these signs appear – a nagging cough, wheezing and tightness in the chest; and poor response to medicines - daily activities may be more difficult to perform. Then, if these more severe symptoms are ignored, a person with asthma may enter what is known as the “Red Zone,” at which time an emergency asthma action plan must be initiated in order to save the person’s life. These symptoms include very rapid breathing, severe wheezing, chest pain, trouble talking, anxious or panicky feelings, blue lips and fingernails, and pale, sweaty face.
Types of Asthma
There are different types of asthma you need to outline in your research paper.
- Exercise-induced Asthma is usually blamed for asthma in up to 80 percent of people who have been diagnosed with it. Symptoms can occur within three to eight minutes of starting exercise or do not appear until after exercising has stopped. In many cases, however, exercise-induced asthma begins while a person is exercising and gets worse when he or she finishes. Symptoms mirror those of a mild asthma attack and include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and a tightening of the chest.
- Nocturnal asthma can be caused by exposure to allergens in the bedroom sinus problems, and gastroesophageal reflux. It can also be triggered by a drop in body temperature, sleep apnea, or simply because effects of medication administered in the morning has worn off. Symptoms of nocturnal asthma commonly get worse at night.
- Occupational asthma is a lung disease brought on by breathing fumes, gases, or dust in the workplace. Researchers estimate that this type of asthma is blamed for about 9 percent of all cases. People with occupational asthma may have never suffered from asthma before, or they may have had it as a child and grown out of it. This form of the lung disease makes pre-existing asthma worse and can ultimately result in permanent lung damage if not prevented by completely avoiding the irritants. Sometimes a job change is necessary to avoid irreversible damage to lung tissue.
Research on Asthma Treatments
There are many treatment options for people with asthma:
- Bronchial thermoplasty
- Alternative treatments
The most common way asthma is treated is through medication. Based on the type and severity of the asthma, a physician will decide which course of medication will be the most beneficial.
Most asthma patients take two medications: controller medicines, which helps the airways resist reactions to asthma triggers and controls the inflammation, and quick-relief or rescue medicine, which are also known as bronchodilators. These medications are used during periods of wheezing and coughing and open the airways by dilating them and making it easier to breathe. Long-term control medications are prescribed for people with all types of asthma and are generally taken every day for a long period of time to control persistent asthma. Included in this group of medications are inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-2 agonists, leukotriene modifiers, cromolyn, nedocromil, and theophylline.
Inhaled corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs. By reducing the inflammation in the bronchial tubes, inhaled corticosteroids help prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid into the airway tissues. This type of medication is very effective because through inhalation, it delivers medication directly to the lungs. Corticosteroids, while associated with side effects like hoarseness, loss of voice, cough and oral yeast infections, are the drugs of choice for many people because they are easy to use, reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, and diminish the need for other asthma medications. Another popular medicine prescribed to control asthma is bronchodilators.
Bronchodilators, like salmeterol and formoterol, are used to prevent nighttime symptoms and control moderate to severe asthma. They work by opening up airways that are tight and constricted, allowing a person to breathe easily for up to 12 hours. Bronchodilators are generally used on a regular schedule and not as an only treatment. This particular group of medications, however, has been the topic of debate for more than a year. According to the Food and Drug Administration, who issued a public health advisory for three types of bronchodilators, Advair Diskus, Foradil Aerolizer, and Serevent Diskus may increase the possibility of severe asthma attacks and even death in the event of a severe episode.
Leukoptriene modifiers are newer medicines and used primarily to lessen the production or block the action of leukotrienes, which are the materials that are released during an asthma attack by cells in the lungs. These substances are to blame for the inflammation of the airways which is the cause of coughing and wheezing. Drugs like Singulair and Accolate are alternatives to corticosteroids and work well for people suffering from mild asthma. And for people who have been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, doctors prescribe cromolyn and nedocromil, two drugs that are administered daily through an inhaler and help prevent mild to moderate asthma attacks. In addition to medications that help control asthma, there is a group of drugs used to offer quick-relief.
Quick-relief medicines for asthma are not meant to be used daily. While they may stop an attack and provide temporary relief, they do not prevent airways from swelling and could bring on a very bad asthma attack. Also called rescue medications, this group of short-acting bronchodilators stops asthma symptoms while an attack is in progress. When symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath begins, these inhalers begin to work within minutes and can last up to six hours. These medications are also recommended when readings on a peak flow meter are below normal.