What is Asthma?
It is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrows, swells and produces extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe. It can be minor, or it can interfere with daily activities. In some cases, it may lead to a life-threatening attack.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Wheezing (a whistling sound in the chesst)
Dry cough – increases with exercise and worsens at night or early in the morning
Stringy or thick sputum
It becomes life threatening when you have the following:
Difficulty to catch a breath
Difficulty talking and concentrating
Difficulty talking and walking
Cyanosis of skin especially around the mouth and finger areas
Nasal flaring and constant wheeze
At what point do I see a Physiotherapist if I have asthma?
The clinical features that comes with asthma are:
Hyperventilation/Increased Respiratory Rate
Increased Work of Breathing
Decreased Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
Decreased PaO2 (partial pressure of oxygen in blood)
Increased PaCO2 (partial pressure of carbon dioxide in blood)
Increased Heart Rate
Physiotherapists treat asthma in a variety of ways with the aim to improve breathing technique. Physiotherapy techniques for asthma are in addition to medication and are never used as a replacement to prescribed medication, however, they help reduce the dosage of medication required.
Majority of patients suffering from asthma will seek physiotherapy when they have these clinical features – dyspnoea and hyperventilation.
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