oa South African Family Practice - Approach to asthma in adults : review
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes hyper-responsiveness of the bronchial tree, with reversible airflow obstruction. The condition places a significant burden on our healthcare system. Chronic asthma can cause remodelling of the airway. Patients suffering from asthma should be aware of its signs and symptoms, as well as factors that can precipitate an asthmatic attack. Asthma is mostly classified as either acute or chronic. The diagnosis of asthma is based on identification of both a characteristic pattern of respiratory symptoms and variable expiratory airflow limitation. Treatment is based on how the patient presents, and includes bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids and mast cell stabilisers. This article provides an overview of the diagnosis, characterisation and treatment of asthma.
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