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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disorder characterized by airflow obstruction and airway hyperresonsiveness to multiple stimuli.

Asthma despite common to children can occur at any age. However according to statistics, about 50% of the people suffering from asthma are ages 10 years and below. There are twice as many boys compared to girls with this age-group. Furthermore, approximately 1/3 of all the patients share this condition with at least one immediate family member.

The good news about asthma, unlike other lung disease, is that it is high reversible and can be controlled with medications and treatments.

Allergy is one of the strongest predisposing factors to asthma. There are patients who are sensitive to allergenic diet, environmental pollution and stress, smoke, and other allergens.

How to Prevent Asthma Attacks?

The best way to prevent asthma attack is simple. Patient should keep away from allergens and other contributing factors that may trigger the attack. Patients with recurrent asthma can also undergo tests to identify the substances that they are allergic to.

Health Teaching

Nurses should educate the patients regarding this disease, the medical treatments, and other important information to control attack.  Since diet can also trigger asthma attacks, nurses should teach them about hypoallergenic diet.

Hypollergenic Diet

Consider patient’s food allergies. Encourage patient to increae food high in antoxidants like oranges, kiwi, tangerine, grapes, mangoes, and other fruits. Also you can recommend to your patient consumption of vegetables, yoghurt, honey, and foods made from whole wheat.

Teach patient to reduce or eliminate food rich in salt and additives. Shelllfish, wine, beer, cured cheeses, milk, nuts, eggs, fish, and other allergenic foods must be avoided at all times.

Common allergens

Instruct patient to avoid psychological stress, environmental pollution, and other allergens like grass, trees, pollens, smoke, strong perfume, dust, and animal feathers or furs.

Asthma Pathophysiology and Schematic Diagram

References:

  • Doenges, M., Moorhouse, M., Murr, A. (2006) Nursing Care Plans: Guidelines for individualizing client care across the lifespan. F. A Davis Company, Philadelphia. 7th edition.
  • Guyton, A. & Hall, J. (2006). Textbook of Medical Physiology. Elsevier Saunders, Philadephia. 11th edition.
  • Schilling McCann, J. (2007). Lippincott manual of nursing practice series: Pathophysiology. Lippincot Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Silvestri, L. (2008). Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination. Saunders Elsevier. 4th edition.
  • Smeltzer, S., Bare, B., Hinkle, J., Cheever, K. (2010). Brunner & Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 12th edition
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Rina Malones is currently working as a critical care/acute stroke nurse. Besides from blogging, she's also studying International Health at University of the Philippines Open University.